8/31/2021 0 Comments
#112) I Do Pray This Very Night
~ On This Sad And Somber Evening Of Our Defeat ~
THIS is not a news cycle. This, is not going to be swept under the rug. And this, is not something that will be forgotten.
And while every day is the best day of my life - TODAY - I have permission to be sad. Very sad.
No man left behind. That’s the United States. But that imperative virtue has been forgotten.
We have fallen. We have fallen in virtue, and in valor. In our values and our beliefs. In our ideals and in our ideas. And we have fallen out with each other - over definitions.
As, laughably, we cannot even agree on the definition of war.
What defines a war?
A rose by any other name is still a rose, right? And a war by any other name is still a war, right?
Well, maybe not so.
And that’s because of politics. The politics of modern American life in 2021.
We just lost the war in Afghanistan. Whether you like it or not - whether you want to hear it or not - whether you want to believe it or not - We just LOST. And sadly, I don't think many people even realize that fact.
In complete and utter and total defeat.
We were chased out of the country.
And we left, running away, with our tails between our legs.
But in this era of our truth, and your truth - THE truth - has been tossed out the window, and clear over the borders of our manifest destiny.
So, right now, there are actual people who don’t even believe we were still at war, for twenty long years, and there are people who think this was a policy win - simply because Twitter told them so.
There will now be people who don’t even know, understand, or believe that there ever was a war. It will be washed away in their newsfeed - never to be seen, or heard from, or scrolled past, again.
But, whether Twitter informs the body politic, or not, I have just witnessed the single biggest foreign policy catastrophe in my entire life, and one of the worst in the entire history of America as a reigning superpower on the face of the planet. The stuff nightmares are made of. A decision and a loss so horrific, and a choice that will have severe and horrific immediate term consequences, as well as dangerous and grotesque repercussions for generations to come. THIS was nothing short of a complete and total dereliction of duty.
High crimes and - much, much more than - misdemeanors.
Impeachable offenses left and right.
Incompetence on every level - well not on every level. Our actual troops are competent in their service and not my target of analysis here in this column. It’s our so-called ‘leaders’ whose incompetence is reprehensible.
Who will resign?
Who will be fired?
Who will be court martialed?
Who will be tried for treason?
I didn’t think so.
So - Who are we? Who were we? Who are we going to be?
Are we an Empire? Or, are we a Republic?
Do our leaders rule over us without any assurances of accountability, checks, and balances? Rulers that do not even answer questions on the disaster of their own making? Or, are we still a Republic? Where our leaders are not leaders - but are our entrusted representatives - representative of us - and are held to account for each decision they make on our behalf? Because we can’t have it both ways. And we can’t not know the answer to that question either. And I believe the lack of a solid answer - to who we are - as a national identity, is a main part of the endless wars we find ourselves in.
Because the politics of war can so very easily lead to endless war.
It’s all so frightening and surreal, it might as well be a piece of fiction. We’re fully engrossed in the part of the story where the evil villian holds all the cards. All hope is lost. And despair is setting in, rapidly.
Flip the pages through a little golden book. Turn straight to the page where the evil villain is at their most powerful.
Remember when Sleeping Beauty was forced toward the spindle prick? All Aurora had to do was to touch the prick of a needle on the spinning wheel - and all her dreams would come true, right?
Maleficent's power over her forced her there, toward that needle. She was in a way - sleepwalking, really. She didn’t even know what she was doing when she touched the needle prick. She was brainwashed at the time? She was put under a spell. She was ‘tempted’ and could not resist the touch. All decisions actually being made by the evil villian.
The great and beautiful and Magnificent - Aurora. With lips as red as the red, red rose.
Controlled by the evil and disgusting and villainous - Maleficent.
But true love conquers all. And eventually, after great battles, and an evil and horrific war against our fire breathing dragon, good does reign once again, and evil is destroyed. Death by sword, and fallen over a cliff to her demise. All the forces of good, against all the forces of evil. What a film, right? What a story. What a book, bound in gold.
What we are being subjected to right now is the part of the story when evil takes over. All hope is near lost.
Despair is setting in.
Faith - lingering quietly - in the background. Hidden to us amongst the smoke and embers and wilting and dripping flowers.
Oh yeah, and by the way. Let’s not forget that we aren’t the only ones bearing witness to all this drama unfold on the big screen. We’ve got China, sitting out there in the cheap seats, eating buttery popcorn and drinking sugary soda, laughing all the way to the bank during this entire, long, action scene. Laughing. Because they already know the sequel.
Wake up - sleeping giant!!!
None of this is fiction, a book, or a film - it’s actually happening before our very eyes.
And, you see, none of this happened overnight. In fact, sixteen long years went by in Aurora's case. Twenty - in ours. Wth evil plotting and patiently waiting behind the scenes. Under cover. Manipulation. Patience.
But after all that time, and all that waiting, and hard work, and prevention, Sleeping Beauty still touched the needle prick. Within the time it takes to snap a finger. When the time came, it was as if the past many years of work and prevention were thrown out the window. It didn’t matter. None of it did. It was going to happen all along. And Maleficent knew it. She held the power. She held the keys. And she got exactly what she wanted. Because she simply had the patience - to wait.
To bide her time.
And to continue spinning her web while doing so.
She held on through the politics of the time. In fact, she manipulated the politics for sixteen years. And she rode it straight on into battle.
And all in an instant. In the closure, and departure, and desertion of Bagram. In the announcement of our departure. In just the slightest touch of a finger to a spinning wheel. Good was trapped by evil. And once that happens, there is no going back. There is only war to break free from such power. Evil must be destroyed to win. Evil must be killed.
And it is that delicate and sensitive spot we find ourselves in right now. The politics of war. The patience the Taliban had to wait us out. We are, quite sadly, on the opposite side we should be right now. Evil is triumphing over good.
So, sadly, we now find ourselves at a desperate crossroads.
It is time, my dear friends, to pray for our great and sacred nation.
Our president said we will not forgive.
Without forgiveness we are finished. We are not America anymore. I knew it was coming. As I’ve spoken about forgiveness many times before. But when our nation’s leaders speak directly to our evil enemy, and tells the world we will not forgive. We are not America anymore.
As America falls, the Devil rises. Yes, the devil himself has now entered the scene of our great and momentous battle. Hell hath no fury, like that of a 140 character tweet. Or press conference.
And so we find ourselves discombobulated. Confused. Demoralized. Defeated. And begging our enemy for safe passage. WHAT?! Beg?! America does not BEG!
And clearly the begging did not work. And it will not work. As surely as our flag stands at half-staff today, our loss here is so very, very real.
And as sure as day turns to night - we really did leave our fellow man behind. We said we will hunt them down. At the same time we asked for their help in our exit. At the exact same time telling that very same enemy we will not ever forgive them. So many sacred vows. So much allegiance. All shattered.
Virtually, and literally, overnight.
The prick of a needle.
The last troop boarding a C 17 transport plane.
We are defeated.
Celebratory gunshots reign towards the Heavens... by the Taliban.
But we are still in an endless war. Because nothing is really over here. It’s only just beginning - once yet again.
Our endless war is directly tied to the politics of war. It’s all cyclical. And it’s all repeatable. Like a hamster spinning on a wheel producing great force of spin - but getting nowhere at the same time. Over and over and over again. Because the hamster's wheel doesn’t have an end point. He may think he’s running for the exit. Some sharp point or clear destination. Or that he will eventually get somewhere - anywhere - at some point, in an unknown future. But he never does. It’s maddening to watch the hamster be so utterly humiliated. But at the same time, the hamster has absolutely zero idea he is being humiliated in his repetitious actions.
After twenty years of spin, it’s simply and utterly maddening!
Throughout nearly my entire life - We have been in some sort of war. The Cold War. The Gulf War. All the ‘smaller’ wars and battles, that have all since been forgotten. And now, the long and endless War on Terror.
Ohhh, this war is so very long and drawn out that it has had to go through name changes quite a few times over the years. Maybe it was simply a marketing major, who, in the gig of a lifetime, was able to market and sell the idea and ideals of this endless war to a nearly handful of U.S. presidents. With great success might I add. As, in fact, the marketing changed as fast as the political winds changed.
So as the war itself changed... As the times changed... So did the war - and the very definition of war. But it’s still the same war. It’s still of course the initial War on Terror.
We went to war twenty years ago to stop terrorism from landing on our shores again. We went into Afghanistan, attempting to defeat our enemy, who harbored our evil villain inside Maleficent's castle - and then we stayed, and stayed, and stayed. And then we went into Iraq, to defeat another enemy, and there we stayed, and stayed. We stayed - until people forgot we were even still there. And most importantly, we stayed well beyond the time most people forgot WHY we were there to begin with. And thus, bringing us back to the definition of things once again. And marketing. And the politics of war. When we cannot even define our reasoning behind certain actions - we are doomed. And that’s exactly what happened here. And exactly why we just lost it all.
Twenty years ago, as planes flying in the sky helped change the world. Twenty years later, planes helped change the world once again.
Because naturally, history is doomed to be repeated?
Yes, we have been at war in Afghanistan nearly my entire adult life. I am blown away by this fact, even though I’ve known it all along. In that time we have seen bombings, raids, deaths, alliances, enemies. Beatings, kidnappings, ransoms, and beheadings. Leaders come, and leaders go. Resignations, and new leadership. Elections, and new leadership. Schools built. Hospitals established. Bagram Air Base.
Declines in violence. And with that decline - a decrease in troop levels.
Bloodshed. And with that - troop surges.
And politics. Lots and lots of politics.
The politics of war.
And sadness. Utter and complete sadness.
The heartbreaking imagery regarding the current catastrophe playing out in Afghanistan is nearly too much to handle. It is a gut punch. It is a tragedy on every level. It is shocking. But also, not shocking at all.
Almost anyone with a brain inside their head who knew, or even had an inkling, and understood how ISIS and the Taliban and terrorists and religious extremists operate, could predict such a scenario would happen upon our exit from the region.
And actually, I am reminded, by myself, that when the second plane hit the second tower - signifying that fateful day what this all actually was, in real time, defining the act of terror we were witnessing unfold, the very next thought that floated inside of my brain were the words: Osama Bin Laden.
And now - an anniversary twenty years in the making.
A political deadline, of getting out by the anniversary of the terrorist attacks, dreamed up by Al Qaeda, means we already lost. The moment we created that fictitious deadline. As fictional as our fantasy land and storybooks bound with gold. We have given our enemies all that they needed to win the war. They patiently waited twenty years for us to leave, and we did just that. Because wars aren’t won on deadline. Wars are lost on deadline. Wars are not won with end dates. Wars are lost with end dates. Wars are not won by simply making the enemy wait until we leave. Wars are lost while our enemy sits there - patiently - twiddling their thumbs, as we argue and yell and scream and protest and riot and vandalize, all amongst ourselves mind you, over choice in wording and definitions, as we make our slow exit out. Hoping they just won’t even notice that we’ve just cut and run.
Wars are only ended by the destruction of our enemy.
And wars are certainly not won by giving our enemy the keys to the kingdom.
And that’s just what we just did.
We exited the scene of the crime.
We flew away.
And left the keys to Bagram right under the doormat.
We Lost. Period.
We also left behind, completely irresponsibly and incompetently, billions of dollars worth of military technology and weaponry. And thousands of innocent lives. All of which - will certainly be used against us in the future.
And in a great and deep mystery of life, that may forever haunt brains and cause some to question their fellow man - For a people so disgusted with guns and what they stand for, the hypocrisy here, is laughable. Our enemy now has more guns and ammunition - of ours - that we built and paid for, in their very bloody hands, right freaking now. More guns and ammo than this group of people can even comprehend. Is there any wonder why another group of people is fighting for their rights as Americans to keep and bear arms against all enemies - foreign and domestic.
None of this disgust here is to discount the heroism of the thousands of U.S. military forces who fought and sacrificed in Afghanistan and Iraq. Troops and veterans who risked their lives and the many who lost their lives this entire war, and the thirteen who perished just now in ISIS’s latest attack at the Kabul Airport. The focus of my disgust here is about the politics of this war - the politics playing out behind the scenes. The politics we will never, ever hear about. The politics, so secret, so truly evil, and treasonous, it will most certainly never see the light of day. We may never know the full story, during our lifetimes, as to how this decision to close, excuse me - abandon - Bagram, and, in turn, to allow the worst prisoners on planet Earth to walk free, and cut and run from the global War on Terror, came about.
And if I’m being just a tad pessimistic here, please know that it is indeed intentional.
After twenty years of war, it’s only natural to become pessimistic about our chances, about our standing in the world, and our lasting legacy as well. It’s only natural to think negatively. It’s only natural to feel we have no chance to recover from this. To see this defeat for exactly what it really is. The utter disgust over the fact that we lost the peace - is heartbreaking. WE. We did this. WE let this happen.
And I argue, that is for one reason, and one reason only.
Because, you see, I believe America - is no longer - America. I believe American freedom and ideals of our Republic have been destroyed within these actions. The ones taking place outside of public view, and the actions behind the scenes in the imaginary boardroom I will never lie eyes upon. America is gone. And Big Brother is in control. Politics won. The bureaucracy won. And what makes this all even sadder is the fact that it did not have to be this way.
The thing is, you see, we did have a chance. We did stand a chance. We did have a path forward. And we did have a possibility of winning… because we WERE winning. We were winning all the way up until we announced our departure. The announcement of our departure is the trigger. The abandonment of Bagram is the needle prick. So simple. And oh so very innocent, right? The thirteen dead Marines are the drop of blood spilled. And just like that - we have submitted to the enemy - and we are under their control. They hold thy very keys to the kingdom now.
It really was all that quick, and all that simple. And that’s simply because after twenty long years of war, our enemy never lost hope. Our enemy never became pessimistic about their chances. Our enemy simply waited patiently, on baited breath. To hear of our departure. And waved and laughed their wicked goodbyes at us as we left in defeat.
As we became more and more enraged with one another, our enemy grew closer and stronger… feeding off our rage.
Our enemy remained steadfast and true to the core of their beliefs. All our enemy had to do was merely wait us out. Knowing we would leave. Knowing we would eventually cut and run. Because our enemy knows our politics better than we know ourselves.
I, of course, don’t have any answers here. Only my thoughts, and ponderings, and more questions than ever answers. I have no idea if it simply was not time to leave just yet, or if we more than overstayed our welcome? Were we keeping the peace there? We were holding down the fort, yes? We were the guardians of the kingdom? I do know we had so very many relying upon us. And we ultimately betrayed thousands who were left defenseless as we broke tear-inducing promises and made one nonsensical decision after the next. Falling like a house of cards, in one breath.
Twenty years of sacrifice down the drain. Twenty years of hard work, sweat, blood, tears, loss, sacrifice. Trauma. Suffering. Depression. Grief. Prayers. Mourning. And twenty years of helping build a democracy. A new republic. All vanished. Into a silent and isolated new world.
An isolated new world, with a radically extreme leadership, proudly bearing ownership of their own Twitter account. They? Are allowed a Twitter account? A terrorist organization. But some American citizens are not? Is there any real wonder why we lost - still? Ahhhhh…. the irony here on full display for the world to see. But the world does not see and the world cannot see. Because what they need to see is censored on that same pathetic platform.
Oh, how poetically ironic it all is...
So now come the bombings, the beatings, and the beheadings once again. Only now, unlike twenty years ago, they can be quite easily censored. With the key stroke of an algorithm - We won’t see it all. And especially not on the front page of the newspapers printed on paper. Oh - So unlike twenty years ago. May God help us all.
The terrorists have won.
There’s a reason we don’t negotiate with terrorists. Because as soon as you negotiate with a terrorist, the terrorist immediately wins. A conversation with a terrorist is a victory for a terrorist. Period.
I think an optimist could envision us leaving Afghanistan in peace. But, that’s literally just a thought. I think what really happened here is that a political operative sold a story to a leader... of backdrops with victory emblazoned in the background. And a political fool took the bait. And we switched from our winning stance over there these past years, to being the bait and hooked onto the line. We’re either a fish too stupid to know there’s a sharp hook hidden within the bait, or a beautiful and great Princess with red rosey lips, simply under the spell of evil temptation - Politics.
Way back in the day, when I was a political science major in college, I remember all too well being taught the phrase - All Politics Is Local. Well, maybe the sad and real truth is that: All War is Deception (?)
Maybe nothing good actually comes of politics? Because politics breeds bureaucracy, and bureaucracy breeds endless war. ‘1984’ - in real life.
As the date of September 11th in the year 2021 grows closer - the politics of war lined up each day in the queue. As twenty long years went by. Imagery and statistics and dates and anniversaries were all aligned to be celebrated. And just as the fish cannot resist the temptation of the worm and takes a bite, the politics of war was too tempting for the leaders of our free world to resist.
So now we bear a huge responsibility. In our defeat. To all the lives upended in our departure. To all the Afghans we left behind. All the American’s left to be killed. All of our allies that we quite beautifully betrayed.
Because just as terrorists changed our lives twenty years ago. We have now, in our ultimate betrayal, to ourselves, changed the course of our own lives. And of countless Afghans and the American’s and allies left in the dust of our tires skidding as we sped on out of town.
No one knows what the future will bring. No one could possibly know.
But I know one thing. There is some political operative, trying, right now, sitting in a back room, somewhere hidden from view of the world, seated around a conference table, selling their idea of the next great war… to yet another great political ‘leader’ - Selling the idea of the poetically beautiful politics of said war.
And as history does repeat itself, the political leader will take the bait.
And bombs will burst.
And troops will be deployed.
And each day as we arise, we will witness headlines about surges, and about casualties. As more heroic Americans perish in our name.
And yellow ribbons will be tied ‘round the old oak tree.
And war bonds will be sold - merely under a different, and more modern name - infrastructure. And the money will be printed. And political deals will be penned. And people will get very, very rich. And drunk on their new found power.
And China will make its next move. This time - a big one.
And it will all be too late to turn back. Because once the fish is on the line - he is indeed trapped. Until he is eaten, that is.
What beliefs will be passionately put on display to sell such an idea?
Maybe it will be the planes.
The air planes that changed the world.
Maybe these planes will be the marketing strategy. The strategy we will never set eyes upon ourselves. The political operative will of course burn and censor the strategery behind it all after they make their case to our dear leaders.
But maybe it will all be sold on the planes.
Because twenty years ago, planes flying through the sky changed the world in a flash.
And twenty years later, planes did the exact same thing.
Twenty years ago, our very own planes were the literal weapon. Twenty years later, our literal planes were literally the only way out.
Twenty years ago, people fell from the sky to their death. Some, falling and perishing to their death, not by their choice. And sadly, some, choosing that death of the fall, over burning up in the fire of hell breathing flames throughout the towers.
Twenty years later, still, the sight of more falling to their deaths. As some clung to the side of a C 17 transport plane out of mere desperation to escape the fiery hell that awaited them under Taliban rule.
They chose death by falling to Earth… due to an American plane… once again. In a different way, a rhyme of history, not a repeat. That they'd choose this death over the death of the fiery hell awaiting them by the hands of this newly empowered radical regime.
Yes - Maybe history doesn’t really repeat itself. Maybe Mark Twain got it right after all. That while history doesn’t repeat itself - it so very often rhymes? The poetic irony of our ultimate defeat.
Planes used to start a war.
Planes used to end a war.
Afghans clinging to planes, begging for help that was not coming.
Planes used for a terrorist victory. Planes used for an American loss.
The Taliban all the while shooting victory bullets into the sky, as we flew the last of our birds away. And lifted off from their newly decreed soil. Their very own manifest destiny. Realized before our very eyes.
But destinies realized or not, my dear friends, global war is coming. As sure as day does turn to night. As certain as the very naked and disgusting truth that we left our fellow Americans behind. As certain as that - war is brewing.
How will our planes once again factor into the next war? None of us know that right now. But that one person does.
The one political operative selling the politics of that next disingenuous, and very tempting, war.
The one who just graduated, with that fancy marketing degree - and a minor in speech comm, just for cookies and giggles.
That person knows. They know it all.
They may even be meeting in Room 101, right about now, face to face with the first person who went against them and their almighty vision of our great and noble future.
And whoever they are selling their story to, I know only one thing. The clouds of war are forming. Just as swiftly as the politics of war set the forecast.
So while today still really is the best day of my life - today I also mourn. Today I pray to our Almighty God. Today I weep. For America. And her defeat.
And as evening comes, I pray for our future as a nation. As we crumble and fall apart at our very own feet. As we have, in real life, succumbed to self-destruction. As we are no longer that last great hope on Earth. And as we bow directly to the face of evil. In our very submission - to their destiny realized. And as we touch the needle, and prick a single drop of blood from our finger. And as we fall under a great and powerful, destructive and evil spell. I do pray this very night.~
~~ God Bless America, and God Bless Our Troops. - I never forgot, even though most of the world did. ~~
8/24/2021 0 Comments
#110) VLOG #27] Vacuum Snout
Youtube Shorts Video
Check out my first Youtube Short video! It only took me a few months to figure out how to post a thirteen second, on repeat video, lol.
I had a lot of fun making it, so let me know whatcha think please.
I hope y’all enjoy ;)
4/28/2021 0 Comments
#105) 30 Days Later
~ Living In An Alternative Universe - Without Facebook ~
Well, It’s officially been over 30 days now since I deleted my Facebook account.
And, I can see clearly now, the rain has gone.
All kidding aside, it’s been the best thirty days!
So - If you’ve been thinking of leaving Facebook, this one’s for you, my dear:
I’ve rambled on and on about the positive and negative aspects of social media many times in the past, and you can check some of it out right here:
#71] My 69 Week Break from Social Media ~ Why I Left & Why I Came Back
So I won’t really delve into any of that just right now. But - I will tell you here about these past thirty days, and why I’m never going back on social, ever freaking again.
Basically, I have really, and quite passionately, come to believe and understand, that there are two very different worlds taking place right now. There is the Universe, and there is the Alternative Universe. And, confusingly, I’m not very sure which one is which, or which one we all live in, but I do think there are two different worlds happening right before our eyes.
I’m a huge Elon Musk fan, and I love how he, and many others, speak of the Simulation Theory. It basically goes like this - that we, humans, on Earth, are living in a Simulation, controlled by a host(s) in an outside, and completely out of reach, universe. I’m not going to get too sciency and technical here, and it’s all just a theory, because if we are part of a simulation, and we don’t even know it, and there’s no science to back it up, then what is there to even elaborate on for the purposes of today’s post.
But, if we are living in a simulation, then it means our entire world is fabricated. And we are game pieces, or avatars, and we don’t really have free will. And that the creators of this simulation, kinda, sorta, throw things in - like a pandemic - to throw us off our game. Because they get bored easily and wanna mix things up, and see how humans react. And, it also means the simulation is so real-like, that we would never even believe we are “fake” - kinda mind blowing, right?
And - if the universe is infinite - meaning it never, ever ends, then there is an infinite amount of possibilities of this theory being true? So, basically, what I’m trying to tell you right here is that, if the world never ends, there are lots and lots of “alternative” copies of Earth out there. All floating in an infinite universe, with infinite copies of us floating around as well. I mean, what happens at the end of the universe, anyways? - If the universe has an end, what is beyond the boundary?
So, maybe, somewhere in the infinite universe, there is an Earth out there, with two suns?
Maybe, there is a copy of us out there, on a copy Earth, looking up at the sunset, and seeing a binary sunset.
What if The Big Bang was simply us, popping out the opposite end of a Black Hole? Exploding our current life into being? And all of our universe, had once lived on the polar opposite end of this Black Hole? After all, haven’t we been told that nothing, absolutely nothing, can escape from a Black Hole? And no one knows what’s on the other side, right? So, what if we were sucked in, and came out, on the other side? We wouldn’t even know it. The death, and destruction, of the force of the black hole, killed and born, our universe into being, in the smallest fraction of time possible of all impossibilities.
Maybe, there is an Earth out there, where world wars never raged, and the U.S. Civil War never happened? Maybe Walt Disney never died of cancer, and instead grew the Disney Company into something completely different than it is today? Maybe the current Disney Company never purchased LucasFilm and thus, Star Wars, for four billion dollars? Maybe Rome never burned? Maybe we never landed on the moon? But instead, we went straight to Mars? And the classic, alternative universe theory, maybe a young Adolf Hitler was accepted into art school in Austria, and never brainwashed racial, ethnic, and religious hatred en masse? And was, therefore, never able to convince other human beings to commit a genocide of six million Jewish people?
And maybe, all of these people, who were never gassed and cremated, and never fought in wars that never happened, went ahead to live into old age? Maybe Rome - stayed Rome. Maybe World War I and II never occurred. And maybe all these people who lived invented great things? That we currently do not have? And maybe because of these inventions, social media, including Facebook, were never invented, because that idea, at that exact time, was not sparked into being?
Maybe I never had to go 30 days without Facebook to officially close my account? Maybe the entire world is at peace right now? Instead of China militarizing in the open seas? And potential terrorist threats to our homeland were never needed to worry over? Maybe communism was never invented? And liberty and freedom are all that we all know?
Maybe I dreamed all this up over the past thirty days?
And the world is really just as it truly is?
And Facebook still exists, just as it really does.
And thus, the online world, and the real world, is just as it all appears to be.
And maybe we only have one sun.
And maybe we will never, ever, ever witness a binary sunset, even though we know in our hearts, such an idea is possible?
Thirty days ago, my heart guided me toward the Delete button. I went from a bright and colorful and cheery avatar, smiling and holding a piece of my art on canvas, straight into what I call the gray zone.
I opted for the permanent DELETE button - instead of DEACTIVATE.
DEACTIVATING your account merely does exactly what it is called - your account becomes inoperable, non-viewable, no activity is possible.. But it is still there, in case you ever want to REACTIVATE it once again.
While, DELETING your account, on the other hand, does exactly what it says. It DELETES your Facebook account. So, 30 days ago, that’s exactly what I did. And with that decision of deleting accomplished, my account was subjected to thirty days of gray.
I imagine this gray stage can be viewed in one of two ways.
One being a form of punishment, or human torture, and tormentation. Facebook has decided that because you want to leave its platform, you first must be submitted to thirty days of teasing. Daring you to come back. Your decision to leave - not permanent - until the passage of one months time. And one month, in this crazy age, is eternity. So, if you can make it through the tortuous month, you’re free.
But instead of punishment, I like to view this gray stage as a badge of honor.
I’ve beat the system. I’ve declared my beliefs. And I stand on my own. Proudly. No longer allowing social media, and Facebook, to rule my life. And even if it didn’t rule my life, social media likes to think it does, and that’s just as bad. And dangerous. Because that’s how it gains all its power.
I had done ALL OF THIS DARN STUFF before. I had lived thirty days in the gray in the past. And now, I did it all over again. For the final time.
I lived 35 years of life - WITHOUT a Facebook account.
I actually stubbornly refused to join Facebook, for many, many years. Valuing my privacy, over anything else.
But then, I got very sick. And, for about ten years, I suffered. And when God helped me save my own life, I found my voice, and I knowingly gave up a certain small amount of my privacy… All so that I could help you. By sharing my stories and experiences with you - my hope is that you can see that you too can save your own life, if it needs saving, and that saving yourself is indeed possible. And that God truly is there for you too - of course.
But I don’t need to be on Facebook, or social media - to share with you.
I was moving away from home, and everything I knew, when I joined Facebook. I was still very sick when I joined. But then, I stayed on Facebook, and shared more and more, after God saved me. It all became too much. And something had to give.
I needed a break. I wanted to break free. From everything social media. It had rubbed me the wrong way. And my gut told me to get outta there. And I deleted all my accounts. Deleted - not Deactivated. And I lived social media free for 69 weeks. Well, scratch that, I lived social media free for 35 years plus 69 weeks.
And then, sighhhhh - I went back once again. The FORCE pulling me back in. The connectivity of the sites, too strong, to stay away. I was, ultimately, sucked unreluctantly back into the black hole.
So, during all this, I definitely saw life from many perspectives throughout this entire time period. I’ve lived with social, and without. I’ve seen the good. I’ve seen the bad. I’ve seen life with Facebook, and I’ve lived, and dreamed many dreams, during life without Facebook.
I’ve seen Earth with one sun, and Earth with two suns.
I’ve lived on both sides of the moon.
I have seen the flip side.
And I LOVE it!
So, after more than 40 years of life, and 30 days of living in the gray… It’s time to celebrate.
Magna Cum Laude.
I am now living Facebook FREE!
Nice knowing ya - Well, actually, it wasn’t really nice knowing him. But, no need to hurt his feelings and tell him that right here.
And I do NOT miss it - at all.
So, if that’s what you were wondering, and if that’s why you're here with me right now, that previous sentence I can guarantee you is two hundred and fifty three percent TRUE!
I do NOT miss Facebook.
Oh yeah, by the way, I did the same exact thing with all my other social media accounts.
Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc….. They’re all gone.
They were all deleted on different days and at different times. But, they’re all gone. And they’re all not missed.
I’ve firmly decided upon a life without social media. And once again, I say, right here, as my declaration of fact, and to hold myself accountable. I am NOT going back this time.
I am going full speed ahead.
Light speed ahead, in fact.
Into my life without social media.
Goodnight Like Button.
Goodnight Love Button.
Goodnight Hug Button.
Goodnight Angry Button.
Sleep well, my very dear, very fake, friends.
And that point, right there, is where I bring you back around, to the other side. That word - Fake.
Fake. Fake. And FAKE.
Social media is not real life.
Did I blow your mind with that one?
I hope not.
I hope you already know that the online world is not the real world.
I hope you know that what’s trending on Twitter is really only trending there, and not on Earth.
I hope you know that it doesn’t really matter how many likes you get.
And I dearly hope you know that when someone sends you a precious little Mr. Angry Face, not to take that button personally.
Because, if everyone did believe all that, the world would be in some pretty big trouble.
I mean, it seems that Facebook alone, minus all other social media, can pop out more angry faces in a day, than most people have breaths in their lungs for a lifetime of breathing. Just click on a live stream of something, and watch all the buttons fly by… smile, hate, smile, angry, smile, angry, angry, angry. Angry.
That’s a lot of angry faces to go around, JEEEE JUS!
There’s a lot of hatred online. There’s so much hatred online, that it's come to the point in which many humans actually believe what is happening on the internet, and what’s happening on social media, is actually constructive of what is happening in the real world.
And, guess what? I’m here to tell you that’s simply not true.
Twitter - wrap your head around this one please - is not representative of real life on Earth.
And let’s not forget about Zuck - Poor Mark Z. - he really and truly is not your friend.
And that Pinterest board you made - you don’t actually have that bulletin board hanging on the wall in your home office above your desk.
And that cloud of yours - it’s not actually floating in the sky - either.
And, maybe - you’ve heard this one - what is being portrayed on Instagram is not real life? See, I told ya you’ve heard that one before. I’m not the only one around saying these things, and these are not new ideas. I’m simply putting it out there in my own little way for your grasp and understanding of how much these social media sites have played with our Earthly timeline and trajectory.
I believe, firmly, that social media has altered the trajectory of humanity.
I believe that, because of social media, the humans who live upon our dear Mother Earth, are headed out into the dark and desolate abyss of an unknowing and quite scary future. When, instead, we could have taken a different path. But it’s all too late now. And we can only watch the horizon line, and steady our path to a more clear and lighted runway, somewhere lightspeed far into our future, and hope we land in safe territory, and not upon a fiery red Hell, flaming widely atop a different Earth, in an alternative universe.
Because ultimately, the real danger of all these social media sites is that all the infinite fakeness of - or shall we say - simulation - of real life online, and how life is portrayed online, has become so real. The line between reality and online reality so blurred. That what is taking place in the simulated world of social media is our real life, and human beings are becoming increasingly unable to distinguish what is real and true and what really happening, and what is being simulated before us for our binary eyes to see and believe in and never know how simulated or fake it all really and truly is.
So - in my desperate plea to you right here, right now, I’m here to tell you to follow your gut in regards to social media. If it doesn’t feel “right” for you, it probably isn’t.
Hit that DELETE button.
Even if it means taking a different, foreign, dark and mysterious path.
Go ahead and take the path that’s deathly scary.
Take the path of mystery and risk.
Take the path that is so long, you have no idea where it will end. Or even, if it ever will end.
Lightspeed to Endor.
Just do it.
Because while you may be headed into a dark and scary future, living without the social and without the media, you can’t make it somewhere grand and beautiful and amazing and wonderful, without risking it all, and trying something that hasn’t been done before.
Your stomach may make you sick. You may feel nauseous, and question your own sanity. You may lose many friends - friends that you were only connected to via glitz and glamour of the Hollywood lights. But, if you want to find a place with two suns, you have to sever all communication with those beings anyway.
Because AT&T and Verizon don’t have cell service that far away. And there’s no land line reaching into the abyss either.
In fact, you may be risking your very life, to travel that road. And live that life. And be who you are supposed to be.
Disclaimer here: By deleting your Facebook account, you will most likely sever some relationships. And that’s ok. You see, sometimes people’s only connection to another, in this day and age, is via social media. Some people don't know your real digits anymore - only your fake digits. So, you will lose friends. You will suffer loss. And you will lose memorable imagery as well.
Ya know, speaking of loss, just the other day, my hero, Elon Musk, was once again “trending” on all the mediums of our Mother Earth.
It seemed, my dear souls, the Twitterverse was quite mad at him - once again. Because he said something so horrible, so terrible, so horrific, and it landed on our precious and delicate little ears. These ears could not comprehend such a thing. And in this world, he received many Angry Face buttons for his beliefs.
He - brace yourselves for this one my friends - said something shocking. Elon said that in order for humans to arrive on Mars, a bunch of people are going to die. And the Twitterverse had an absolute freaking cow.
Because of course, in this age where everyone lives inside their safe little bubbles, no one remembers what life is like outside that bubble. No one really remembers that living means risk. And exploring means sacrifice. And that these people who volunteer for such a mission, may not come back alive. But, Elon continued, it will be a glorious adventure.
This arduous and dangerous journey, into the darkness, will bring about death and destruction, but it will also bring about new worlds. And how can so many people love Star Wars, and Tatooine, and dream of a land with two suns, without comprehending the sacrifice that will be needed in order to find such a land outside our own dreams and in our real lives?
Of course people will die getting to Mars. Of course, because with great risk comes great sacrifice. And, I argue to you now, of course with great risk also comes great reward. Comes the beauty to see the land with two suns in real life. To travel lightspeed to other worlds. Worlds, not even visualized by humanity just yet. And with that - alternative worlds, where tulips bring about happiness. And Hitler graduated from Art School and became a worldly philosopher and astronomist, and not a genocidal maniac. He and Walt Disney teamed up, and Walt Disney’s World’s fifth theme park became an Art Park. Where anything you can dream up, you can create in this new reality. One canvas free with admission entry daily.
This glorious adventure, that Elon envisions, and speaks of, that stirred the pot, and made many angry faces bubble up into hot steam, is exactly why this man is a hero of mine. He is one rare soul on this planet. Who believes in an alternative world. Who chooses the road less traveled. Is not afraid to step off the path, and go deep into the dark and lonely space of life, and say the things that are now too delicate for humanities ears to comprehend. And do the things that humans are now too afraid to do. And risk the things that have to be risked, to find out where the land of two suns really is at. So that we can witness a binary sunset, with our very own binary eyeballs.
If you Google the term Binary Sunset, and read about the Star Wars soundtrack, you may discover for yourself something quite spectacular. You may read in the comments - ironically written on social media sites - about the infamous song that stirs this adventure. A dream that is about to be dreamed. People, in the comments, say, that the sound of this song gives them goosebumps.
Why would such a sound give someone goosebumps? They are saying these words online. But they are not living these words offline. They are hiding behind their computers. And not living the stuff dreams are made of - the stuff of goosebumps - the stuff that sends shivers up their spines, in real life.
My challenge to you here, is to search for that feeling which gives YOU goosebumps. What sends a shiver up your spine? What scares you to near death? And what brings you more joy than all the heavens set upon binary sunsets? Find that feeling. And go with it. Let go of the fake life on social media. And live a real life once again.
And, let us not forget, I’m not saying it’s going to be easy. I’m saying right here and now that it is going to be hard.
It will be painful.
And yes, it may make you throw up and vomit your cheeseburger.
G forces and the speed of light tends to do that to a human stomach.
And, soak in all the fine print right here: you WILL, most definitely, one hundred percent positively, lose many friends and family members in the process. Because in the process of living a life made of dreams and Star Wars and Revolutions and Forces outside of Earth’s atmosphere, with it all comes a great deal of emotion and loss and isolation and darkness. But you could never see the light of lightspeeds, without seeing the darkest of dark black hole event horizon lines.
And there will be times when time passes more slowly, because you won’t really know what’s going on outside your own little spaceship.
And there will be times where time seemingly passes as fast as light travels, because you will be having so much fun, and living the life of adventure, that glorious adventure that many search their whole lives for and never find.
So with all that being said, my thirty days are up. Thirty days of gray and my thirty shades of gray living.
I’m outta here and ready for my Mission to Mars. I suggest you buckle up and launch your own mission as well.
Goodnight, Goodbye, and Godspeed.
Bring it on.~
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. ~
5/25/2020 0 Comments
#78) The Best Part Of Waking Up...
The best part of waking up...
Is Folgers in your cup…
Sorry, I had to. If merely because I love coffee so very gosh darn much. But right now I’m actually literally stuck on Folgers. It’s cheap. It’s basic. It’s good. Buying at least one pound worth a week, and making it every single morning. In my trusty ol’ Mr. Coffee coffee maker. Just like the one my grandparents used to use every day.
And all those massive amounts of coffee beans got me thinking... about mornings. And how important they are to how one’s entire day will eventually turn out to be.
If you are literally rolling out of bed every morning, strolling over to the bathroom and getting right in the shower, then heading directly off to work, hair barely dry from being shampooed and conditioned - I’m here to put a thought bubble above your head, and let it pop...
You may be doing mornings wrong - in my opinion, that is.
For the past few years I’ve been taking my mornings quite seriously. Meaning, I devote a huge chunk of time to myself - at the start of every single day.
Whether it’s exercise, reading, or a bit of both and then some, I am absolutely certain to do something just for me each and every morning.
This simple act sets the path for a better day forward.
I talk to you a lot about momentum - And mornings mean momentum, my friends.
I take my mornings so seriously that I rise well before I need to - a good chunk of hours ahead of time actually.
And the morning activity I partake in may differ as much as the day itself does. But the one act remains the very same and true each day. It’s the activity of time for self that is imperative.
So, if rising early is something that you haven’t been doing, but are interested in getting started with, I’ve got a few ideas and examples to help you begin, right here:
1-Grab a book:
Read. Even if it’s just five pages. Or ten. That’s how a book gets read, doesn’t it? One page at a time? 5 pages at a time? Just pick up a copy of the latest book you’ve been dying to read, put it by your bedside table, and when that alarm goes off the following morning, grab Grishman’s latest novel, Camino Winds, and read the first few pages. [Spoiler-not-spoiler - it takes place in a fictional town based on an island exactly where I live here in the Jacksonville, Florida area. And - It’s a sequel to Camino Island.]
There is nothing better to kick your day into high gear than to get your body moving. Even if moving simply means stretching. If you haven’t been doing a whole lot of exercise lately, I’d highly recommend you start with some simple stretches. Add onto that routine a bit at a time, and then start walking. Days, weeks, and months later, you’ll have a solid walking routine down. And - if you miss a day, you may actually really be missing it!
3-Gain Mental Strength:
I believe that mornings to myself help my mentality, my overall mental state.
By doing what I mentioned up at the beginning… rolling out of bed, hopping in the shower, and driving off to work… that doesn’t allow much time for the mind to wander. Freely.
So set your alarm early - far before you have to be in the shower… and simply light a candle, if that’s the best you can do at the moment. And maybe breathe. Or journal. Meditate. Make a cup of hot coffee. Sit in a hot bath - maybe, with a podcast. Chill… just…. hang out… with yourself.
Your mindset will lighten. Your shoulders will become unburdened. It may take some time. And repetitiveness. But that load will lighten, I promise. Just keep at it. And let these minor, daily actions build into momentum, which will build movement, and massive action will then follow.
If you are a creative person, mornings are a phenomenal time to get it all out and onto the medium you may be working with at the time. Don’t wait till the end of the night, after work, after dinner, and after dessert and night-time television, to open up your creative side. Because your best work might actually be done in the mornings. When you can rise early, to devote the time just to yourself, without any of the upcoming day’s distractions to block your outlet.
If you paint, get on over to your studio. If you write, pull open your laptop, and get typing. If you are merely planning ideas and brainstorming, open up your bullet journal and get those ideas onto paper. Draw. Sketch. Apply for art shows. The list is endless. Whatever it is that you don’t have time for during the day - the time is now, to work on that.
Which brings me to my own latest announcement I’d like to share with you today:
Christine’s Floridian Dreams now has a YouTube Channel!
It’s out there, public, and with one whole solid freaking subscriber to date… plus, one whole, whopping 49 second video, just sitting out there, waiting for you to go ahead and watch it. Wahoo! :)
You can access my channel by clicking on the link below:
For myself, personally, It’s part of what I mention in bullet number four above - creativity. There’s a creative outlet there for me that I want to brainstorm. Explore. And paint a new picture with - so to speak. The app is the easel. The mind is the creator of the artistic content, and the video is the canvas. I see it. I envision it. And now, I’m just going ahead and doing it.
YouTube has been something I’ve been wanting to do for quite a very long while now. And why have I finally decided to start it? Because I’m here to take my own gosh darn advice, y’all. The only one stopping me - is me!
I have no excuse not to do something I really want to do. It’s free. I already have a smartphone. And I have a whole heck of a lot of ideas that I’m currently filming for y’all. Again - did I mention... it’s free?
And this brings me back to my own creativity and how to get started with your own creative ideas...
Christine’s Floridian Dreams is alive as my creative outlet. And my ultimate goal, by sharing all of my writings, paintings, Etsy shop, inspirational tee-shirts, blogs… my entire website, and now - my videos, with you - is to help you get out there and live your own dream. I’m living my dream, and I want you to know that you can live your own dreams, too.
There is nothing stopping you. You are the one who has to make your own dreams come true. And once you truly understand and comprehend that fact, there will be nothing stopping you from living out your wildest and happiest dreams and goals in life.
Dreams just don’t miraculously come true with the waving of a magic wand. They come true through hard work. Visualization. Planning. Plotting. Sweating. And maybe even by lighting a candle, sitting in the bathtub, and listening to a podcast... instead of sleeping in…. They come true because you took the action of getting out of bed - well before you may have been ready to.
So go ahead and get started on yourself. Give yourself that momentum to a better day ahead. Give yourself the gift of your morning. When you hear that alarm go off, jump out of bed, and begin your day. Whether you want to or not...
March before you feel like it.
And while the best part of waking up, may very well indeed be Folgers in your cup…. it’s really the best part of the day by simply just doing whatever you want to do most in your life.
You merely need to get up, dust off that big and heavy thought bubble that’s just hovering around patiently above your head like a cloud, pop it, and get started. ~
*How do you spend your early mornings? Do you allocate a good chunk of your day entirely on yourself? I’d love to know. Drop me a comment down below:
Also, I’ve got some more of my ramblings and writings and adventures for y'all to check out, right here:
77] The Lost Art of the Phone Call
73] What I’m Missing Right Now
71] My 69 Week Break From Social Media ~ Why I Left & Why I Came Back
68] A Sunday Stroll
63] Mercy & Comfort
62] PERSPECTIVE @ Seaside Sculpture Park
61] Bean’s Idea List ~ 15 Daily Activities For Well Beyond 15 Days
59] REACTION ~ To World War 19
55] The Shamrock
51] Life Is Full Of Pasta-Bilities ~ Bean’s Red Sauce Recipe
*Part of - Bean’s Kitchen - series
49] A Picture Worth A Thousand Words ~ Happy Valentine’s Day, World
48] Love & Donuts In The Air @ Beaches For Australia
*Part of - Bean’s Coffee Shop Challenge - series
46] Key Largo, Montego, Baby Who Don’t We Go?
39] The Very Official & Quite Serious Donut Debate Of 2020
*Part of - Bean’s Kitchen - series
24] In Real Life ~ My First Visit To A Southern Living Idea House
I grew up without social media.
I consider myself blessed for being able to say that.
While every generation has their “thing” - I firmly believe my generation's thing is the fact that we grew up entirely without social media, but we are now living our adult lives with social media present in the world. And because of those circumstances, we have a great ability to easily and fluidly shift between old-world applications, and the more new-age digital apps - making us uniquely qualified for certain tasks in this world. We shift seamlessly and adapt easily. I call us the Floating Generation.
And regardless if we partake in this modern day medium, or not, it’s there. It has an extremely large presence in the world. For better and for worse. An all almost too-powerful of a presence.
And, sadly, in my opinion, many people revolve nearly their entire lives around this medium.
I graduated college in 2003. I survived four years of college entirely without social media. The only “Facebook” we had was the literal and actual paper face-book that was distributed each year on campus. All incoming students were given a light and thin paperback book with the names, faces, and phone numbers of each of their classmates.
That was our official Facebook at the time. And we used it - religiously. That book was part of our daily life. We would scroll through it to find somebody’s name, browsed to see what everyone looked like, searched to find out where a person was from, and scan to find their four digit campus extension to call them on the phone… a phone with a cord - that was plugged into the wall.
But in 2004, and after I was done with school, Mark Zuckerburg went ahead and invented Facebook. And the world has never been the same since.
It was my first full year after school. I was living in the real world. I didn’t need Facebook, and nor did I want it. Besides, at the time, Zuckerberg’s Facebook was geared more toward being a digital supplement to that old-fashioned face book I described above. Still utilized, on college campuses, to connect with one another.
But over the years, Facebook grew. It grew fast. And it grew big. It grew to be something that is now an integral part of most people's lives.
I personally think Facebook is too big. And too powerful. I think it is hovering on the verge of being a monopoly and in dire need of being broken up. And I’ve never, ever, had a desire to be a part of it. Even still.
But then, after many, many years of living and going through life, without Facebook, and still not wanting any part of it, I was on the verge of making a big change in my personal life.
It was 2016, and I was planning my big move from the state of Illinois, on down to Florida. That move would eventually occur in early 2017.
Every single person I knew, and loved, lived in Illinois - or a variety of other states throughout the country. But I knew ZERO people in The Sunshine State at the time.
I wanted a way to stay connected to all those I knew I would be missing… a thousand miles away from everything I knew.
I deliberated long and hard with myself about potentially signing up for a Facebook account. And eventually, at the end of 2016, I went ahead and registered - for the first time in my life. Knowing that I would be easily connected in a free and easy and modern manner.
I immediately discovered that “the whole world” is on Facebook. I found all my old classmates, neighbors, relatives who live near and far, friends from grade school, people I haven't seen in 20 years, and all my current friends. And I even made new friends. All through Facebook.
But, I did all this right before the 2016 Presidential Election.
And unless you’ve been living under a rock for the past many years, and haven’t paid attention to the news, you know very well that the political side of Facebook, and all social media, is NASTY.
No other way to put it.
It was through Facebook that I discovered people I know and love say things online that I never heard them say in person.
When people are behind a digital screen, they have a lot to say, and they say it loud and proud. Fine. Whatever. Everyone in America deserves their free speech.
I can very easily block out mentally and physically that which I do not want to hear.
But it does get a little old.
I came for social connectivity. I didn’t come for the constant electioneering, and to learn who voted for who - all day long.
So I tried to ignore the politics, and zone in on the photos.
And it turns out my absolute favorite part of Facebook was, and is still, those photos.
I also realized that social media is the single best way to find out all the latest social news, gossip, and any and all information about life changes involving people you know. The stuff I was looking for all along.
I found myself completely up to date on the latest pregnancy announcements, gender reveals, baby showers, births, deaths, obituaries, accidents, injuries, illnesses, new home purchases, engagements, Say-Yes-To-The-Dress days, wedding showers, marriages, anniversaries, birthdays, pet adoption days, Gotcha Days, National Cheesecake Day, International MisMatching Sock Day, Taco Tuesday, Touch-A-Truck Days, Nurses Day, Teacher Appreciation Day, Star Wars Day, Bird Day, Hoagie Day, National Roast Leg Of Lamb Day - May 7th, in case you were wondering.
The list is endless.
May 8th - National Coconut Cream Pie Day.
June 26th - National Take Your Dog To Work Day.
And, just so they can give themselves yet another plug, while you’re already on their applications all day long... We have June 30th - National Social Media Day.
Every day is something.
And guess what else?
EVERY PERSON IS OFFENDED BY SOMETHING ELSE.
That’s one of the most valuable things l learned by joining social media.
Why don’t we have:
I learned that everyone cares what everyone else thinks. I learned that people are very sensitive. I learned that when people write something online - they think it is pure gold. And I learned that if any single person disagrees with another, in any way - it’s the actual end of the world for that relationship.
DISAGREEMENT = NUCLEAR BOMBS GOING OFF EVERYWHERE.
Hence all the hate, the back-and-forth, the petty comments, the blocking, the unblocking, the following, the unfollowing. That all - also - never ends.
And since I really don’t care what other people think, I am, once again, able to function with or without social media in my life, just fine.
I joined to see photos of my friends and family and their babies and their wedding showers. But instead, it’s more about why this person hates whoever the current president happens to be.
So, after about a year and a half of being digitally social, and being sick of it all, I gave it all up.
When I left Facebook, I also gave up my Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. I had initially joined the mothership, but I had then joined the other big three soon after.
And while I nearly despise and almost hate Facebook, I absolutely LOVE Instagram. I am a very visual person though, and as I said before, I enjoy the photos. Instagram is all imagery. A great place to post all my travel photos and latest artwork, and to see those actual photos that I was seeking out when I joined Facebook initially.
I had used Pinterest just for fun.
And I found that the best benefit of Twitter was for hurricanes.
Yes, you read me right - hurricanes.
No sooner than I moved down to Florida, Hurricane Irma blew through later that year. She was a big one. And caused the whole state to be in an uproar. We were evacuated. Twitter was VITAL to me during the hurricane.
And while lots of apps and websites didn’t work under bad internet service at the time, Twitter stayed on strong. So did Facebook. You’ve heard about how if you have bad cell service during an emergency - when all the lines are tied up - that it may be easier to send a text for help instead of trying to get through on the phone, right? Think that for Twitter in this modern day... I found that utilizing social media during the worst of the hurricane, to get my news, was the very best way, to get the actual news.
We live on an island, with not even a handful of bridges to cross over during a hurricane evacuation. The bridges do close down when the winds reach a certain mile per hour - sustained.
I quickly started “following” the local news channels plus the three local beach towns, their mayors, the City of Jacksonville, and the Jax mayor, all on Twitter. They all provided a wealth of factual information to me all throughout the duration of the storm. It brought some level of certainty - communication - to me, during a time of great uncertainty.
I also followed the American Red Cross, the National Weather Service, Publix, Winn Dixie, our governor and two senators, Beaches Energy Services, Jacksonville Electric Authority - JEA, all the local area fire and police departments, JSO - Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, the St. Johns River Ferry, the National Hurricane Center, JaxReady, the Jacksonville Public Library, oh yeah, and Dunkin Donuts… Because you can’t survive a hurricane without donuts, right?
But after I went ahead and quit social media, I then went through the following storm seasons entirely without social media. Which led to a much more “manual” and old-fashioned form of finding out the news, when the internet was overloaded and the next storms were nearing us.
When the next hurricanes blew through and around us, and I was on my zero social media experiment of 69 weeks, I literally dug through the closet and pulled out an old-fashioned radio. I was ready, just in case the power went out, to listen to the news that way. But nothing I did was in any way a comparison to Twitter. And social media would have been almost priceless to me during those next storms.
But willing to stick it out, I made it through alive and well. No social media. No damage.
Ultimately, I quit all social media after about a year and a half of being on. I did NOT miss it. I was focused solely on my own personal well being and sanity. I left for my own mental health. A completely selfish decision. But very grateful that I did.
When I signed back up after 69 weeks of being away from The Zuck, I had to start my accounts from scratch. I had completely deleted all of them. So it was an official starting over process. Sort of like being a toddler and learning to walk again. I had to re-find all of my friends and family there. It took a while, but I found most of them.
During those 69 weeks without social media, I focused strictly and selfishly on my own well being and daily productivity. And now that I have social media back in my life, after that extended absence, I am able to have a fabulous life balance of living with social media applications in complete confidence. And today, having Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, back in my life, I am even more productive than I ever have been.
I run my life. I don’t let social media run my life. I never did. But some people do.
I think if people can find that balance, they will feel a lot better and at peace with the existence of social media in their worlds.
No, I don’t think social media is going anywhere. I think and see it remaining a huge part of people’s lives into the future.
And that’s also one of the reasons I came back.
In that time away, I set up my own website, a lifestyle blog, an Etsy shop, a place to showcase all my art and writing. But if I want to actually reach people with the things I write and show my paintings to the world, social media remains one of the best ways to do it.
I might write a blog twice a week, but my utilization of social media to help it get out there and maybe reach that one, singular person who may benefit from a specific article in some way, is the point of me sharing it all, on social media.
So while I do despise Facebook, and did have a near love/hate relationship with it in the past… I have now turned that relationship into merely a like/dislike relationship. I can live peacefully with Zuckerberg in my life now, and I know the exact purposes of my visits to each of the other mediums as well.
I still go back to Pinterest simply as a brain teaser, for creative solutions to new ideas.
I go to Twitter for hurricane and rough surf and coastal storm news. Or in today’s new world, pandemic and apocalyptic plague news… charts and graphs and statistics that change by the day. Announcements, once again, by our leaders and representatives on important matters.
I go to Instagram to share all my favorite photos. And see everyone else’s.
And I go back to the now old and trusty and reliable Facebook for those wedding announcements. Babies being born. And yes, in my 69 weeks away, I had friends who had babies, that I never even knew about because I was away from Facebook. When I joined back up I discovered that an old friend endured an entire pregnancy, birth, and had a new baby in her life. Her second child, I never even knew about, in this world. So yeah - Facebook is THE way to communicate with friends and family in this digital era.
And, since I’ve been back, I haven’t missed out on one birth announcement, I know who is pregnant, who is getting married, who died, and I read all the obituaries shared that way. I see in real time who made a roast in their crock pot for dinner, plus which sides they cooked with it. Then, I get the recipe.
I get to see friends travel to Hawaii, and Iceland, and Costa Rica. I see family travel to Disney. I see Dollywood and weekends at a cabin in Michigan. I see special Friday night date nights and fancy dinners out. I see birthday parties and special cakes. I see first haircuts, first baby steps, and first days of school.
I see my nephews' latest milestones as they age from infants, to toddlers, to little boys. School age children who make their first communions and have their grade school graduations. Those pictures, to me, a thousand miles away from all my relatives, are priceless. And all free to share back and forth with these social mediums.
And - I see politics. Yes, politics is still there. And as you may guess, it’s worse than ever. I see Civil War. I call it Civil War 2.0. I see and know who hates President Trump, and I know who loves President Trump. I know who is conservative and who is liberal. And I mostly try to ignore it all - and just laugh at it.
I am glad I left social media for 69 weeks. I am extremely happy with and 100% confident in my decision to ultimately come back to social media. Especially considering how very far away I live from all my family and most of my friends. And I am still, and forever grateful, that I grew up in a world without social media in it.
P.S. - No, I am NOT on TikTok. ~~
*Did you ever go on a social media break? Do you have a Facebook account? Do you live on social media or do you live entirely without social media? I’d so love to know. Drop me a comment down below:
Also, check out these other adventures in The Sunshine State, right here:
68] A Sunday Stroll
65] The Sea Life ~ Happy Easter
61] Bean’s Idea List ~ 15 Daily Activities For Well Beyond 15 Days
59] REACTION ~ To World War 19
56] Shell World ~ Key Largo
51] Life Is Full Of Pasta-Bilities ~ Bean’s Red Sauce Recipe
49] A Picture Worth A Thousand Words ~ Happy Valentine’s Day, World
48] Love & Donuts In The Air @ Beaches For Australia
44] Nothing Finer Than Coffee In The Keys ~ The Coffee Plantation Cafe
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