3/22/2021 0 Comments
~ Saying Goodbye, Once Again - and Forever - to More Social Media Sites ~
God Bless You.
In the beginning… And in the very, very end…
You - and only you - are accountable to yourself. No one else can truly hold you accountable - to your actions, your beliefs, and to your own integrity.
So, how does one maintain accountability in this wild and crazy technological era, this day of non-stop scrolling, in this data-driven age? An era where seemingly anything, and everything, goes. Laughter and madness reign equally supreme. Until they don’t...
Whom holds who accountable?
The answer - always - begins, and ends, with yourself.
Believe it or not, your actions, do matter in this world.
You are your own measurement of success. And failure. And mistakes. And misgivings. You know your own heart - and no one else needs to know it like you do. And thus, you own your knowledge, education, and accomplishments too. You are your own person. You are who you believe yourself to be. And ultimately, you are a product of your own actions.
And you, and only you, can take the action to decide to be on social media, or not. To be a part of all the laughter and the madness... The boredom and addiction of the scroll... the insanity of the comment section…
You decide whether you want to be associated with these companies. This is a very personal decision that only you can make.
And here’s my personal decision:
Today, I left social media. Yes, I’ve now said even more Goodbye’s.
I suppose I’ve said a lot of goodbye’s lately - piles and piles of goodbye. Earlier this month I informed y’all that I had deleted my two Twitter accounts. And by the way - I don’t miss them ONE FREAKING BIT!
Also earlier this month, in anticipation of today’s actions of closing the accounts altogether, I had deleted the apps of all the social media sites I was on as well.
So today, I went ahead and I did a whole heck of a lot more deleting. And I’m writing it all down right here. To maintain accountability - with myself. To boldly hold myself in check. To document date and time stamp. This post is my record and documentation of fact. My accountability to my own soul.
Today, Monday, March 22, 2021, I deleted social media and internet accounts and apps from my phone, my browser, my Macbook, and from my life. These sites include some of the big, main social media sites, plus some many more random apps and sites and bookmarks and memberships.
Why? You ask?
Because of everything, and anything.
Because if I don’t hold myself accountable, I cannot hold companies that I conduct business with accountable. And if you are on social media, you ARE conducting business with those media empires. And, most of them, they ARE empires.
I believe social media is becoming an increasingly dangerous place to hang out. In a way, it’s kinda like the wild, wild west of our time. Everything and anything goes. Amidst all the drama and divisiveness and anger and hate and censorship and blocking and cancelations and deletions. All that wildness all still happens - before it goes ahead and gets itself canceled. After all, something has to actually happen, before they can unhappen it, right?
I am seeing these vast media empires setting extremely dangerous precedents, one after another. Including the old originals and largest and most popular social media sites. And I won’t even get into the newer platforms that are continually growing beyond their elders and taking over in terms of membership numbers. Plus, social media sites seem to be joining up with the actions of many other very large corporations of our time. Partnerships. Mergers. And they are all seemingly going in one direction. They’re all targeting one thing:
Reaching for more and more data:
Each time we click, scroll, accept, and check, we are giving away a piece of ourselves:
And they continue to invade more and more of our privacy:
Our very souls...
Will they be coming for our intestines? Track our bowel movements?...
I shouldn’t speak too soon, should I?
But the scarier part of these precedents, is that they don’t seem to care about the precedents they themselves are setting. And I cannot, in good conscience, support - any - of these companies any longer.
The only thing left, and it’s hanging on by a thread - and I mean a very thin thread - is my personal, and private, Facebook account. And that’s as of this writing. And believe me when I say, it’s weighing on that good conscience. I do believe Facebook has been in long decline for quite some time now. It’s all the negativity, all the data breaches, all the arguments. And I’m hanging on, just barely, without the app, logging on for extremely brief periods of time, through browser only, without bookmark, for right now. But sadly, I’ve seen too many relationships destroyed because of Facebook. And I don’t see the good of it outweighing the bad much longer for me.
Let me tell you - None of this is easy to do. I LOVED that infamous grid style imagery platform. It was my absolute favorite social media. And I’m proud of every single photo I had once displayed on the site. I love photography, and it was a swell venue to showcase my adventures snapped via camera. My grid consisted mostly of flowers, doggies, and donuts - silly, yes - popular, no - but mine. Or was it?
But, in the end, I had to make a choice. A choice I knew I was edging toward with each passing day. Deleting and canceling my membership was as difficult a decision as was my act of deleting my entire Etsy shop last year. But if I can’t stand with my integrity intact, I will not stand, because my integrity means as much to me as the action of standing up. I, therefore, cannot support the companies I disagree with in any way, any longer. And I’m not perfect, I’ve made plenty of mistakes. I’ve made as many mistakes as have these companies. But, I know my own integrity. And I don’t really know theirs. And like I already stated, I’m still on Facebook. So - there is that. Make of it what you will.
But basically, I have reached a point that I’m not going to humor these places anymore. I’m not going to join along. I’m done playing their games. And I’m not going to be another number. One more person, contributing to the degradation of civil society. I am doing my part. By getting off their platforms. Before they can banish me into the dark and desolate forest, simply because I sneezed in the wrong direction. And if you think I’m exaggerating, then bless your delicate little heart. Because that’s exactly what will happen. Someone will literally sneeze in the wrong direction, and then… may God save their soul from the wrath of social media bots and bunnies and banishers.
And It’s all THEIRS. Not mine. I don’t own anything I do while visiting their institutions. That question of personal data sharing should concern every human being on this planet. If the data they take from us is not concerning to you, I am then and now concerned for your own safety, privacy, and well being.
I’m done selling myself - body and soul - and I’m done giving away my data to them. After all, these companies have reached a point where how much more data can they possibly want and attempt to extract from us all? Next, someone will come along and say we need rectal swabs to get on airplanes… oh wait, that is actually happening in 2021.
Like I said - our intestines.
So now, with my own accountability in check - I am really one less. One less bunny bot contributing to the complete and utter destruction and annihilation of civil society. By deleting the apps. By deleting the accounts of my choosing. All and each stemmed from specific reasons that shall remain private. But each one was picked and chosen for very specific reasoning.
So, because of Everything, and just maybe because of how you treat literally Everyone - Goodbye - And Good Riddance to social media. And God Bless you, too. ~
3/14/2021 0 Comments
#101) Contagion ~ Ten Years Later
~ A Film Just Before Its Time ~
If there ever was a film I was terrified of upon its release - it was this one.
Just the other day, I recently re-watched “Contagion” - the now infamous film from 2011 - starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Matt Damon, amongst many other notable actors and actresses.
I had seen Contagion ten years ago, upon its release. And I remember thinking at the time how scary of a film it truly was.
To me - Contagion was a horror film.
An apocalyptic film.
A sci-fi film.
A nightmare scenario.
Eerie. Very eerie.
A film that scared the living daylights out of me.
It shook me - to the core. But, why?
I could never really understand that. Why? Why did this film so severely affect me at the time of initial viewing? Was it a sense of foreboding? A sense of truth in terror? A feeling that fiction is reality? Or can someday be?
Can all fiction someday come true?
And what about historical films? Can history repeat itself? Was there ever a film made about the 1918 influenza outbreak? If so, did anybody learn anything from it? Or were we just doomed to have it all happen all over again, no matter what film was made, or not? No matter what happened in the past, does history always repeat itself?
I also remember thinking at the time that I could NEVER, EVER rewatch this film. It was too horrific for my brain to process this storyline more than once. A note to self - once and done. If this film happened to reair on cable tv years later, I would NOT be viewing it. Remember - CONTAGION.
Well, little did I know that I’d actually watch it two more times in the next ten years.
Was I crazy or something? Why would I purposely subject myself to a film that so obviously had shaken me?
At the very beginning of the Covid 19 outbreak, just a bit before it was formally declared a global pandemic, so a little over a year ago now… I went ahead and rented Contagion from the Jacksonville Public Library.
Something told me it was time to rewatch this scary film. There were things happening in the news that sounded awfully similar to what I had watched all those years before, on screen.
What the heck was I doing?
I brought home the DVD, carried it in the house, and I let the disc just sit there on my console table. I was thinking - contemplating…
Should I rewatch this horror?
But I was curious. Very curious.
And - By this time, nine years had gone by since I watched the film.
It was the year 2020. I had turned 39. Nothing scared me anymore. Nothing.
I had changed A LOT in those nine years since first viewing the film.
Now, I actually LIKE watching horror films. Apocalyptic films, sci-fi films, suspense films, thriller films, you name it, if it keeps my brain utterly and totally occupied, I’ll watch it. And I enjoy them all.
So, as the world was getting closer and closer to a nasty and evil and very real pandemic raging outside our walls, I had Contagion sitting there - waiting for me to view it once again.
So as the real life nightly news began preaching more and more about washing hands, using sanitizer, and cases of this novel coronavirus spreading widely, my curiosity peaked.
I ended up putting the DVD into the player, and I hit play. On a lovely evening, after a very busy day at work, and with a tv dinner in hand, my husband and I rewatched Contagion - for the second time.
This time, I watched it from start to finish - with the backdrop of a real life, strange, and mysterious virus standing just outside my door.
This time, I watched with an open mind.
This time, I watched to see how the world handled itself in this fictional crisis and war-like situation.
Well - of course - the world went crazy. Completely and utterly crazy.
On this fictional Earth - There were protests and riots, destruction and houses broken into. There were gunshots. There were bare store shelves, military on the streets, quarantines, and gloves, and hand sanitizer, and blockades, masks, and treatments, studies and vaccine research. And there was isolation, and school closures, contact tracing, and even discussion on how to allocate and distribute those precious vials of potential immunity. This list does go on.
It was all there.
It was scary, yes.
But it was still so fictional.
The film was still so out of touch with reality.
It was still sooo sci-fi.
We finished off the film. And went to bed. And went back to normal and not so crazy life. But, I guess, little did we know at the time that normal life wouldn’t be so normal anymore. Just a matter of days and weeks later. All that crazy - was coming our way.
As I slipped the DVD in its case and then slid it through the return slot at the library… the world outside went ahead and changed on us all.
So then the pandemic came. Once upon a time in a not so distant world. A virus plagued us all - IN. REAL. LIFE.
The fictional world of Contagion came true.
With shocking and detailed accuracy. Even down to conspiracy theorists influencing millions of people in various ways, and people wearing bubbles around their heads.
So as the one year anniversary of the plague came around, I found myself the other day, in contemplation, yet again. Over the film - Contagion.
Something told me I had to rewatch this horrific film, yet one more time.
How would I view Contagion, after experiencing a real life one?
So, for now the third time, I rented the film from the local library.
And I did my now usual hesitation - but this time just for a split second. I laughed. And I popped the film into the DVD player.
What on Earth is there to hesitate about at this point? Have we not seen it all in this past year?
This now silly and comedic film couldn’t possibly scare me now! Ha! As I laugh at our messed up little globe. The problems humanity has to deal with couldn’t scare me out of my mind. Nothing could shake me - to the core - after enduring what we’ve endured.
So, last night, at the age of 40, and ten years after its release, with a dinner consisting of frozen pizza and club soda, we rewatched Contagion, yet again.
Gosh, Matt Damon looks a lot younger there! - I thought as the film began.
I laughed as they tried to identify the virus - it’s ‘novel’ said the CDC.
And I remembered how a year ago I kept asking myself, why are they calling this virus a NOVEL virus?
I gasped as panic set in, similar to the real life panic.
My jaw dropped at the bare store shelves. And the fight for food and survival.
And I flat out had to press pause as all of societal order - began to break down.
It’s easy to look back and think all this was coming, and coming fast, and that we simply weren’t prepared. It’s easy to think of the should haves and could haves - now.
But how could we really have been prepared for the apocalypse? How does one prepare for a meteor to hit the planet? Not everyone has MRE’s sitting in a climate controlled basement bunker, patiently sitting there and waiting for their time in the limelight.
I hit play again and continued watching. They spoke of people leaving their clothes at their front door upon return home from work. So as not to contaminate their house.
Matt Damon’s character repeatedly hands his daughter hand sanitizer after they touch objects outside their home.
His daughter spends basically a year at home, sitting in her room, and texting her friends. Growing increasingly sad, anxious, and desperate for the end to this worldwide ordeal. When would she go back to school?
Well, as in all good end-of-the world films, the saga did come to an end. They found a vaccine - not necessarily a treatment - from what I understood of the ending, anyway. The world moved on. People started to venture on with their lives, slowly, and hesitatingly. And the story closes following a bird and a bat and a pig and raw meat and a chef and bare hands, and then - a handshake.
I think the very end of the film is always what scared me the very, very most about it.
While Contagion was completely fictional. Seeing it for the third time shook me again - this time to the core - again. Yes, the entire film was a work of fiction. But what was nerve-wracking and shocking to me, now, with this third viewing, was how true to life the entire storyline was. How did this film predict all that was to come? How did this story come true - down to a T? To the finest detail?
It was as if real life over this past year was scripted to match this film. Or was it that the film had been scripted to match the future real life? It all was just so eerie to watch. It was truly scary. Can fiction really become reality? And you know what? It was probably more difficult to watch the film for this third and final time. That’s right, I finally don’t need another viewing. Three and I’m done. I’ve lived through the film and I’ve lived it in real life. Next in line for viewing, please.
What was it about it for this third viewing that was so shocking to me? Why did the film originally shake me to the core ten years ago? Why was I so scared watching a piece of pure and utter fiction? Why did the bat and the pig and the raw meat imagery stay in my mind for all those years?
Maybe, just maybe, it was because I knew, ten years ago, deep in the back of my mind, how real and possible and true this piece of fiction could become, if we just gave it enough time. ~
~ Happiness in the Midst of All Adversity ~
I was driving down 1st Street yesterday - March 10, 2021 - and a sign above a local bar captured my eye:
‘A YEAR AGO THIS WAS OUR LAST NORMAL DAY AND NOBODY KNEW IT’
What a sign, right?
Our last normal day...
Yes, Goodbye to normalcy. One year ago.
That’s because, today - one year ago - a global pandemic was formally declared.
And with that formal declaration, the world as everyone knew it… changed forever.
Whether or not that nasty and sticky little coronavirus touched us personally, every single human being on this planet has been affected in some way or another. And we all continue to be. The ripple effects - monstrous. The waves - continue.
But there’s just something strange about marking one year. One year of anything life changing, really. It reminds me - in a very somber way - of the sad and solemn anniversaries that come round each year on September 11th.
But while, every year, on September 11th, I am extremely sad - today, I am not.
Today - I am happy. Truly happy.
Religiously - happy.
Happy to be alive.
Happy to have survived this past year intact.
Happy for everything I have learned.
Happy with how my life has changed over the course of the pandemic year.
Grateful for everything.
Grateful for everyone.
Thankful for everything and everyone I said hello to. And met this past year.
Thankful for everything and everyone I had to say goodbye to over this past year.
So, today, just for kicks, and since I deleted Twitter just the other day, I went ahead and removed some apps from my phone that I was - well - pretty sour with, let’s just say. While I deleted Twitter entirely, I deleted the following apps today and still have accounts as of today - Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, Facebook Business, and Facebook Messenger.
I decided the benefits of having the apps themselves did not outweigh the risk. I decided I will need to reach all these sites with a browser, and not an app any longer.
But these are very easy decisions for me. Because I’ve said Goodbye lots of things these past years…
Hello masks and face shields and gloves.
Goodbye toilet paper.
Hello hand sanitizer.
Goodbye in-person meetings.
Goodbye Kirk Douglas, Kobe Bryant, Kenny Rogers.
Hello Dr. Fauci.
Goodbye job. Goodbye Etsy shop.
Hello new job.
Hello new neighbors.
Hello new friends.
Hello new routine.
Hello new entertainment.
And - Goodbye 2020.
And now that we’re well on our way into 2021, and seeing this beautiful new year unfold before us, I wonder… What will we see Goodbye to this year? What miracles await us? What excitement awaits? What dreams will fall from the Heavenly clouds and into our minds and hearts?
So, while September 11th will always and forever be sad to me, and the tears always roll down my cheeks, no matter how hard I fight them. Today, March 11th, every year, I will always remind myself to be happy.
Because happiness reigns in my heart as I mark this one year anniversary. And happiness is what I have made of this past year.
Because, if there’s anything great, noble, big, and phenomenal, that this pandemic has taught me... it’s that nobody can take my happiness away. No matter how bad the world gets. I am in control. I know the course I’m headed. With Mercy and Comfort in my heart. Faith - intact. And my beliefs - unwavered. I am the one who makes ME happy. I am the one who steers my own ship. And I am the one who lives my life. Nobody else can do it for me. Nobody else is going the same way. And nobody can take any of it away from me ~ unless I let them.
So, as they say - COME AND TAKE IT. ~
3/8/2021 0 Comments
#99) Tweet Ya Later, Twitter
~Saying Goodbye to The Most Destructive Social Media Platform on the Planet~
Today I finally deleted my Twitter accounts. Accounts - plural - because I had two accounts… a public Twitter, and a private Twitter.
But either way - they’re both gone as of today. So, goodbye - and good riddance - Twitter.
I have had an on again/off again sorta relationship with Twitter for a few years now. But today, we formally broke up. Forever.
Like - We are never, ever, ever getting back together babe.
The main and exact reason for my breakup with Twitter will always be private and, thus, I am not going to share that with you here today. But I am very happy, indeed, to share that the relationship is over. OVER! And if anything I have ever written is deserving of an exclamation point in my writings, it is the previously typed one word sentence.
We are divorced.
Our union - dissolved.
Irreconcilable differences - Checked.
But - THIS - is not bad news.
THIS is good news.
Very good news, in fact.
You see - I am now one less person on the vast, and seedy, and quite despicable platform. One less is a sea of millions. One less droplet of water in a vast ocean of destruction.
And gosh, the waves were strong.
Like hurricane force winds taking place. EVERY SINGLE MOMENT. OF EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.
Don’t get me wrong, here. There is a whole lotta good taking place on Twitter. Like - oh, let’s just say - local weather reports. Or, maybe even announcements of the special flavor of the day at the local ice cream shop. And, maybe even a Tweet from your favorite author sharing with you the title of their next and upcoming book.
But the loudest voices in the room seem to be filled with hate in their hearts. And I just don’t have time for hate.
My private Twitter account was the one I really enjoyed the very best, and is, sadly, the one I will miss the most. It was there, behind lock and key, that I followed all my favorite people in the world. I read their daily musings and followed along as civilized society fell apart around us all. I considered it a private diary of sorts. Where I was brave enough to declare to my private little world who I really ‘had a crush on’ at the moment, and who I ‘loved’ deeply. Who would I go to the ends of the Earth for? Only my diary knows that. And the few people whom I allowed to view that sacred, private diary.
My public Twitter account, on the other hand, was very simple. And not very exciting. I had, oh, I would say, roughly about three followers, and I followed about seven public accounts - including a few bakeries. If I read an interesting piece of news, it was here that I would tweet out a link to said article. And it was here that I would find the donut of the day, and coffee of the moment. It was here that I would be informed of a 99 cent sale on medium iced coffees after 3pm at Dunkin. For goodness sake, if there isn’t anything more important in the world than to know about that sale, I don’t know what is.
But, while the public realm of Twitter can be filled with innocent coffee and donuts, and surveys about which drink is your favorite - the caramel macchiato or the peppermint latte - Twitter can also be filled with a lot of destruction. At the exact same time. There may even be a hate-filled answer to an innocent survey question about what your favorite drink happens to be. if there is any place in the world that can turn a simple comment (Tweet) into the end of the world - it is on Twitter. The Hate was real people. Real.
And I’m guessing that as long as you haven’t been living under a rock in recent history, then you know as much as well.
Somebody always misinterprets someone else. Somebody always hates what someone else has to say. I’m not even referring to myself or my own Tweets here. I’m just referring to what I have witnessed across the entire platform. And it seems Hate breeds Hate. And the loudest voice in the room gets louder, and bigger, while the smallest voice, or the most quiet voice, gets quieter.
My own footprint on Twitter was small. Very small.
And I’m sure not one person on Twitter will miss me there.
And guess the heck what? I certainly won’t miss that blue little bird either. Bless his little heart.
I don’t think there is one single thing I will miss by not being on Twitter - except, maybe - the weather reports.
It was Twitter that I have relied on during almost all previous hurricanes that have come through during the past few years. It was Twitter that stayed on strong, and kept going, if the internet service was bad to nearly non-existent. It was Twitter that I could pop on and see what the latest forecast was from a local or national meteorologist - up to the minute reports. What was the governor saying? What was the mayor’s latest press conference? Had the river flooded? Was 1st Street under water? Twitter would keep me updated. And help keep my mind at least a little bit at ease, as I watched a storm churn and whirl past us.
So, I guess I’ll just have to get my hurricane weather updates elsewhere. Of course all of this is easy to say right now - in March - when the ten day forecast ahead of me is ten glorious days of sun. Easy for me to say now, when the upcoming hurricane season is still a few months away.
Many people have survived many hurricane seasons without Twitter. I’ve been one of them before. And I guess in 2021 - I’ll be one of them yet again.
I said goodbye to Twitter for many reasons. Many, many reasons, in fact. And as I said already, I won’t name the reasons themselves here. And the reasons shall remain locked away in my very own private diary. But, I am overall ecstatic to share this news with you. The news of saying Goodbye. The news of hitting the DELETE button. And I’m happy to share this news with you right HERE. And NOT on social media.
Alrighty then - I’m gonna go eat some Munchkins. And drink my large Iced Latte from Dunkin. And I’m really gonna enjoy another blustery and wintry day on my barrier island. And I don’t need that little Blue Bird to tell me the weather forecast today either. Because I just looked up at the beacon of sunlight staring right down at me. Beckoning me to get my daily dose of naturally derived Vitamin D, as I sit down to read a good book - by my favorite author.
So, Goodbye Twitter.
Tweet Ya Later. ~
If you enjoyed my ramblings and babblings, you may also like:
71] My 69 Week Break From Social Media ~ Why I Left & Why I Came Back
~Finding Peace Amidst A Simple Morning Walk~
Thought I’d post my usual (daily) Instagram image right here today - instead of actually on the social media platform I just mentioned.
Because Christine’s Floridian Dreams lives in - well… Christine’s Floridian Dreams.
And while I do love Instagram, I also loathe all social media platforms.
So as I watch the world seemingly crumble - and desperately attempt to continue onward - around me...
That world cannot crumble me - and I continue onward as well.
And I remain optimistic.
As my focus goes inward.
And I go for a walk.
Sipping my steamy, hot, morning coffee.
And I hug my furry baby.
The world is at peace. Or so... it seems.
While I enjoy a blustery, winter day on the coast.
So today’s post - including the image, caption, and any relative hashtags - lives here, and here alone. On my website. And in MY dreams.
I’ll see you again tomorrow Instagram. But for today - you don’t get even a slice of my time.
~ Cheers ~
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