IntrepidWoman's Journey

Posts Tagged ‘social media

In my experience, Facebook is an addiction. I deactivated my FB page 3 days ago and it has been an eye-opener. For the rest of day one, I continually stopped to check FB and experienced frustration that it was gone. For the next two evenings, I did not know what to do with myself so ended up knitting, reading a news site briefly, and going to bed earlier that most nights previously.

On day 2, I made a list of things that needed done and accomplished every single one that day! Before, I would make a list and take at least a week to accomplish it as hours swept away while I was in front of my IPad. Evenings often turned into early mornings; sometimes I would not go to bed before 2 AM and then sleep in the next day. The last 2 nights I have been tired from being active, and have gone to bed instead of sitting in front of the computer. It makes early mornings so much easier and days so much more productive!

I cannot get back the many hours that I have spent on Facebook since I retired at the end of August in 2014, but I can move forward into creative, exciting and gratifying accomplishments from this point onward.

In the last 3 days I have been knitting, volunteered to accompany my grandson’s class to the local museum to learn about immigration in early Lethbridge and southern Alberta, helped the class on another day to learn to knit so they can take part in a yarn bombing for a local festival coming up near the end of the month, shredded a lot of paperwork and cleaned out some bins from my move that were stacked in the closet for a rainy day, AND completed a list of ‘things to do’ that had been hanging around for several days.

I still want to check Facebook, when I get up, when I am eating a meal, and anytime I am not doing something. I miss the people, I think. Maybe not. A lot of them were like me, posting several times a day to show photos, put up quotes and describe daily activities. These are people I do not spend real time with. They are only in my life through FB. The few who are my ‘real’ friends will still be in contact by phone and we will still get together in person to share tidbits about our lives.

The online draw may be the convenience of being part of a community, even while wearing your pjs, and not having to make the effort to go out into the real world. Like most addictions, it begins slowly, and before you realize it, you need your ‘fix’ more often until it dominates your life. Sounds extreme, but think about it.

I made the pledge to deactivate for 30 days. I am only 3 days into it. I know I will make the 30 days, but I wonder if I will want to go back to being active on FB on December 2nd. I kind of hope not.

I have 27 days left to create a real life! My right-brain, creative side is hollaring, “You go girl!” My left-brain, analytical side is moaning, “Life is scary. FB is easier.”

The challenge has begun!

Change in life is constant. Our journey has forks in the road; we constantly have people enter and leave our lives as we trudge along through time. We move, we change jobs, (and sometime partners) and do our best to keep putting one foot in front of the other. Each of our paths is unique, but is filled with valleys and mountain tops. Life is often hard; we experience pain, loneliness and sorrow. Life is also glorious, filled with joy, love, and hope. If it was not for the valleys, could we really appreciate the mountain tops?

For me, retirement has been one of the biggest changes in my life. I moved through the adult years as a single parent struggling to juggle family and finances and finally stepped off the hamster wheel 21 days after my 66th birthday. My first year after was spent just recovering from life’s hectic pace. I was so exhausted!

Now in my second year, I am on a journey to cleanse my body and become the best I can be. Chronic illnesses have plagued me for many years. After a near-death experience in February 2013, and the recent realization that my life expectancy is not way into the future, I have taken control of my physical self.

First thing was to research to find out why there is so much chronic disease, obesity, and early deaths due to so many cancers and the effects of high blood pressure and diabetes. It all comes back to what we eat and the amount of exercise we get. Desk job + processed foods in the stores and quick-and-dirty drive-thru meals all add up to an unhealthy life style. Research has proven it. There is lots of data out there. Nothing new here, but changing it however, is not easy. We live on treadmills. Ours lives are super busy. We are raising our kids to be super busy as well and in between work and chauffering kids to lessons, we are thankful for the chicken nuggets and drive-thru coffee.

It is life. It is how it is. It has evolved over time to this. I have the privilege now, in the winter of my life, to make big changes and it is going well. My taste buds have changed after a few months of eating fresh foods, juicing vegetables and fruit daily, riding an exercise bike and taking yoga and NIA. I rarely eat bread products and have sworn off processed meats and most processed foods. Research has helped me locate locally grown and raised food where I live. Life is good. My energy is through the roof. Physically, I feel better every day.

But… Isn’t there always a but? My poor brain continues to suffer from information overload. Easy access to social media fills my head daily with the horrors of murders and natural disasters. The provincial and federal elections this year were full of hateful statements and images. I have witnessed how abuse and bullying are alive and growing on the internet.

So, what to do about it? I get up, have my hot lemon water and turn on my computer to Facebook, then read emails, then news sites. I end the day the same way. I check in during the day when I am at home. (At least when I worked, I could only do it in the morning and at night.) Some of what I see is good. I like pictures of ex-students and their families and seeing how their lives are unfolding. I enjoy posts from long-time friends and knowing what is going on at Jack’s school and in my neighborhood. Facebook has become the window to my retired life, but I have been sitting in front of it way too much, reading about other people’s lives instead of living my own.

The elements of negativity in social media are pulling me down, mentally and spiritally. As I gain energy and improve my physical self, my mental self is deteriorating.

My addiction to social media is keeping me from real-life experiences. It is time to do something about that. Tucked into my fleece sheets last night, trying to clear my head and go to sleep, I decided to go off Facebook for a month. If I can learn to love vegetables over chocolate, surely I can learn to love real people interactions over FB interactions. There is much more to me than being a Facebook troll!

I am going to deactivate my account today. For 30 days. I would like to never go back, but time will tell. Just as I crave a little chocolate once in a while and hope to learn to eat it in moderation some day, my desire is to limit FB to maybe once a week for only for a few minutes. Maybe I could eat a piece of chocolate when I check Facebook? I would have to turn it off when the chocolate is gone. Lofty goal! Better to say I could drink a freshly-made vegetable juice while I check FB for a few minutes once a week.

I will be back on December 2nd to check in. Wish me luck. I will have 30 days to make art, interact with real people and connect more strongly to my Higher Power. I will still have email, but I think Messenger will be gone with FB.

Now I am going to make my vegetable juice, and while I sip it, read Facebook, then press ‘Deactivate’. The rest of the day will be an exciting, blank canvas!

It is all about finding balance in one’s life, as well as living it to be our very best! Every single day.

Canada just had a very long and very painful federal election process. It is a relief to have it end. There is a FB photo out recently of the new and the old leaders hugging, which is wonderful, but unfortunately, there have also been FB casualties.

The question I ponder today: why are people so mean on social media, to the point of violence? I have witnessed countless images that degraded political leaders, spewed hatred and showed violence. The worst was a photo of the leader of our country sitting in a chair and his head exploding into bloody pulp. Come on! Really?

Whatever did he do that caused so much anger? I see the same anger directed at the American president, including hate-filled comments towards him when he has nothing to do with the situation being discussed!

Social media scares me. It is infested with hate-mongers, bigots and bullies. They see nothing wrong with threatening violence, name-calling, bashing peoples intelligence and integrity.

Is it because I am old and just not receptive to the current total freedom of self-expression?

I am writing this post because I did something I never thought I would ever do. I believe in free speech and the value of everyone’s opinions, but I blocked two people from FB, one during the election and one right after.

During all the hate-filled comments against the Prime Minister, I posted a positive photo/info about him and was lambasted with cutting, rude words on my page that stated I was ridiculous and ignorant to think he was a good leader. In shock, I deleted the comment, then deleted the person. I can forgive many things, including his swearing and rants about how hard life is, but I hold strong my democratic privilege of freedom of speech. Say what you want, but don’t bad-mouth on my page!

Alas, after it was all over and I was relieved to have the negative stuff in the past, another person decided to state that a local candidate won because “aging boomers with their religiosity HANDED her the seat. People who are narrow-minded and suffer SEVERE memory loss.” A friend of the poster challenged this by stating she had voted for this person and found it insulting that hard working people who build this country were being put down.  The original poster said she “was not insulting our elders”, but the person still “got the vote by default.”

I could not contain myself, which is proof that I need to get off FB for either a good, long time or forever! I responded by stating the person “got the win by receiving the majority of votes from people of all ages in the riding” and stated that the writer was “insulting boomers who have been around a lot longer” (than her) “and we do have brains and far more experiences with life and politics! ‘Narrow minded’ and ‘suffering from memory loss’ = totally insulting!” My rant included “The people have spoken in this fine democracy and it is time to get back to working hard at making an honest living, paying forward with good deeds, and showing love and respect for our fellow humans!” Of course she took offence. To me, that is a bully. When someone stands up to a bully, they get louder, but eventually go away. I did not wait. I unfriended her to make her go away.

So, now I sit and ponder the whole thing. Am I terrible for standing up for my beliefs? Her statements were on her own page, so I did not have the right to comment, but isn’t that what everyone does, comment? We tell people how awesome their new image is, how incredible their holiday sounds and how cute their kids are.

I guess the rules change during an election and also when the discussion is about religion. Religion and politics. They say we should never discuss those two things. What is the third thing we should not discuss? Sex? I can’t remember. Maybe because I am a senior.

I am a baby boomer, after all with “severe memory loss”, at least according to an ex-FB friend. Sigh!


Historically Speaking

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