Still Here

I survived the Great Mold Crisis of the Summer of 2018, and the move that followed. Not only that, I actually made it through all that stress without having a seizure!!

happy-dance2

I stopped checking Facebook on July 8th. Sure, I have to check it to maintain a business page for my husband, but I only check up on that about once or twice a week. When I’m online I’ll check to see how my friends are doing, but I don’t post like I used to do. I’m not “all over” Facebook like I used to be. It’s been almost 2 months now. I’m kinda’ mixed about this…. It feels really nice to not be caught up in the drama and BS that goes on with the FB platform, but I feel out of the loop with everyone. It seems we all still use this platform to keep in touch with each other, despite the fact they sell our information to the highest bidder.

FB Selling Information

Yes – that image above? All those innocent quizzes you’ve taken were harvesting your data so it could be sold. I’m sure other free social media platforms sell data, too. As we’ve all heard at one time or another, “Ain’t nothin’ in this life for free.” But FB seems to be the chief offender in this one.

Harvesting data wasn’t my only problem with FB, though. It just seemed there was so much negativity, especially as polarized as our society is right now. Yes, people have the right to express their opinions, but after a while, some of us just get tired of the back and forth and (at times) less-than-adult ways of handling discussions. Especially with the November elections coming up, I’m glad I’m still off of FB.

But I miss my friends…

sigh

I may have to start checking in on FB more frequently, just to keep in touch. I feel like I’m giving in and Zuckerberg wins this battle, but that’s not really the case. I can choose here – I can either lose touch with people completely or not. I can post or not. I choose how much (or how little) I want to share.

So, as far as Flakebook, I guess I’m back… kinda’. :: sigh ::  Ever feel like FB has us by the short & curlies? Yeah……

 

 

Social Media and our Health

Just over a week ago, I was diagnosed with an abscess in my sinuses. This one was hard – I haven’t been that sick in a long time. This infection hit me sudden, hard, and it was painful.

sinus abscess

Despite being on two different antibiotics at the same time, it seemed this thing was only getting worse. I had no energy (of course), so I killed my time on Facebook. After a couple of days of that, it just felt like I was being bombarded by nothing but negativity.  I didn’t want to communicate over Messenger or Facebook. I just wanted to hide under the bed. No special treatment for anyone. I just wanted to get better.

Sure enough, as soon as I went offline, I started to feel better. It was a gradual process, and it took just over a week, but I feel better. I’m not saying this is what cured me; the antibiotics did a world of good, too, I’m sure. But depriving myself from the negativity probably helped.

negativity and immune system

I told people that they’d probably see me back on Facebook sometime this week (thinking, after Monday), but, honestly, if I wasn’t running someone’s business page, I’d probably delete my account after this. I still don’t want to go back online there.

There’s enough negativity in this world already. Do we really need to bombard ourselves with more of it every day by using a social media platform that sells our private information to the highest bidder, anyway?

Peace, everyone.

 

The Saga Continues

I value my privacy. This is why I never used my real name on Flakebook. For a brief while, I actually thought Flakebook finally noticed I wasn’t using my real name and blocked my account; however, I looked around on my friends list and saw too many other users doing the same thing I was doing.

That couldn’t be the problem.

I created a new account under another pseudonym. I didn’t use a name one could possibly mistake for someone’s real name. Flakebook allowed me to create the account.

I started adding friends to this new account. I was up and running, commenting, and preparing to bring the old account to a close sometime next week, when I tried to create a page.

Yes, the same page I tried to create under the other account. The same page that started this whole mess in the first place.

I received the same error once but now I’m completely locked out of my new account.

I am officially done with Flakebook. They can rot.

 

Flakebook

Ever try to reach anyone at Flakebook to resolve an issue? Oh, I’m sorry, I should probably refer to them by their appropriate name: Facebook. There, I said it. It’s the only time I’ll use it in this post.

Let me just cut to the chase for those who haven’t enjoyed this lovely experience — You can’t reach anyone in support at Flakebook, regardless of your issue.

Sit back, get some popcorn and something to drink. Duch is on a rant tonight.

Yesterday, I tried to create a business page off of my Flakebook account. I received error messages saying the action could not be completed and I would have to try later. After numerous attempts, I decided to report the problem to Flakebook, complete with screenshots. My error message:

It says to try later, so I try later… :: shrugs ::

I tried later, as instructed, and noticed I was now getting authentication prompts when clicking on “Get Started”. Knowing I’d reported this issue earlier (and noting I had yet to receive a response), I went through the motions again to capture screenshots so I could report this new behavior to Flakebook.

After the above error message I got this one:

Login screen after Get Started

Then this one:

Verify your Identity

Much to my dismay, after following the prompts to prove I was really me, I was informed my account was temporarily blocked for 30 days.

Temporarily Blocked

I was eventually able to log back into my account after multiple attempts but now I’m unable to comment or Like any posts, or send messages. I haven’t explored further features to see what else I cannot do. I did explore Flakebook’s Help section and found an Appeals link, but received an error when filling out the form. The error said my account was not disabled so the form did not apply.

Evidently there is no appeals process for this particular issue.

What exactly did I do here? Make multiple, unsuccessful attempts to create a Page, resulting in errors due to possible server issues on Flakebook’s part? Now I’m in “Flakebook Jail” for 30 days?

This hardly seems right.

Communication in our Digital World

I made it twelve days on my Facebook/G+ blackout. I would have made it longer, but I do see notifications pop-up on my phone. I did well ignoring status updates. What got me was the timing of an update from my best friend.

It’s a bit like getting a phone call from someone in the middle of the night – you know someone is either badly hurt or dying. Lyl is not a morning person. If she makes a status update at the crack of dawn, something is wrong. Being there for my best friend is more important than completely abstaining from social media. I logged into FB, read her post, and it confirmed what I’d already thought was going on. But rather than comment, I called her.

What You Say and How You Say It

When you call someone who’s just gone through a traumatic event, or who’s in an emotional crisis, sometimes the words just seem so empty. When you deliver these words live, whether on the phone or in person, it seems quite awkward. You never know if you are saying the right thing or if you’re really offering any comfort to the person. Online, though, we can stop and think about what we say. We can create a first draft, a second draft…when we have our final and hit send we’re hopefully more confident our words have been of some use.  Sherry Turkle covers this quite nicely in her TED talk, Alone Together“.

Adjusting the Dial Tone

Different people have different methods for dealing with that type of stress. For example, an extrovert would need “people time” in order to recharge and get out of the downward spiral. However, an introvert just needs “alone time”. This is where I can see an upside of FB and G+: It allows a nice balance for the two. People can communicate with each other and at the same time choose how much interaction they want on a daily basis.

Definitions we should all know

What Did I Change?

I changed my awareness. I’ve “officially” been back since November 17, but I don’t check Facebook or G+ every day. I don’t think about them as a primary form of communication anymore. I suppose you could say I’m adjusting my own dial tone, and trying to bring a balance of communication into my life.

Day 10 of My Self-Imposed Social Media Blackout

I made it over a week. I still haven’t decided if I’m going to go so far as to delete my accounts. I may keep them and pop in every now and then. I see nothing wrong with recreational use of social media. However, as with anything in life, when taken to excess it becomes a serious problem.

 

Coffee and breakfast for me! Have a great day, everyone!

– Duch

Six days and counting

Today is Sunday. I’ve made it six days without checking Facebook or Google+. I’ve found I’m not as twitchy as I was a couple of days ago; but I did have the distraction of working renfaire this weekend.

Off to catch up on homework for this week. Meanwhile, here’s an edited graphic from my previous post:

If communication is your vice, TALK to someone about it.

 

Have a great day, everyone!

Social Media Withdrawal

This is a post about addiction, but it has a political backstory.

Wednesday morning I got up and checked Facebook. The election was over and I saw numerous negative, backbiting comments from too many people in my feed. Whether they were on the Left or Right, it didn’t seem to matter. I haven’t seen so much hate since junior high. Those on the Left were not winning gracefully, and those on the Right were not losing gracefully either. It was a clear example of our divided nation. I found it disgusting. We are better than that.

I made one post that morning, stating that I’d had enough. I don’t remember exactly how I worded it but basically I said that I wouldn’t be on Facebook or Google+ for the rest of the week because I’d had it. I’m tired of this behavior. I do remember my closing statement. I said that we are better than the politicians we despise.

That was Wednesday morning around 7am, Central time. I started getting twitchy yesterday afternoon, going less than 48 hours without checking or posting to Facebook and Google+.

I’m embarrassed to say, I’m going through social media withdrawal! I come across things I want to post. Nothing important – just little trivial stuff! What have I become? Am I just as addicted as I think my teen boy is to his video games? Geez, I couldn’t resist blogging about this. But I didn’t link this post to Facebook… Yes, like an addict, I rationalize my behavior.

What’s happened to me? What’s happened to society? What have we become?

I began my hiatus from Facebook and Google+ as a “week vacation” from the political nonsense. Today, I decided I want to see how long I can go. I’ve even marked off a corner of the whiteboard in my office:

I wonder how long withdrawal symptoms last…

Make it stop.

I contemplated making a blog commentary on MO Senate Nominee (R) Todd Akin yesterday, but I changed my mind. Todd Akin has said some ignorant, horrifying things about rape that no apology can take away. The words reveal a true window into the man’s psyche. That being said, with all social media coverage on this story (my own post, here, included), there are more serious matters to consider. What I’m trying to say is this news item is full of trigger issues for many survivors.

We’ve all had our say and given this poor excuse of a man enough attention. It’s time to think of the the anger, the pain, and potential triggers survivors have to cope with every time they see a headline on rape and how, once again, someone thinks the victim is responsible for any part of what occurs during or after the fact.

The media is doing enough damage. Please, make it stop.

How can this be legal?

Many of you who follow the news have heard the stories of potential employers asking for Facebook passwords during job interviews. In today’s competitive job market, this appears to be one more thing they’ve added to the list of how they determine if you’re desperate enough to take anything, and work for anyone, holding out until better working conditions come along, or if you’re the type of person who’ll stand up for what they believe in. Unfortunately, standing up for what you believe in is a gamble you take that may cost you the job.

On March 28, The House shot down a proposal that would reform this practice – making it just as much of an HR violation to request this information as it is to request your age or your religion. The proposal was shot down.

Interestingly enough, of all the media coverage we’re getting on this, what we aren’t hearing is that most of the employers requesting the login credentials are law enforcement agencies; which, according to the article I linked to, are not regulated by the FCC and would not be affected by the bill anyway.

Regardless, let’s put this hypothetical situation out there… suppose it is just law enforcement agencies requesting credentials. And suppose the argument used to support requesting Facebook passwords for these job candidates is “in the interest of homeland security”. You know, that’s still a crock, IMHO. It puts the employer in the position of discriminating against the candidate after seeing a personal profile. We’re only human. We judge. The job candidate has a right to privacy and has a right to a personal life outside of the workplace. Also, in this hypothetical scenario, the job candidate is innocent until proven guilty. Why aren’t we treating the person with the right he or she deserves?

Lastly, if this practice stands in one area, it will eventually spread in Corporate America as a common hiring practice. But that’s my opinion, and we all have an opinion.