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99 Days Without Facebook

15 Jul

I found this article when cruising Facebook this morning:

http://www.psfk.com/2014/07/dutch-agency-explores-impact-of-99-days-without-facebook.html#!bftedt

“Let me ‘splain – no, there is too much. Let me sum up”:

It’s all about the Dutch and how they studied moods linked to Facebook. The study claims that Facebook puts people in NEGATIVE moods! The claim is that we get depressed through too much time on the site. It encourages people to change their profile picture and inform all their followers that they will be taking a break from the site. In fact, participants in the study get a screen to block their Facebook page – there’s no going back if you participate in the study.

new-profile-picture

This got me thinking: could I do it? Could I leave Facebook for 99 days? I post a lot – sometimes every hour. I realize I have a problem. I don’t smoke (anymore), don’t drink heavily, have been able to stay away from drugs and don’t binge eat. Stalking people is my obsession, I guess.

I started weighing the pros and cons of what Facebook has done for me. Facebook has gotten me jobs. It has kept me in touch with my long distance friends and I moderate a group for writers over there. I have found support, both morally and financially. Facebook has been a plus.

It’s also been a negative force in my life. I have had people contact me who just wanted to start trouble and make my life hurt. I have ended friendships over what others have posted. I have found out things I never needed to know – thanks for that, Facebook.

If I take the challenge, I will still have my blogs posted there. I will still have to remain visible, because my work needs to be shared. All my fans are on Facebook, and they consume a lot of what I write. The decision to get rid of Facebook will not mean the page is deleted – it will simply mean that I log off and see how long I can wait until I log on again.

Facebook saves me when I am bored, it keeps me updated and sometimes makes me laugh. It is, however, an addiction – can I get over the addiction long enough for the challenge?

I will accept the challenge. After this blog is posted, I will tell my Facebook world that I am checking out. I will provide a phone number and email address for anyone who still wants to find out how I’m doing. After my final sign out, I will continue to blog on my progress with the experiment. I will discuss my moods and what I’ve accomplished for the day – basically, what I’ve done when I would have been using Facebook.

Of course, as is my style, I won’t post every day,  maybe not every week. But I’ll be here, on my blog. My work will be posted to Facebook. But as for any actual posts by me or any Facebook scrolling and stalking, that ends today.

Let’s see how long it lasts.

 

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The Creeper Side of Dating Sites

22 May

 

Ok, I’ll admit it. I am currently checking out a dating site. I’m not a first timer but I’m not an expert either. It seems like no one is willing to approach someone on the street anymore – if you’re not online, you’re just not out there, and that’s ok with me. I’m having a lot of fun with the site, actually. However, there is a certain creep factor that comes with it, such as the ease with which I could become psycho stalker chick to some of the pictures posted by the men out there.

1. Me – a Stalker???

Raise your hand if you’ve ever become a stalker when a relationship starts out. If your hand isn’t raised, you’re a liar! We all do a Google search and troll Facebook pages like it’s our new job. Thanks to the Internet, we can really get to know someone – so what’s left to talk about at dinner? The part that really creeps me out, though, is the power given to me by dating sites to REALLY stalk someone. For a small fee, I can find out if he reads my messages. I can find out when he’s online. I can send him multiple messages and see how many times he’s looked over my profile. I can find out if he continues to browse other women. I also get to find out his hometown. Can you see the potential for the ultimate stalker?

Government-Stalkers-A-Creepy-Follow-Up

I understand that most sites have safeguards against crazy stalker chicks (or guys). However, if someone really gets going, it could get creepy fast. If you’re somewhat “famous” (such as a writer ahem) then the stalker potential increases. I know I’m putting myself out there and I did that to be found, but it only takes one crazy person to ruin the fun for everyone. I haven’t had ANY crazy stalkers yet, but the rate at which this particular site allows for it is borderline scary.

2. Editing Pictures

Ok, now this is where I go on a REAL rant. I have seen the strangest pictures on this site. This isn’t the site’s fault, by any means – it’s the fault of the person holding the camera. Among the body parts (yes, body parts – no face) that I have witnessed are: an ear, a forehead, a neck, a chin, a chest and a nipple. It was some guy with his shirt up (again, no face in the picture) showing off his nipple. Really dude?

 

I’ve also seen the famous sideways picture. Personally, I look for intelligence in my men. If you have access to a computer and can’t figure out how to download a free photo editor to turn that photo 90 degrees, I’m probably not going to talk to you. I know I’m being harsh, but I know what I’m looking for, and a sideways photo isn’t going to help your cause.

There was one gentleman who looked nice but had obviously cropped a woman out of the photo. This is baaaad for a dating site. Who is that chick? Your sister? Your ex????? If all you have, dudes, is a picture of you with a girl, take another one. Most of us don’t even mind the bathroom selfie anymore. It tells us that you’re at least trying. Oh, and don’t post a “deer in the headlights” photo. We want to see a nice smile. Women are more attracted to a nice smile than a picture that leaves us wondering if you’ve got two bolts to your screws.

Just.... no

Just…. no

Finally, there’s the picture that isn’t – the picture of your bike, gun, camper or whatever else you love. Sure, take a picture of your passion, but make sure you’re in it somewhere! Make sure that we know which one is you! This category includes the group picture – a picture of you and your buddy might just leave us wanting to date him, not you.

Online dating seems to be the thing to do these days. However, I do remember having to work much harder to find someone, complete pre-dating stalking properly, and finally seal the deal. The plus side to all this is that I don’t need to work as hard anymore. The downside is – neither does he.

What do you think about online dating? Let me hear it!

A Letter To God

27 Apr

Dear You,

You have many different names. Which do You prefer? You can answer that later.

What I want to know is, what’s up man? Why was I sent in this direction? It’s a strange direction don’t you think? It’s a place I could have been for two decades, yet You waited for now to put me here. You didn’t stop me from devoting all of myself to the cause, yet You threw me into the game with no instructions. I don’t even get a cheat sheet or a website full of nerds who have played the game already.

I just get what I feel. Is that how You’re talking to me about it? I mean, that’s fine, I’m just curious. Do You think I’m strong enough for this? Is this why You’ve had me building my strength for the past six months? So I’d be ready to help when I was called?

I don’t know. I just feel confused. Perhaps my emotions are a little out of control. Did You intend for that to happen? Never mind, don’t answer that. I guess it’s not meant for me to know. Just please, God, if it’s your intention for me to be an angel in the life of a broken man, please keep giving me the strength to get through it.

And please give him the strength to see the other side of this. If he doesn’t, I don’t know if I can survive the backlash.

I’ll do it, God. I’ll do this insanity You assigned to me. However, please help me, because if You don’t, I will fail. And while it’s true that I don’t deserve to be second best, he doesn’t deserve to fail at this. Maybe between You and me, we can do this.

Thanks.

Love Makes You Fly, Then Breaks Your Wings

27 Apr

Love Makes You Fly, Then Breaks Your Wings

Your arm was so nice around my shoulders,
That I can’t put that day away
Without pulling it down
From the bookshelf again and again
Replaying the feeling that’s gone now.
I didn’t think we’d find ourselves here.
And you’ve started something
You don’t see. It so happens
That I really want to be with you
In all the craziest times of
The world, I never thought that
Would happen, but here I am.
We’ve circled for years around something
We had already found. I mean,
Why don’t we just stay together
In this crazy, lonely life? It’s funny how you’re
Walking in life and it turns into
This. I’m crazy for you but
Can’t show you for the sake of you.
Can’t say, baby can I hold you tonight?
Can’t say, I see you for you,
And I love you. For you.
Holding back is gonna hurt like hell,
But hell – as I stand by your side, silently,
I know -I’d rather be silent next to you
Than never near you again.
Even if that means I watch you move away from me.

A Year Without a Cell Phone

22 Mar

no-cell-phone-sign

 

I’ve been in and out of jobs for a year, which means I’ve cut back on everything possible. After physically losing three cell phones in three months, I took that as my sign that the cell phone bill should go. I refused to get another cell phone, relying on the house phone for all my future interactions. I just thought I would go back to the way things were when I was younger. After all, we all lived at one time without a cell phone, right?

The first few weeks were fine because I was too wrapped up in my personal life to interact with too many people anyway. I had told everyone close to me I didn’t have a cell phone, so no one tried to text me. I thought, yeah, this will be fine. I’ll have the house phone and I’ll have Facebook and, well, I’ll just have to be out of touch in the car or in stores. Everyone used to live like this, so why shouldn’t I live like this again?

Then people started talking. They weren’t talking behind my back, no, they were asking me questions directly. The most common comment I got was the confused, “I texted your phone number and it wouldn’t go through.” People expected that the number I gave them was a cell phone. My friends were greatly unprepared for my new way of life.

Other comments included, “If you get lost on the way home just use your GPS on your phone”, even after I remind them I don’t have a phone. Other people tell me they’ll text me later, while still others give me their number and tell me to check in with them while I’m at the store. Even after I tell people, “I don’t have a phone with which to call you”, they still use phrases such as, “text”or “call from the store”.

I am a very patient person and I love my friends to death. I always politely nod and let the phrasing go, but I have noted the phrasing used, and I’m consistently interested in how our language has changed. I don’t think people mean to say “text” or “use your GPS” to me. I think these words have become American colloquialisms. In fact, after not having a cell phone for a year, I KNOW they are the newest phrases used without conscious decision.

People aren’t used to me not having a cell phone, even after a year of being cell phone free. One of my closest friends tells me all the time that it’s time to get back on the cell phone train. She asks me all the time if she can text me yet. I laugh with her and promise her I’ll get a new phone when I’m back on my feet, but really, I’m doing okay without it. Barring the few times that I’ve had to get in touch with the kids when I’m not at home, it’s pretty much an unnecessary expense for me.

I think that, if I do get a cell phone in the future, it will be a pay-by-the-minute, non-smartphone model. It will be for emergencies only, or the times when I need to reach the kids for any reason at all. And yes, texting will be allowed.

You. Always.

13 Mar

written by Diana Gill and myself. Thank you Di ~ you rock!

You tore it all down for me
You brought me to my knees
You found light in my dark
And you chiseled me out of my fear.

I only shine for you
I only feel for you
I only see for you
I only need for you.

You gave me a wounded heart
You stored my soul with yours
You wanted me to have everything
But you couldn’t give anything.

I’m lost in your world
I’m not completely here
I haven’t seen the sun for years
It doesn’t reflect the same.

I only shine for you
I only feel for you
I only see for you
I only need for you.

I wandered for miles around
And still was at your feet
I wonder if your smile
Will ever leave my memory.

It’s better to hurt this way
Than to never feel again
Do you ever think of me?
I think of you constantly.

I only shine for you
I only feel for you
I only see for you
I only need for you.

Someday I’ll come back again to you
How can you deny me?
I’ve looked for you in others
But no one has my heart.

But you. Only you. Only you.

Where Have I Been?

2 Feb

First, my camera broke. Until I get a new one, the blog is on pause.

Second, I’m working on a novel. It’s a horror psychological thing. I’m working on a blog for that, over here:

http://www.thefamilybusinessbook.wordpress.com

I want to start building again in the spring, so hopefully I’ll have a new camera by then and come back stronger than ever. Until then, stay warm and thank you for your patience through this short hiatus!

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