Pulling the Plug on Facebook

One of my daughters pulled the plug on Facebook recently. While I applauded her, and envied her, I couldn’t sleep because I thought—I can do this thing too!

Winter months really drag me down and I find myself “more addicted” to the social media, and this year the cold has dragged on extra long. In fact, as I write this it is 38F and snowing. Nothing will stick, but there is no sun to be found, and no baseball…

I began thinking of reasons to get off Facebook, besides the normal addiction thing. For instance: hackers near and far, false news articles, and nonsense posts. This brings me to the past election, which seemed more filled with hate than what candidates would actually DO for our country. Instead of pulling the plug, I limited my Facebook time to a couple times a week, for only 5 or 10 minutes.


Sooner or later I am sucked in again and find I’m wasting my life. Possibly sucking away at any creativity I may have, and packing my brain with unnecessary stuff.

This WordPress blog is attached to my Facebook author page, and this is also where I post Instagram photos, verses, and quotes. I have to have a personal page to have a “business” page. Could I just pull the plug on all that? Lose my readership? Possibly lose MOST of my readership? After all, it’s my hard work. I’ve been doing this thing since 2011…

This is not an ego thing, I don’t go to my author page and count the “likes” and how many people “follow” my blog. (Well, not usually). In fact, I usually have very few comments on my blog, and sometimes wonder if anyone reads it.

For me there is the constant push from Facebook for my “business” page; to post every day—at least once a week. While you’re at it, pay anywhere from $3-10 to boost your post so hundreds or thousands will have a chance to see it. Is my blog so captivating that I would gain that much attention?

Do I need this subtle pressure all the time? I’m sure some folks could dismiss it and not think of it again. But not me. It is a small pebble in my shoe, you know?

But what about those of us who have a small readership? It makes me wonder—am I missing out?

I love to read, but how many millions of blogs are out there trying to be noticed?Even if I read only blogs from writers about writing, I would never be able to catch up!

This is the key to my vacillating: Authors who want to be seen and read need to put themselves out there; they need social media.

While I am presently editing a book for possible contract, if I pull the plug on Facebook I am shooting myself in the foot.

So, what is the solution? Quit cold turkey?  Or steel myself from looking but once a week?

Last night I thought the answer was simple, but today I’m not so sure. I have many adorable Grands that show up on Facebook, and I would hate to miss ANY of their cute photos. I bet you have similar problems.

There are things we don’t want to miss, but as we are looking down at our phones are we ignoring people right in front of us? Do we want to stay so distracted by something other than real life?

I want to be present in the moment in this life, not looking at yesterday, or even this morning.

I want to look into people’s eyes and see if there is pain and give them a genuine smile, a hug, a listening ear. How do we know what struggles are in the hearts of others, when we are head down, or we are rushing on to the next thing?

If you Google social media and depression you will find more depression in our country than ever. Has social media built a glass bubble between us?

I can walk down the street and see the same people everyday, and wonder why they are afraid to smile, nod or say hello.

I don’t want to be worried that I only have 399 friends on my timeline, and only 139 followers on my author page. When I post a blog page, am I going to keep checking that day to see how many people I reached? It still doesn’t mean they read my page!

We all want to be noticed. We want to be loved, have friends and relationships. Facebook gives us this, and it also gives us that far away relationship. Facebook has brought me daily “visits” with my family in Europe. But in bringing us together, it has built a wall when we are person-to-person—real life.

I’m going to be honest with my readers and say that I am ready to feel the freedom of deleting Facebook from my life, but it is a real struggle, and I’m thinking through it.

I’d love to hear from any of my readers.




Traveling Between Snow and Spring

The calendar may say it is spring…but it’s slow coming in Upstate New York. The robins are here, but snow flurries are still in the cold air and we are waiting for the sun to make a come back.

My husband had an early morning speaking engagement at a New Hampshire high school, so we left the day before and drove northeast through Vermont to the border of New Hampshire at Claremont.

We found the welcome center in the town of Bennington, Vermont. Friendly women directed us to a few places we could visit during this off-season. It was disappointing to find out that a local college recently purchased the Robert Frost museum, and was not open at present.

A close up of the red/white/blue, pledge of allegiance.
You can see the spiked monument in the background.

We drove to the top of Monument Circle. The Bennington Battle Monument stands more than 306 feet above the town. It was built to commemorate the battle fought on August 16, 1777, which marked the turning point of the Revolutionary War. There are 471 steps and is open Mid-April to Oct. 31. There is a small fee.

Through our sunroof, you can see the cloudy day.

From the monument we drove down to the Old First Church, which was built in 1763. In the cemetery are approximately 75 Revolutionary War patriots buried, as well as British and Hessian soldiers killed in the battle of Bennington.

Here lies Robert Frost the American poet.

Then we drove to Green Mountain National Forest, and just before the sign was a section of the Appalachian Trail. It seems that when I find myself at the A.T. it is either too hot, (NC), or this slushy snow breaking down to the muddy days. We walked on it long enough to realize that going uphill was too slippery at this point.

We headed to Manchester and Hildene, home of Robert Todd Lincoln. The son of President Abraham Lincoln, also a lawyer, had a much different home than his fathers’ early cabin. By this time we were late in the day and it was suggested to take a walk first to the Pullman car Sunbeam of the early 1900’s. It is a fine luxury car that would carry 18 people, beds for all. The wood inside the car is Cuban mahogany, which is now extinct. The porters who took care of the people in the car worked for long hours, some 22 per day and were paid quite poorly.

Cuban Mahogany wood inside.
The beds.

The gloom of the day did not discourage us from the Lincoln house. The entrance with its large pillared posts, led us to the door, and this lovely house.

The drive to Hildene, home of Robert Todd Lincoln.

Pipes for organ were in the walls at the top of the stairs.
Unique player pipe organ.
Steinway Grand
Steinway upright.

Some things of interest:

Family photos including President Lincoln and wife Mary.

Stovepipe hat worn by President Lincoln, his Bible and several historical facts.

The family stayed here 6-9 months of the year and as you can see it was a family home.

There are exhibits on the farm and grounds, Nubian goats, gardens, a youth educational building and walking trails. Bees are also kept on the property, and also pollinator pathways are by the pasture.

The gardens and view in the back of the house must be spectacular in the summer with flowers blooming in every color, and leafed out trees.

The Common Man Inn and Restaurant

We traveled the sometimes-curvy mountain roads from there to Claremont, New Hampshire. Here we found the Common Man Inn and Restaurant where we stayed the night. Since we came in mid-week there was a special on the hotel price and our evening meal was free.

The food was fantastic: a New England Chicken Pot Pie and a seafood mix of scallops, crab, lobster and shrimp for me.

The building is the old Monadnock Mills built on the Sugar River. The Inn was built in the 1870s as a cotton/linen factory. The large old beams are exposed, new 10 foot windows give you great views of the Sugar River or the street on the other side. The rooms themselves have exposed brick and 12-foot ceilings. Even though it is large, the atmosphere is cozy.

In their day, the mills were famous for screen-printing, and clothing labels, such as Levi Strauss. They are also credited for making the sheets for the ocean liner Titanic.

The kissing bridge at the Vermont Store.

Heading home we spied a covered bridge at the Vermont Store. After checking out the bridge and (of course) kissing in the bridge, we saw your typical Vermont-y things in the store such as maple syrup, wintery sweaters, and even Bag Balm for those chapped hands. We came away with some chocolate fudge and enjoyed the sunshine all the way home.