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.

 

 

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Moving On

I never thought I would begin my life as a newlywed and live in a 3rd story apartment near college, and then “retire” to yet another apartment, near college.

Recently we left the home we owned for 15 1/2 years; the home we lived in the longest.

My old backyard friends

I worked at downsizing, for the sake of getting rid of too much stuff we don’t need. As I try to make things fit in our 2-bedroom apartment, I find I didn’t downsize enough in some areas. There are those books you know…

I don’t care to talk about life changes anymore. What is a normal life without change? The strongest lesson I have learned in my life is that change affects everyone; no gender, race, religion or age is exempt-–it happens to us all. Enough said…

In the midst of unpacking boxes and settling in, there was another school shooting in America. Once again people express the wonder of how it could happen in their town, and always the question of why can’t someone do something about violence? It is always the same—the feeling of hopelessness.

Our hearts break for more children gone, and parents and siblings left to deal with the grief. We cry and pray with them, as their lives will never be the same. How can they move on? They are broken, just as this whole big planet is. The world cycle is running bumpy, with dark holes and dead spaces. Climate change and human behavior seems out of control.

Since when did we think we had things under control?

We were made to be the keepers of the planet, not destroyers. All was well until Adam and Eve believed a lie and we tell lies ever since.

How can we help the broken when we are all broken up ourselves? Will we just pray and after a while…move on?

 

“This is how God showed his love for us: God sent his only Son into the world so we might live through him. This is the kind of love we are talking about—not that we once upon a time loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to clear away our sins and the damage they’ve done to our relationship with God.

11-12 My dear, dear friends, if God loved us like this, we certainly ought to love each other. No one has seen God, ever. But if we love one another, God dwells deeply within us, and his love becomes complete in us—perfect love!”

1 John 4 MSG

Could we possibly love the way God did at the beginning, and does so exactly the same today? This is how we can love others; with self-sacrificing love…true love…coming from the Father, through us.

After a week or more, will we just move on from what shooting happened this week, or will we keep reaching out to the broken? Let’s not just pack it away like a box I don’t know where to put.

Be still and listen to the broken so you might bear their burden.