Monthly Archives: July 2016


posted May 2011 on

I was tempted to call this one, “Unfriending Facebook,” but that is just so predictable, I had to delete it. Even if it IS what I am doing.

Oh Be Careful Little You what You Post

I have recently begun to frequent a website which consists of many groups of people who share similar interests and post comments and responses about those interests. One of the areas I am interested in is relationships. But Facebook is often brought into these discussions as a place where people do things they shouldn’t do if they want to be successful in their relationships. Have conversations with exes, send pictures they later regret, flirt online in ways that are damaging to relationships, etc.

Everybody But Me is Having Fun

Have you seen any of the articles that suggest that frequenting Facebook actually leads to more dissatisfaction with life? Here is one such article. Seems that most of us post all the rosy, shiny parts of our lives, and leave out the boring, extremely personal, or sad parts. This has the effect of making us think that everyone else is doing great — a serious example of judging my insides by someone else’s outsides.

Now, my Facebook has been on probation for awhile now, as it has become less and less essential or interesting to me. I do not mean to be a snob; Facebook is fine for the people who love it.

Hey, Buddy, C’Mere, Have I Got a Deal for You . . .

I joined Facebook in 2007. Like most things, Facebook has been “improving” its services over the past 9 years. One of the improvements was the addition of ads, suggested websites, people you might want to friend, more and more and more suggestions/advertisements. Once I realized the specificity of the advertising directed at me came from my recent online activity, I got a little uneasy with Facebook knowing so much about me. But I figured that was just the price of having an online presence.

Snopes? What’s Snopes?

Over the years, I also got more and more disgusted with blatantly untrue things being shared without checking them out. There was something about that that concerned me greatly about society in general. Why are we so willing to glibly pass on information that we haven’t even checked out? I mean, I think the answer is because it confirms a bias that we hold, and of course I knew about the option of hiding a person’s posts, or unfriending them, or even just scrolling past the post, and I did all of those things at one time or another, but I finally said ENOUGH. There is TOO MUCH information coming into my circle of concern.

And Then There’s Kepler

Probably the main reason I have kept Facebook for this long is because I find that there are many people who are interested in updates about Kepler. My photos or updates about him always garner a lot of comments and likes. He’s cute and lovable and I know there are a lot of people who love and care about him, but the medium of Facebook makes that caring somewhat hollow when I don’t see or ever hear from most of the people who comment on photos.

If I “Like” Your Photo, Do I Also “Like” You?

Facebook seems to have made us all feel like we are having relationships with people because we see their birthday pictures or read about the race they ran or see a funny joke they posted. But, heck, I know that I am NOT having relationships with those people, REALLY. It’s a kind of pseudo-relationship that gives me little bits and pieces of info about a person’s life without me ever having to lift a finger to see them, to talk to them, or to really care about them.

For instance, I became aware through Facebook that a sort of friend was dealing with a serious illness. She was friend enough that I reached out to her in real life and offered several specific ways I would be glad to help, not just “let me know if you need anything.” I understand that a serious illness can have a way to throwing a big wrench in the monkey works and I am not offended that I never heard anything from her. My point is, I have continued to know about this person’s journey without seeing her in PERSON for a number of years now.

Another insidious effect of Facebook on me was that it lured me into thinking I had connections with people, when actually I spent a lot of time by myself at home. There is a legitimate sense of community that may be found in some online forums, in my experience, but not on Facebook FOR ME.

E-Vites for All

Facebook has become the go-to place for letting people know about stuff. And I thought about that before I deleted my account (oops, buried the lead there, didn’t I?) but I decided that the reality of me being on Facebook was not truly a place where I made connections or heard about events that I wanted to go to . . . with a VERY few exceptions.

And When You Select “Delete”

When you ask them to delete your account, they keep it for two more weeks in case your change your mind. There is also the option of downloading your account information, which includes your timeline, all the ads you have clicked on, all the photos and videos you have posted, all the “pokes” you have received, all your Facebook private messages. As a matter of fact, here are all the things you receive in your download:

Screen Shot 2016-07-15 at 1.21.27 PM

The ads you’ve received?, your contact info, events you have replied “I’m going” to, your friends list, including everyone you have ever been friends with, and everyone you have ever unfriended, etc. So, I haven’t lost any of the photos or anything I’ve ever posted on Facebook; I have simply decided not to participate in Facebook any longer.

What’s the Alternative?

I’m still on Twitter and Instagram, and obviously I still blog. There are people I would like to know how they are doing, but I have decided to go back to the old-fashioned way of asking, either letter or phone. Kinda crazy in this day and age, but it’s what feels like the most authentic kind of relationship out there that I can see.

The Net Result

Although I recently deactivated my account as a step toward deleting it, I’m sure I have new vistas to experience once it’s gone for good. But I know this is one area of clutter in my life that I can let go of, even as I continue to hold tight to the people I know and love in real life.

So, to quote the inimitable Von Trapp family,

So long, farewell
Auf Wiedersehen, goodnight.
See ya around, Facebook. Kthnxbai.





Lots of Choices . . . or Choices, How Many Do We Need? . . . or, Is New and Improved Really New AND Improved? You Choose

The cooler in the one gas station in Grandma’s tiny town looked like this.

Pine Sol. Dr. Pepper. Iced tea. Shooting stars. Hair spray. The smell of a barn. Fields of undulating wheat. A tinny AM radio playing at night. The sound of a box fan cooling off the summer night. 

These are some of the sensory memories I have from childhood summers spent on Grandma’s farm. 

I miss those summers so much. Grandma is gone now; the house is abandoned; cousins are grown up; and life is no longer so simple.

I’m writing today about the idea of how “new and improved” is often new, but not necessarily improved. Ostensibly, there is a reason why the new is also improved, but I long for the simplicity of those days on the farm.

I’ve written about the television and how it used to involve one button to turn on/off and a dial to change the station. I’ve tried to adapt to the fact that now a tv can easily involve three or more remotes, can be attached to a myriad of cords, costs money and includes multiple fees and charges that go way beyond the cost and the tax. TV today has hundreds of offerings 24/7.  And don’t forget the router! And the Airport Extreme! 

Back then, you had a tv and an antenna. The tv was plugged into the wall, not a surge protector. There was one cord coming from the back of the tv, or at most, two.

OF COURSE we have many more choices than we did then. TV was almost an afterthought. Certainly we were subject to the schedule of the station, not to our own. It’s certainly “new” to have thousands of viewing options every minute of every day, but I daresay it is not improved.

Or take coffee. Grandma had a Mr. Coffee coffee maker. It made coffee. You pushed a button and voila. Coffee at the ready. Sure it’s fun now to have options, but it’s also so much more complicated. In our home, wherein we think we believe in simplicity, we have a cool little Aeropress coffee maker, and a French press. We have an electric coffee bean grinder and a manual grinder. We have 2.5″ circular filters for the Aeropress, and a metal reusable filter for the French press. We actually have coffee right now from Puerto Rice and Amsterdam (and greatly appreciate the people who brought it to us — you know who you are). Even going to the grocery store to get coffee. Oy vey. Holy crap.

I get decision fatigue every time I do anything these days. Even if I find a coffee brand I love, I find it necessary to consider whether there are other brands that I like as well on sale, or are part of the “new and improved” specials that the grocery store offers these days (Buy 6, get $3 off, Buy 10, get $5 off — always changing the terms, they are)

So when I think back to days on the farm, my adult self realizes that all was not always well. There were divorces, deaths, crops ruined by weather, farm accidents which took fingers and limbs and lives. But there weren’t so many choices. Obviously, having choices is part of what it means to be human. The fewer choices we have, the less we are in charge of our own lives. Think of the prisoners in jail, or people in slavery. Having choices is not the problem. For me, it’s that everything seems to have SO MANY CHOICES.

My lovely car offers connection to my phone through a lightning cable or through bluetooth, plus has a CD player, plus an am-fm radio, plus offers the capability to use Sirius radio, if I really felt like I needed more choices! I can put a song on repeat; I can put my music on to play in random order; I can listen to books on tape; I can listen to podcasts, I can switch between talk radio, National Public Radio, and top 4o music with a touch of a button. I can mute my music, take a call, make a call, change from CD to music. Nice to have so many choices . . . or is it?

Today I’m just pondering what it would mean to find a way to live a simpler lifestyle in this very busy world. I know that there must be others who feel this way, because I have come to understand that there is little to nothing that I think or feel that isn’t common to at least one other person.

So maybe it is aspiring TO something, TO making a conscious decision to allow some of the options to be left out of the equation. I’m not sure yet how to do that. As I look around our home, I see so many options. Have I suddenly developed ADD? Is that why all the visual noise affects me like this? Is there something to the idea that simplicity is actually a concept that is valid to pursue in our world of many colors?

Just thinking.

If a Blogger Stops Blogging, Does it Make a Sound?

Maybe. Maybe a very small, whispery rustle of sound. One that only a few would hear. But in our world of LOUD everything, small whispery sounds are instantly forgotten. 




Along the shores of Lake Superior, the waves fall onto the rocky sand, and their understated sounds and my ears are perfectly attuned. 

The infrequent breezes through my yard agitate my wind chimes and play the melodic sounds. A gift for me. The breeze comes unbidden, swirling through the chimes, bringing out the fullness of the tones. 

I walk the path in the forest, hearing gentle sounds of trees and animals. This is the pace and the intensity that I love. This is what nourishes my soul. 


The Meowing Cat

Well, it may get me into trouble again, but I am going to post this. I stopped blogging because something I wrote caused a huge problem for someone I referred to vaguely once in a blog post. Today’s post is one I wrote a few months ago sharing the resolution of the story, from my point of view.

A Fable in the style of Aesop

Once there was a smol kitten.


As she traveled through the world, there were large and scary things everywhere.

One day she met another smol kitty.


He was funny and cute and so sweet and she liked him at once. The only problem was that he was from a faraway, terrifying jungle, which she was just sure were very full of kitten-eating, large-mouthed, big growlers. She closed her eyes and told herself, “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.”

Soon the funny, cute kitten wanted to take her to his jungle to meet his kitten family. “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” she told herself. Just in case, she took along her biggest sunglasses and highest heels so she would look much bigger to the scary jungle growlers.

Sure enough, when they arrived, the scary jungle growlers were VERY big and AWFULLY loud and didn’t seem to like her type at ALL. So, she used her OUTSIDE voice and hoped they would notice how BIG and SCARY she was, and thus not eat her before morning came.

Thankfully, she was able to escape with the funny, cute kitten before they ate her but she was pretty sure they didn’t like her big sunglasses and her high heels and her big voice that she used to scare them away. Little kitten was sad and angry and afraid that the kittens in that jungle would always think she was a Big-voiced kitten and would never understand that she was just a smol kitty who wanted to be loved and cuddled.

The two little kittens romped and played back in their jungle. They had adventures and watched animals frolic and laughed and played together. But then, a dispatch from the foreign jungle reached them. OH NOES. They thought smol kitten was MEAN and NASTY. Smol kitten cried and cried.

After many long months of feeling so sad, one of the foreign jungle kitties came to visit her jungle. Smol kitty cried, “Please don’t think I am MEAN and NASTY. You don’t understand at all.” Foreign jungle kitty just kept saying, “When you came to my jungle, you were MEAN and NASTY, smol kitten.” Smol kitty cried and cried.

Then all the kittens went to a lovely scratching post together and purred and licked themselves and ate lovely catnip. And the foreign kitty finally understood that smol kitty was a smol kitty who just wanted to be loved and cuddled and had only been wearing the BIG sunglasses and VERY HIGH heels and speaking with the LARGE voice because she was afraid of being eaten.

And the foreign kitty stopped thinking of the smol kitten as anything other than a smol kitten who just wanted to be loved and cuddled.

The End.