I’m coming up on a very IMPORTANT anniversary!
The 10th anniversary of blogging here at Grace Upside Down, perhaps? Nope, although that did happen in September. (Where does the time go?)
Maybe my 20th wedding anniversary? Nah, not that either, although Home Boy and I celebrated that in September as well.
So what HUGE milestone am I getting ready to celebrate,then? Come closer and I’ll tell you.
In just over a month. I will celebrate 1 full year since…..
I kicked Facebook to the curb!
That’s right! After nearly a decade of socializing on perhaps the most important Social Media platform there is, I quit. Cold Turkey. And never looked back.
For the entirely of 2017 I have lived Facebook free and, man! I cannot emphasize enough what a positive difference I’ve experienced in the quality of my life – AND my relationships! (After a brief withdrawal and detox phase that lasted a couple of weeks…it IS a drug, dontchaknow?)
Ah, sweet relief!
Long gone the days when I agonized over why certain people didn’t like or comment on my posts any more, or whether I “had to” like or comment on someone else’s post. No more of the constant buzzing in my head…..you know, all the conversations (even rebuttals) I couldn’t (or shouldn’t) have. No more Unfollowing someone because they fell down some Rabbit Hole and started posting bizarre, regurgitated mythology they apparently thought they were the first to come up with it.
I no longer feel compelled to correct someones spelling/grammar/punctuation (not that I actually DID correct them. I just FELT like I had to…and stuffed my feelings), or comment with the name of the TRUE author of a quote that someone posted without it (a form of plagiarism that plagues online content and I find particularly abhorrent).
And, most importantly, no more Faux Friendships – many of who were identified AFTER I quit. (“You shall judge a tree by it’s fruit.” – Jesus)
Do I miss the sleepless nights and heartbreak incurred because someone got jealous of someone else I was interacting with online, or completely misunderstood something I posted and decided to take offense where none was meant?
Do I long for the days when I agonized over some cryptic post by one of the kids, in a moment of youthful angst, that threatened to send me in Hyper Hover Mother Mode. (The WORST)?
Ohhellno! My life in the Post-Facebook era is full of tranquility, authenticity and more real-life interaction with people than ever. I have great friendships, and closer ties with them and family alike.
Ahhhhh, the relief! Dear God, the relief of not worrying whether a photo is “Facebook worthy” or not…whether my double chin is showing, or if the muffin top I’ve acquired since menopause is exaggerated! How free to be with people without the knee jerk reaction of having to chronicle our every move for mass consumption! We actually just
LIVE OUR LIVES! DO OUR THING! And any photos we take are, by and large, for our own personal edification.
I am, I believe, Renaissance Woman. I spend less time online now than I can remember. My time at the computer is just a fraction of what it once was. I’m doing life Old School style, free from etheric tethers to what has, in recent years, become a behemoth of conflict and conspiracy, Russian “collusion” and the stifling of Free Speech, and WAY too many ads for things or ideas I could care less about.
Thank God Almighty, I am free at last!
Here are some interesting statistics about Fauxbook:
- There are 83 MILLION fake profiles. That is not a typo but it is a lot of deception.
- Turns out that Facebook is BAD for your relationships. In fact, a study done in 2010 showed “Facebook” was reported as being responsible in 30% of divorces. That’s 1 in 3, and this study is 7 years old now! Imagine what that statistic might be today!
- Not only are romantic relationships adversely effected, Facebook can be a friendship killer as well. I lost 2 long term, real time friendships because of something Facebook related. Did I insult them online? Did I post a death threat or a photo they didn’t want to be seen? Did I go suddenly crazy and become someone completely different , or reveal their deepest darkest secrets to all 350 of my closest friends? Nope. In fact, in BOTH cases, the women just bailed on me without explanation – unfriending me online AND in real life in the new chickenshit, cowardly, immature way of “dealing” that has infiltrated our society. And I’m not the only one to experience this. Three of my close girlfriends have as well…and we’re talking about 30 year relationships just GONE, just like that, over social media. All of us were left hurting, confused and bereft. Never again.
- Not only a source of jealously and infidelity, Facebook has been shown to cause depression, narcissism, anxiety, low self-esteem and a number of other mental health issues. If you’ve ever logged onto your Facebook account in a relatively good mood only to log off 30 minutes later feeling like shit, you know what I’m talking about. Just ask anyone who finds out their ex, only recently to have broken up with them via text message (another chickenshit move used these days), immediately started seeing his old flame. The one that always seemed to show up on his posts with some flirty thing to say. (This happened to my daughter). And don’t even get me started on a personal pet peeve of mine – the seemingly never ending Selfie Parade some people engage in. I mean, how many times do we have to see yet another fish-lipped, “I love myself! I’m so awesome!” post before we start asking, “Who are they trying to convince? Me or themselves?” Turns out posting too many of these photos is another big contributor to the Death of Friendship and intimacy – and it’s annoying as hell!
As Facebook (d)evolves over time…the more FB execs testify before Congress and are in news about their shady dealings (influencing in the 2016 election and censoring certain content, to name two), the happier I am that I’m not a part of it. I don’t belong there. My peeps are in real time, not virtual time. A day (finally) came when the Cons far outweighed the Pros (I speak for myself personally), and I had the will to say Good-bye forever.
Ever since I unfriended Facebook, my days are richer, more productive and peaceful, and involve more real-time friendtime than ever.
It’s been the BEST break-up I’ve ever had.
Life is full of magical moments and little synchronicities.
Several happened to me last week and many of them related to my cookbook project. This might have been the coolest.
It’s been a long standing habit of mine to check two pages of any devotional book before buying it. Well, I bought one this week based solely on serendipity.
This first photo is from a chapter I wrote back in the Spring entitled, “The Well Stocked Kitchen”.
Now this one: A page from a little devotional book I picked up last week at the Good Will entitled, “A Grand New Day”. It’s the page from my birthday, March 30th.
I’m still grinning ear to ear.
Happy Serendipity Sunday to you.
Long gone are the days when I would write a daily post, and then go around checking on all my blog “friends”, commenting here and there and interacting along the way.
When I first started blogging back in 2004 or so, it was a whole ‘nuther world. Blogging itself was a relatively new phenom. This was in the days before “Smart Phones” and tablets, social media and “monetizing”.
Before the “Like” button.
Sure, the platforms themselves were pretty rustic compared to all the bells and whistles available today. We had a small handful of options for templates and such. Corporate websites weren’t yet using a blog as a generic marketing tool. “Click bait” would’ve been mistaken for some sort of fishing apparatus. But oh, those were great blog times. I sometimes miss them in the middle of the night.
These days, I “think” about writing here far more often than I actually do. One reason (the main reason) is, I’ve lost the plot. I don’t know what my motivation is….the whole “WHY” of it.
I’m not an “expert” on anything. I haven’t any earth shattering wisdom to impart, a book to promote, or a service or product to sell.
I have no interest in trying to be “someone”, or garner an adoring crowd (well, actually, that part sounds pretty good. haha!)
So why write here? What is it that keeps me coming back (albeit sporadically), year after year, even after weeks and months of being MIA?
It’s simple, really. I long to connect. To reach out and touch someone and maybe, if I’m lucky, have them touch back. To write something and have someone say, “Hey, me, too!” or “I totally get you!”
Being “get” cannot be rated highly enough.
One of the most unexpected developments of having been diagnosed with breast cancer almost 2 years ago was how it would impact my relationships. I’ve written reams about it in my journal, and mentioned it briefly here (I think….) And I suppose much of the changes stem from how the news – and the treatment journey itself – impacted me.
Unless you’ve walked a mile in the shoes of someone who’s been told they have the Big C, it’s hard to understand, even if you are close to someone who has or is going through it. See, you can’t be in their head. You aren’t there in those dark, solitary, sleepless hours in the middle of the night with your thoughts running amuck. Hell, even my own family doesn’t know some of the stuff I had to deal with – emotionally and physically – because I didn’t want to burden them any more than they already had to deal with. I still don’t.
Long story short, and not surprisingly, I’m not the same person I was 2 years ago. For example, I’ve essentially ditched the New Thought/New Age/Alternative spirituality stuff I had been practicing for a decade or so. I found that 97% of it was pretty useless when it came to dealing with the diagnosis. My beliefs were tried by fire. I am, most assuredly, a Jesus person again. NOT a fundamentalist. You can’t “unknow” or “unexperience” certain things. I love and support my gay friends and the LGBT community at large. I still swear up a storm and I don’t go to church (although, if I could find one where I “fit in”, I would go in a heartbeat). I still believe in the Feminine Face of God, and the Mystery of the spiritual realm.
Physically, I’ve changed, too. I don’t have long dyed hair and acrylic nails any more. My face is different….a little more battle-scarred and war-weary. And my wardrobe. Ugh! After being away from the corporate environ for this long, and after going from 2 incomes to 1, well, the word “limited” comes to mind.
Hell, some days I don’t even put makeup on except maybe my eyebrows. They are a MUST HAVE, if I want to avoid looking rather alien. I didn’t have much before and, after chemo, things didn’t improve. At least I got my lashes back. Mostly.
Another big change is how I spend my days. I am, by and large, living the life of a retiree – even with my part-time bookkeeping job (which, as it turns out, is VERY part-time). My days are spent doing mundane “housewife” things like cooking and laundry and cleaning. I actually don’t mind that, interestingly enough. And I have plenty of time (if not money) to do the crafts and classes that I enjoy.
I never did relate to the “cancer survivor” meme, even though – technically – I am one. Never joined a support group and don’t have a single piece of pink-ribboned paraphernalia. Going through breast cancer was more like going through an ugly divorce or a death or some other trauma. I am doing what I can to put “that phase” of my life in the past as much as possible considering it was – well – cancer.
So I didn’t come out of that phase with a tribe of “sisters”, even though I was told I would. In fact, some friends have drifted off into the sunset. Why? I dunno…Changing interests or lifestyles, maybe? Some of that is to be expected, I suppose. In July 2015, when my BFF broke up with me after my 2nd round of chemo (and right after I shaved my head), I had a big wake up call. Another one, I should say. It was the understanding that some people can’t handle the tough times…the really tough times. Times involving a drastic change in availability, or appearance or energy.
Times of facing one’s own mortality.
My friendships have undergone a serious pruning. In spite of that, the relationships I have with myself, the God of my understanding, my husband and my children are all stronger than ever. I’ve made a few new acquaintances and friends along the way, although no one (yet) to fill those BFF shoes. But I appreciate these women when we spend time together. We laugh and have fun as we get to know each other better.
But in my heart I believe there is one special woman out there. One who is also looking for me, wanting the same sort of “sisterfriend” relationship I want. Someone like-minded and enjoys the same things. A woman who makes the best of things and lives life – every day – to the fullest. She’ll be down to earth with a good head on her shoulders and a smartass remark on her lips. And we’ll laugh our asses off, A LOT, even when we’re crying. It’s just a matter of time before we are connected.
Connection. That feeling you get when you know someone is there for you, and you for them, during good times or bad, happy times or sad. When the people involved experience the strength and comfort that comes from doing life together vs. going it alone.
I want more of that in my life. In real-time. Because as wonderful as online friendships are, they aren’t the same as those where you actually DO stuff together, physically, in the same space. Words written on a page (or in a text) are not the same as those spoken face to face, eye to eye.
Maybe even heart to heart, when someone needs a hug……
I may be a terrible blogger, but I give great hugs.
It’s just a matter of time.