Reconciliation with Social Media

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So, my last post was about my dramatic divorce from Facebook.  Yes, it was in dramatic fashion that I left the social media giant.  I let only a handful of people know I was leaving, and I deleted – completely deleted – my life from Facebook.  I hated it for all the reasons I listed, and, I still do for all of those reasons.  But, like any relationship, I began dwelling on the things I loved and missed about it.  So, after my month an a half separation, I started another FB profile.

The most important thing I missed were the connections with some people.  Sure, even after I left FB I was still in contact with some people, but pictures, babies etc. were things I was missing out on.  I didn’t realize how much I enjoyed it because I was too annoyed with the things I hated about FB.  So now, my I re-friended only 45% of the friends I had before the separation.  That way, I don’t have the annoying updates and complaints, and I have only the people I want to follow.  Also, my school is holding an auction on Facebook that I would not have been able to participate in without an account.  So you may be thinking, “Why didn’t you just un-friend those you didn’t want to hear from and move on, instead of deleting your FB profile?”  Well, because like any separation, there are layers as to why I left.

I was an aimless FB scroller.  I lost time scrolling, reading, angering myself with things, and making it my mission to respond to the ‘injustices’ of social expression.  In the time I was gone from FB, I read four books, and half of another.  FOUR!  I could barely get through one book club book in six weeks before my separation.  I found time to DO things, instead of reading about others do things.

Finally, it was more personal for me to leave.  I live with anxiety issues, but they do not define me.  I do, however, have a difficult time with dwelling, rehashing, etc.; all the typical textbook symptoms.  So, if I had a debate on FB, it would carry with me long after the laptop was shut down.  If I saw something upsetting, it would stick with me; I couldn’t separate my mind from it all.

So, wrap all of those things in a tight little package, and you have all the emotions of my separation.

Now, I have a healthier relationship with Facebook.  I am still not opening the laptop first thing in the morning, I limit my time when I am on.  I don’t post as much, but still participate, and I decline “friend” requests because I can.  I have a more adult relationship with FB now, and it makes me happy.

Have any of you gone through this struggle with social media?

My Divorce from Facebook

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I know, dramatic right?  But if you think about it, divorce is a good way to look at it.

Think about your relationship with Facebook.  When you first met him, you were excited, giddy.

Look at all these people you could find!  So & so from high school?!  Wow look at how much he aged!  Friend request!  Oh, and look at her!  Of course she married a doctor.  I never really liked her.  Friend request!  Oh boy.  Look at joe schmoe requesting me as a friend, like I don’t remember all the drama that he caused in high school.  Accept!  Omg, look at her!  I am so happy she found me!  Accept!  I wonder if she is still friends with that one; let me scroll her friends to see.  Wow, she IS!  Friend request!  I totally forgot about him too!  Friend request!

Remember how that went?

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Then, look at all you could do on Facebook!  You mean to tell me that I can play games WITH these ‘friends’?!  Sign me up!  I can grow virtual produce and have that farm I always wanted?  Yes, please!  I can ‘like’ Justin Beiber, Ellen Degeneres, Kanye West and Oprah Winfrey!?  Sounds great!  Do you think they will respond to me?

All of that excitement, like a relationship, is like the honeymoon phase of a relationship.  After a while you have 100+ ‘friends’, and you are sharing quips and memories of high school, college, or the old days.  You catch up with people, and laugh at their e-card posts, and cat videos.  What a way to relax at the end of a work day.

Then, and it is a different time period for everyone, you find yourself on Facebook, looking at all the posts made by your ‘friends’, and they all start to look the same.  You are getting annoyed at joe schmoe’s political posts now; you had no idea he leaned so far to the right!  You begin to wish there was a way to block his posts without offending him.  Then, you find out how and, whew, thank goodness that is over!  Whoa, when did so & so become so racist?  We went to the same high school and hung out together all the time.  How could this happen?  Delete.  Over and over you see posts that annoy you, but you still keep scrolling.  For what?  You wouldn’t take someone talking to you like that in person, why would you accept it on Facebook?  But you ignore and keep scrolling.

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Soon, you find that you are only communicating religiously with a few people, and the rest of your ‘friends’ really don’t care.  Or, out of the 100+ friends you have, some are just trolling your posts; virtual peeping toms watching your every move, but then still asking how life is when you speak to them.  You wouldn’t let someone peep into your window in real life, would you?

At the end stages of my personal relationship with Facebook, I found myself clicking ‘like’ on mediocre things, and only commenting on a handful of people’s posts.  I was wasting time scrolling and refreshing; television shows were the soundtrack to my loafing on the couch as I did.  I read articles about deleting Facebook in the past, but I didn’t think I would take them seriously.  I remember pinning on Pinterest a link to the steps to deleting Facebook for good, just in case.  Last week, I called for my divorce.

I messaged people I wanted to make sure knew I was gone, giving them my cell number and email address.  What is funny is the people I gave that information to, had it pre-Facebook anyhow.  Think about it.  Who on your Facebook ‘friends’ list would you, sincerely, want to give your personal information to?  It’s worth pondering!  Anyhow, I then began the process of deletion.  It was scary, but I did it.

On February 12, 2015, my emancipation from Facebook was complete.

What happened after I deleted was amazing.  People could not believe I did it!  Questions like, “How does it feel?”, “How was your first Facebook-free weekend?”, “So, why no more Facebook?” began to flood in.  My answer to all these questions were simple: I feel fine.  It went fine.  It was a distraction.  It is amazing to me how difficult that simple answer is for people to accept.  How could someone NOT want to be on Facebook?!  Here is what I learned in my brief time free of Facebook:

  1. Facebook offers people a false sense of community.  Sure, you have 100+ friends, but when you are feeling low, or need someone, how many of those ‘friends’ are there for you?  This includes ‘family-as-friends’.  The same ones you would call off of Facebook are the same ones that are there for you on Facebook.  Nothing changes.  All those ‘likes’, and comments only assist you for a small amount of time.  Then, you are there with the same problem, calling the same people.  Facebook has done nothing to help you, has it?
  2. Facebook deals you drama that you wouldn’t normally accept in your life; just because it is on a computer screen doesn’t make it any different.  If you are democrat, pro-life, pro-equality, posts by your ‘friends’ and ‘family-as-friends’, are only going to annoy you if you share different views.  Often times, you don’t realize that these people have such rigid views.  Then, when you see them offline, you are supposed to pretend that you never read anything they wrote?  If you don’t accept something offline, don’t accept it online.
  3. Facebook only causes problems with the people you have offline relationships with.  How many times have you heard, “didn’t you see my post?”, “how come you didn’t ‘like’ it?”  It has become a platform for passive-aggressiveness all around.  I will admit, I used Facebook to release venom I had stored up in me as well at points in time, but it did nothing to solve my problems.  It exacerbated them.  What ever happened to having discussions with people?  Now people are throwing ‘friends’ and ‘family-as-friends’ shade online, and then expecting life to be wine and roses when you meet up at the annual barbecue.  Life doesn’t work that way, but Facebook has allowed people to think that it does.  Hell, that post got forty-three likes!
  4. Facebook makes you feel bad about your life.  Or, it makes you judge how you are living it.  Have you scrolled through someone’s vacation pictures thinking, “I make more money than they do.  Why can I not afford to take vacations like this?”  Or, “She is such a good mom.  Why didn’t I think to do that with my kids?”  I could go on and on with the comparisons we make, but it would take up the rest of this post.  Facebook makes us critically look at our lives and judge ourselves against other people’s lives.  There is that one ‘friend’ who posts that you always say, “Wow so & so, you really have your life together!”, or secretly loathe them for their successes.  Facebook certainly does nothing to boast your self-esteem.
  5. Facebook is a time sucker.  Days before my divorce, I was talking to a co-worker, and I asked her, “How do you find so much time to read with your crazy life?”  She volunteers for a dog rescue, has nine dogs in her home (some are fosters), has personal issues, attends regular college basketball games and is always busy with work.  She said she has much more quiet time than I do, even with all of those things happening in her life.  So, I assessed my time and what I did when I come home from work.  I have a million books I want to read, and I needed to find out why I had no time to do so.  After watching my hours go by, there it was.  Facebook.  Scrolling, reading, catching up on things with my ‘friends’ that I missed since I logged in that morning.  Then, logging in to see what I missed after that.  My laptop was open all the time, and when it wasn’t, I was on my cell phone.  Think about how often you are attached to electronics for no reason.  You will see how much time you have in life that is being wasted!

Now, I know the many advantages to social media, and I am not condemning social media as a whole.  I know that people are missing people are found, and lives are saved using Facebook.  I applaud Facebook for those one-in-a-million incidents.  Thank God for it!  But, on a daily basis, it does nothing for me.  So, on February 12, 2015, I signed my divorce document to leave Facebook.

In the six days I have been gone, I have finished a book, and half of another one.  Life is good.

Here is the link to the steps to take to leave Facebook.  If you feel a divorce is in your future, be sure to read it:

How To Delete Facebook

 

Heartbreak of Parenting, Pt. 1

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I am having difficulty lately accepting the fact that my son is going to be 14.  He is a freshman in high school, has a nice group of guy friends and hobbies I don’t understand.

Oh, and he has an official girlfriend.

As you can imagine, my thoughts race to my freshman year in high school, and I begin to reflect on all of the debauchery I was a part of.  I smoked cigarettes with my friends, swore a ton, kissed and made out with boys and lied and hid things from my parents.  These were not horrible, and certainly were typical of my age, but when I try to picture my son in all of these situations, I freeze mentally.  Could my son be doing these exact things under my nose?

The truth is, with the exception of swearing with friends, he isn’t.  As a matter of fact, he is going real well for his age.  He is growing up and going things very typical of a teenage boy.

And that is where my heart breaks.

I will be turning 40 in just under five months, and that is a lot to comprehend.  That compounded with watching my son mature, it forces me to cherish the little things that happen with him.  The time that he holds on longer than I do in a hug, when he thinks something I say is funny, when he wants to share that story about his friend with me.  I’m Mom, so I am already uncool to the boys, so I will take any morsel of attention or information I can get!

I feel as though this has all happened so fast.  One minute he needed me for everything, and now he knows everything and handles everything on his own.  I do still inch my way in to see if everything is all right and ask if he needs anything, but now the problems will be going to Dad.  Dad is cool.  Dad knows it all.

And that is ok.

My husband is a wonderful role model for my son.  There is not one character trait that he possesses that I think, “Man, I hope he doesn’t do THAT when he is older!”.  My husband has schooled my son on the ways of boyhood, sex, girls and life.  That makes it a little easier for me to handle being put in the corner.

I am watching people have babies, celebrating all of those firsts, and I am counting my lasts with my son.  Granted, there are a lot of firsts yet to be celebrated, but those baby/childhood firsts are over.  I mourn that and long for my own youth.  Watching him makes me long for those days of self-discovery. It is when I met my husband, after all 🙂

Driving home from work yesterday, this song came on my radio and it immediately tugged at my heart.  Though I was not unhappy about finding out I was pregnant (like the beginning of this song says), the premise of “There Goes My Life” is the same.  I need to find me before I lose him. ❤  I love him with all I am and all I have.

10 Day Blogging Challenge – Day 10

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So here we are at day ten of this challenge set forth by Sharon’s Book Nook.  I have enjoyed this challenge!

Day 10: One Confession

When I think of a confession, I think of one grand happening that no one knows about, and that will probably floor my readers, baffling them with disbelief.  But I cannot really think of any single thing that will shock you all.  This, however, I will confess:

Aside from missing some people from my hometown, I feel that my move to Virginia was a great move for me.

Do I miss home?  Absolutely.  But I feel like this move has allowed me to be the person that I know I am, without judgement and under the thumb of certain people and situations.  The one thing about this move that haunts me is not finishing my degree; I should have my own classroom right now.  But, life happens. I will be pursuing my degree, just in a different way.

I do miss holidays, birthdays, etc., but I love having a place and something to call my own.  I love that my family gets to have experiences that no one else has.  I love Virginia for the opportunities it offers my son, husband and myself.  God knew what he was doing when this move was offered to us.  I am so glad we listened.

There it is: not a juicy confession, but one none-the-less.

10 Day Blogging Challenge – Days 8 & 9

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I have not been blogging on consecutive days, but I love this challenge put out by Sharons Book Nook.  I intend to finish 🙂  So here we go!

Day 8: Three things I want to say to three different people right now

  1. To My Husband:  How lucky am I to have married such a wonderful man like you?  How fortunate am I to have a man for whom I have known for more than half of my life, who knows the ins and outs, the ugly and the beautiful, the sad and the happy of me and still stays to accept and love me?  You are the only person walking this earth who knows every single molecule of me.  To be cliché, I married my best friend, literally.  You are a strong and caring man who sets a wonderful example for our son.  Even if he grows up to be a quarter of the man who you are, he will be amazing.  (But we both know that he is more of you than that!)  I am so thankful that, through all of these passing years, you have remained true to who you are, no matter what strife that the world has thrown at you.  You make me want to be a better person every single day.  I adore you, babe.
  2. To My In-Laws:  I love and care for you all more than you realize.  When I married Dan, I was excited to be gaining a family of people who seemed so close to one another.  Unfortunately, my baggage affected me, and that manifested in how I treated some of you. There is nothing else I can say in this situation except I love you guys.  Sincerely.
  3. To My Son:  Buddy, you taught me that the world does not work exactly how you hope it does, and that every winding road life takes us on is worth the ride.  You are an intelligent, caring, eclectic young man who this world is fortunate to have in its lifetime.  Your ability to adapt to life in the face of your struggles leaves me awestruck.  You are much more than your struggles, and they do not define you.  You are so smart, bud!  You make me shiver at the math you understand (I think we both know that it would make me cry!)  You are an amazing young man who I learn from every single day.  I am so lucky that God thought I was the best mom for you.  I love you very much!!

 

Day 9: Two Recent Pictures

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These are my beautiful doggies, Mika and Shae.  They are so loving and fun!  They really do make our house a home 🙂

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And this is me – a recent picture of me.  This was taken a couple of weeks ago – a work selfie.  Now, usually I don’t like pics of me, but this one I actually like!  So, hell friends!!

10 Day Blogging Challenge: Days 6 & 7

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I am behind having missed yesterday, so I decided to double up this morning!  Turn offs and guilty pleasures are on tap for today, thanks to this challenge put on by Sharon’s Book Nook!

Day 6: Five Turn Offs

  1. People with negative/bad attitudes – I try to live my life in a positive way, and when I am around people who constantly complain, it really drags me down.  Also, when people simply have a piss-poor attitude in general, I find it difficult to be around them.  I am not saying that I am above having bad days, because I have them more than I would like to admit.  I am talking about those that it is ingrained in: sucking teeth at stupid things, rolling eyes and dismissive attitude when things are not exactly how they think they should be.  I simply will not be associated with people like that anymore.
  2. Ignorant/Helpless People – I am not referring to those that have valid problems in life.  Mental illness is something that I live with in a small capacity, and I know those that simply cannot help themselves because it is clinical.  I get that.  I am talking about those that CHOOSE to have others do everything for them.  Lazy people.  The whiners that expect hand-ups when they are perfectly capable of getting up and walking across the room to get something themselves.  Also, I cannot take people who choose to stay narrow-minded and not entertain other sides of stories or situations.  I am not saying that everyone should believe the same thing, I am saying just be open to listening to someone else without placing judgement.  There is WAY too much of that going on in this country.
  3. Sheep – No, I am not talking about the animal.  I am talking about those that follow a trend, rumor or otherwise, simply for the sake of fitting in and staying mainstream.
  4. Fake Celebrity – Kardashians, Hiltons, any reality show “celebrity” – what a false message they send young people about life.  I have a difficult time thinking that Snookie has published TWO books.  Since when is the television channel, TLC a reality TV station?
  5. Politics –  Can we agree as a people who no matter who we vote in, they are going to suck at something and thrive at something?  Why are we divided like we are?  Vote for the least offensive and move on.  If you don’t like it, run for office.  It is as simple as that.  I HATE political attack ads &  people on their high horses.

 

 

Day 7: Four Guilty Pleasures

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The TV Show, Dallas – I was so excited when TNT revamped this ’80’s television drama, and was equally devastated when I found out that they cancelled it after three seasons.  Not only is the eye-candy good, but it was rich with nonsense and drama.

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Grey’s Anatomy – Now, I did not begin watching this television show in real-time until a couple of years ago.  I ended up catching up on it through a Lifetime marathon from beginning to end (at the time).  Now, no one gets between me and my TV on Thursday Nights.

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Carbs – Oh yes!  That evil food product that everyone avoids!  I love breads, chips, cheeses etc.  Until the day that I am told that it is life or death to stop consuming this heavenly group of organic compounds, I will enjoy every single bite!

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Music – Now normally this would not be considered a “guilty pleasure”, but I listen to EVERYTHING.  You can walk into my office and hear anything from P!nk, Britney Spears, Foo Fighters, Barry Manilow, Metallica, Jay-Z, etc.  I like to say that I have musical multiple personality disorder lol  I enjoy it all!!  So if you hear me singing Sweet Caroline, just join in 🙂

10 Day Blogging Challenge: Day 5

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Today, I have to list how to  win my heart, but I find this difficult because my heart has been taken for more than half my life by my husband.  But, I suppose that winning my heart can be a friend, co-worker etc. as well.  So, to complete today’s challenge from Sharon’s Book Nook,:

Day 5: Six Ways to Win My Heart

  1. HONESTY. – I cannot express enough to the people in my life, and those that are incoming, that honesty is the best policy with me, even when it hurts.  I am the type of person that will get over the sting of a harsh truth faster than an appeasing lie.  Sure, a debate may ensue, or questions may be asked, but I can do nothing but respect honesty from someone.
  2. SENSE OF HUMOR – I love to laugh, and I crack jokes all the time (that are 95% of the time not funny to others).  So, if you can make me laugh, you are in! LOL
  3. HAVE A STRONG SENSE OF SELF – It is so attractive to me to see someone sure of themselves without being arrogant.  That is a fine line to walk, but it can be done.
  4. RECIPROCATION –  When I care and love someone, I do it with my whole heart.  I am a passionate person.  When I am your friend or on your side, I am THERE.  You can count on me for anything.  With that, I would like to think that someone would care enough to reach out from time to time to me as well.  I am not asking for exact replication, I would just like to know that you care about me as much as I care about you.
  5. RANDOM MESSAGES – Little messages or hello’s during busy times lets me know that I am an important piece in your life.  Texting is an amazing thing!  I know people are busy, so am I.  But when people pop in my head, or if I find myself thinking about someone, I reach out and let them know.
  6. BE PASSIONATE ABOUT SOME THING – Nothing is more intriguing to me than someone who is passionate about something – your job, education, politics, life.  ANYTHING.  A person like this is someone I can learn something from.  I like that.

 

So, do you think it is difficult to win my heart?