with Lynne and Leslie
Tag Archives: Facebook

Wear Cute Shoes, But You Also Need Pants or Checking Your Priorities

by SweetMidlife

Hi!

Lynne here. This won’t be a long one.

Not always a good look.

Not always a good look.

So, I’ve written a lot about how I am working on being more organized in all ways in my life, and this touches how I spend my time, the fact that I can actually put things flat on my nightstand without causing a landslide of bills and Christmas cards from 2013, the state of my dishwasher, and the state of my car, whose backseat may have french fry residue from taking 2 preschoolers to McDonald’s. It totally does. This is a work in progress.

But what I have found out the most is that organizing my physical world isn’t just about the tangible appearance of things, but that it’s about the inward emotions that cause you to keep your world cluttered or your schedule over-packed, and that may tell you that you can’t do any better than you are doing right now. All of that is a lie, but it feels like that sometimes. And all of this inner-looking causes you to be more mindful of the things that you tell yourself, and how they manifest (I used a big word before 7:30 am and I feel like I need some reward for this. Thank you.) themselves in your priorities and whatnot. Because sometimes you think that something is important to you, but when you look at how you actually spend your time, you might see that this isn’t actually  as true as you think it is. And you might think that something ISN’T a big deal to you, but when you actually look at your life, you realize that you spend more time doing that particular thing than you might have thought, and definitely more than you want to admit.

I thought of this yesterday, when my son and I were getting ready for the day. We headed into the bathroom it brush teeth and wash faces, and I had my phone in my hand, because before this, I had been looking at something on my beloved Facebook. The words “beloved Facebook” totally just came in my head, and I almost didn’t write that down, but it is true, I spend a lot of time there, to the point that if I am reading it and then have to do something else, I either keep my phone in my hand or my eyes on my laptop, or I rush through the other things real quick so I can get back to the blue and white land of comments. And as wonderful as Facebook can be in reaching out to people and staying connected to family, and as much as I use my phone to have really wonderful conversations with the people in my life,  it can also be a time suck if it distracts you from living the life in front of you. Or the toothbrush in front of you, which is what happened yesterday when I found myself trying to get the toothpaste out of the cabinet and pick up my brush without having to put my phone down, and when I did, looking nervously to make sure that my phone was still there. I am sad to admit that. But it happened.

My phone should be an addendum to my actual life, which includes things like eating and writing and personal hygiene, and not the thing that I come back to after I get those pesky things done. For me it’s my phone. For you, it could be the TV, or talking, or daydreaming, or anything. And all of these things are good things. But if they aren’t the main thing that you know you are supposed to be doing in your life, then, well, do some reordering.

Don’t let the accessories in your life become your life. Because you can’t go out in just heels, a purse, awesome shoes, cute earrings, and a headband, no matter how bumpin’ those things are. You are gonna need some pants and a shirt too, y’all.

 


Girl, Put Your Cell Phone Down.

by SweetMidlife

Lynne here!

My friend Wonderful Tracey posted a challenge on Facebook a few days ago for people to pledge, for one week, to put down their phones when they were around other people, and linked to this article. This means no checking your status, or your email, or what Blake Shelton said on “The Voice” last night, or the latest political scandal on CNN, or who liked the funny thing you just posted because it was brilliant and people need to start pressing those “thumbs up” buttons. People are always posting challenges and such on the Facebook, as my dad called it, and some of them I have accepted (if not completed all the way), like posting a Bible verse every day because that is encouraging. Some of them I have rolled past, like forwarding something because the original poster says this proves that I love Jesus if I share it, and proves that I don’t love him if I don’t. Because that is bogus and Jesus didn’t appoint you the judge of who loves Him based on clicks.

But the putting away your phone thing hit me right in the gut, because I knew that this would be hard for me. Like really hard. Because I love my phone. I mean, I forget where it is sometimes when I am doing other things, and there are times when I have missed texts because I had my phone in my purse for a few days, and that means that I lived without it. But those times of non-phone awareness are lesser in number than the times, usually during the day, that I am constantly checking that thing. I hear a beep and I need to see who that was. I post something funny or shared a cute picture of my kid, and I look a bunch of times to see who agrees with me that I am funny and that my kid is indeed cute. I want to check it at red lights, which is dangerous. And I often check it when I am out with people. This is different from answering it if someone actually calls you, or looking down to see if I should answer it. No, this is pre-ring checking, because someone MIGHT need me. And someone might think that I am important.

And that is what it is about for me, really. People engaging with me online makes me feel worth the engagement, like I am loved. It’s about more than just the “likes” or the clicks. Just as this book I am reading about food says that we often overeat because we crave something else besides food, when I check my phone excessively, I am craving something, too.

Connection.

Which I have if people are sitting in front of me.

My kid, my lunch date, my husband, the checkout guy at Trader Joe’s. All human. All ready to communicate and make me laugh and have me listen and kiss them (my husband) and make small talk about tortilla chips. And I am throwing their desire to connect with me back in their faces if I throw them over for possible comments on that funny video I posted.

So I have been really working on this the last few days and I ain’t gonna lie. It’s been hard because just like you don’t often realize how many M&M’s you stuffed into your mouth until you look down and count them, I didn’t realize how attached I am to checking stuff until I decided to stop doing it so much. I would be lying to you if I told you that I was going cold turkey on this, but I am really, really trying. And it has been very rewarding.

Because there is a time for Facebook and web-surfing and funny things that the little girl who plays Diane on “Black-ish” said (because that little girl is comedy GOLD). And there is even time for the friends who I talk to exclusively on Facebook. But I need to set that time aside and not have that impede the people in front of me. Because that’s not right.

This is why I know that this needs to be a life-change for me, and not just a thing I try for a week. Because people are precious. And important. And I am putting down my phone now and closing the laptop.

HI! How are you doing?

Do you have a phone-checking issue? Would you take the challenge to put it down around other people?

2 of the people I can connect with when I put my phone down.

2 of the people I can connect with when I put my phone down, namely my husband and my kid.


Look At This Thing Tuesday: Oversharing

by SweetMidlife

Hi!

Lynne here! This is our second entry in “Look At This Thing Tuesday”, where we feature a new product or service or something that we think you might want to check out. This week, we want you to take a quiz that makes you think about the kind of stuff you share on the World Wide Webs and whatnot. Yes, I said “Webs”.

I will admit that I am a Facebook fan. A big one. I have caught up with old friends on it, made new friends on it, and find it a fantastic way to keep up with what’s going on in people’s lives and to share what’s going on in mine. I love sharing pictures of my family, and where we’ve been, and seeing the same from my buddies. And I write a blog, where I talk about myself and such. But I know that sometimes I have shared too much, and I have seen people talk about life details like when they leave the house to go the store, or when they are going on vacation, and the address of their next door neighbor’s real estate Open House. All of this is fun stuff, and who wouldn’t want to share your adventures and your neighborhood with people? YAY, neighbors! But when you share your whole life, people know when you aren’t home. And maybe when your kid is at school. And what school they go to. And when you are at what gym. And you have given them the address to that house and school and gym.

And I am getting creeped-out writing this.

But some people suck, and basically come up with new ways to separate you from your stuff. Look, I am the daughter of children of the ’60’s, and while my parents weren’t conspiracy theorists (well, my dad did always want to face the door of restaurants so he could see who was coming in), they always taught us to check our surroundings, and who was behind us, and to lock our doors, even if it were in a “nice” place. Because not everyone is “nice”.

So I had to admit to myself that I haven’t always done a great job of locking my virtual door on social media. I like when people ooh and ahh over pictures of my kid. I like that they know what’s going on in my life. But unfortunately, even though you can choose to share your pictures and posts with friends, Facebook makes it not-so-hard for extended people to see your stuff (when friends of friends like things) and use it how they would like. And they can Google anything. So I stopped posting about vacations while I was on them, and took my son’s exact birth date down, and I tried to be vague-er about some details of my life. But I recently got a bit of a reality check when I was given the opportunity to take a quiz made by SingleHop, a tech company that specializes in cloud computing, that tests how secure YOUR information is online, based on how much you share.

Data Privacy Month Quiz

SingleHop says: “It’s also important to remember that it’s not always up to you how your information is stored, so make sure you’re only sharing information on websites using secure hosting. An easy way to check this is to look for the secure lock icon on your browser’s address bar, or to make sure the website address begins with ‘https’ instead of just ‘http’ (the ‘s’ stands for secure!)”

 

The categories for results are Can’t Be Googled (for people who keep their personal info shut up like it’s in a vault), Keeps Family and Friends Informed But Not TOO Informed (for those who share a little more but still take some precautions) and What Happens In Vegas… Goes On Facebook (for those who are an online open book. So open that people will come and steal that book). For reals. Now, I wound up in the middle, which made me feel like I was headed in the right direction, but I know that I am not as stringent as I need to be about what I should keep private and perhaps keep to myself. And maybe you aren’t either.

So, I challenge you to take the quiz for yourself, and see how you do on it. I offer this not to make you paranoid, but to really think about the possible price you pay by sharing every little detail of your life online. And maybe you will make some changes, if you think you need to. I am going to continue to post on social media, but I am just going to be a little bit more conscious about it. Because online lives open the door to your offline life, and like my Daddy did, I am going to do more facing the door to see who walks into it.

So hey, take the quiz above, and if you would like to, share your results below in our comment section! And enjoy this song. It’s hilarious, but also cautions you about telling everybody EVERYTHING.


This Week’s Post Inspired By Something I Saw on Facebook

by SweetMidlife

Hi! It’s Lynne!

Facebook can be a time-suck, a place where people go to stalk other people, a place where people get depressed because they think their lives aren’t as cool as their friends’ lives because their friends have better pictures and status updates, and where people say ugly bullying things that serve to pump themselves up but bring other people way down. But it can also be a place of good connection, of sharing, and of encouragement. Like when people post little sayings that make other people go “I needed that!”, or”Hey, that makes me feel good!”, and then want to re-post it. I ran across one such thing yesterday, and it made me do all of the above. And it was this…

Yes.

I have a great kid. He is funny, and sweet, and although he throws great tantrums, he brings me more joy than I can even begin to describe. Yet I often worry that I am doing this all wrong. That I am going to turn my head just in time to miss him fall on one of the drum sticks he always has in his hand as of late (my son is the toddler Sheila E.). That the very piece of candy I just gave him is going to negate every vegetable he has and will ever eat, and thus will be plunged into a life of Candyterianism. That the discipline I choose this time is going to set him up on the road to being a hooligan. You might think these things too.

Stop.

I once took all of my worries about parenting to my former Pastor, who is really the closest thing I have to a mother-in-law, and she said this: that if I was a person who worried that I was doing it right, then that desire meant that I was in a good place.

Deep breath.

So, I know that good parents are naturally concerned for their kids. And that we will sometimes question if we are making huge mistakes. And sometimes we will. But for the most part, that Facebook thing was right. Look at your kids. They are good people. You helped do that. Continue to encourage the things you see in them that you like. Pray about and regroup if you can do something about the things that you don’t. But take a deep breath. They are doing well.

And so are you.

 


“But why aren’t you talking about me?” or the self-involved nature of the Net

by SweetMidlife
Or not.

Leslie here!

I’m not going to reinvent the wheel or say anything earth-shattering that no other enlightened soul on the Internet has ever written. I would hope that most reasonable frequent or occasional readers or commenters on message boards, comment threads or Facebook pages would have figured out by now. But obviously, everyone has not gotten the message, so consider this knowledge dropped:

Things are not all about you.

I know that this is counter to what many of us believe, what society and your momma have told you, but it’s true. Yes, it is a free country. Yes, your opinion is important, and you can shout it out to the rooftops, or while sitting on your rooftop on typing away furiously on your laptop. Unless you have been specifically blocked or barred from a particular Web site, for whatever reason, you have the right to impart your particularly wisdom on whatever subject you choose, whether or not the other commenters agree with you.

And sometimes, you will happen upon a topic that you don’t care about, concerning an actor you don’t care for, or a movie you didn’t see, or a band you think is overhyped, and you will wonder why anyone would bother to write about it. Or maybe you think that the world is so screwed up that at that particular moment you don’t know why anybody bothers talking about something so meaningless. And you’re pissed off.

Well, dear friend…this is your invitation to take a deep breath and click away. Yes. Right now. Click away. Because it’s OK for you not to care. But it’s not your business if other people do. And if you don’t care, then why spend moments of your precious time telling other people how much you don’t care? Or that they ought to care about something else? Or that they are wasting their time?

Because…and this would seem to be self-explanatory – you have now just spent time commenting on something you don’t care about. Which, in the scheme of things, is kinda silly. Not illegal. But definitely silly. But I think I know why people do it.

I was reminded of this after two separate threads, one on someone elses Facebook page asking for votes on the best Patrick Swayze movies and one on my own months ago, about some television show. On the Swayze thread, after more than 40 playful and fun suggestions – Guys seemed to favor “Roadhouse and Red Dawn” while the ladies were in the “Dirty Dancing” or “Ghost” camp with some “To Wong  Foo” from both – someone basically wrote “No Patrick Swayze movies are good! Yuck!” which, to their credit, the other commenters ignored and went on talking about “Ghost.”

On my page, I was asking about whether anyone had seen the latest episode of some reality show, and a few people chimed in. Then out of nowhere, I got this.

“Who cares?”

It was so hostile, and so different from the usual tone of my page, which is a professional page for my newspaper work and usually has a cordial feel – if people don’t care about a subject they usually ignore it. On the blog I used to have with the paper, I got hostile stuff all the time, but if you bother personally following a pop culture reporter on her own Facebook page you should probably expect her to talk about pop culture. I was startled and wondered what was up, but thought, maybe she just doesn’t like this show. But a few minutes later, she was back.

“I can’t believe that with the world the way it is, you’re wasting time talking about television shows when there are so many important things to talk about” she wrote, the disgust just flying off the screen.

Que whattie?

My response was that I write about pop culture, and that it wasn’t a waste of time for me because it was my job, and that while I often do start discussions about things in society like racism and sexism, that most of that was through a pop cultural lens. And that if she didn’t think that TV was something important to talk about she was perfectly welcome…not to talk about it.

I think that both of those comments are part of the curious nature of the Internet, that it makes everyone an instant pundit. If you can log on, you can be the writer, the social commentator, the important person you may not have been able to be. You can tell everyone your opinion, and say it loud, and you don’t have to be a professional. You just have to log on.

That’s a wonderful thing, of course, but there are people who abuse that right by being racist, sexist, homophobic or just stupid. We call those people trolls and we avoid them. More common are the perfectly ordinary people like the folks above, who get so caught up in the freedoms of the Internet that they A) forgot that everything doesn’t have to be about what they like and B) that sometimes everyone doesn’t need to have the benefit of your point of view. For real.

I get particularly impatient with people who get indignant or snotty about other people’s likes and try to shame them, like the “Who cares about TV?” thread. If you don’t, why is it your business who does? And furthermore, why are you trying to make people feel bad about what they do like? It’s like coming into a Bon Jovi concert and screaming “I hate Bon Jovi! Why are you here?” It’s your right, of course. But why would you waste your time? Just. Don’t. Go.

The Internet, of course, is not a concert. You don’t have to pay to get it. You don’t even have to leave your house. And if you’ve been on for a while commenting on other sites as you surf, it is tempting – I have been there – to chime in on everything you see. And, you’re so in your “This is what I think” head space that it’s sometimes hard to stop yourself.

But before you hit “Post,” think about it. Is what I’m about to say furthering the discussion? Or is it just hurtful? Or pointless? And if I don’t really care about this subject, why would anyone care about what I think? And if I do post, are the people in this community going to think “Wow, we just got told!” or are they gonna think “Shut up,” thus wasting your brilliant retort on people who don’t care?

Again, it’s a free country. But aren’t there better ways to use that freedom?


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