Friday, November 25, 2011

Good-bye and .... Hello Again

I've been blogging since June 4, 2004, a fact I find hard to believe at times. I can't believe I've been blogging seven-and-a-half years. I look back at those early posts and I cringe. I was young and my kids were so little! My marriage was shaky at best and life was so much different that it is now. Now I'll soon be celebrating the last birthday of my 30's. I have two teenagers, my youngest is in her next-to-the-last year of elementary and my marriage is stronger than it has ever been.

My mom used to shake her head at the blog. She worried. Her early-morning television viewing showcased too many stories of women who had met someone on the internet and were then found months later, chopped into pieces and stuffed into 55-gallon drums, buried in some crazy's backyard. I guess she thought I had a bigger audience than I really did. Back in the beginning I shared a lot of personal information that, looking back, I should not have. I had a foul mouth and it spilled over into my writing. I trash-talked my husband and griped about everything. I wasn't a very positive person.

Fortunately, around 2008 I experienced a change in my life. While God has been a part of my life since birth and I have been a born-again Christian since I was seven, I certainly didn't act like He was a part of anything I did. In 2008 I rededicated my life and began an earnest attempt at living better, living right and doing everything for the glory of God. I undertook the painstaking process of removing all the f-bombs, s-words and other un-pretty words from the blog so as not to be a stumbling block to my children, the people who read my blog and mainly because I felt like I should.

A few years ago MySpace came on the scene and I got one. I spent a stupid amount of time changing my background, answering polls and searching for people I went to high school with. Then I heard about this Facebook thing and I wasn't intrigued in the least. I heard it was pretty utilitarian and you couldn't customize your page like you could with MySpace. For some reason, I liked the bling that went with having a page of "social media".  Then one day I caved and decided to check out Facebook.

That's when my blogging went to pot.

It's a time suck. It's a distraction in the worst way. It's addicting. And I'm's rarely used for good. I can sit here and say with a red face that I have literally wasted entire days doing nothing more than hanging around on Facebook. My kids were not paid attention to, my husband was ignored, my house was a wreck, we ate a lot of cereal for dinner and I became an observer to all of my 300+ friends' lives. For what?

Seriously. For what?

I have "friends" on my list who have literally made eye contact with me in Walmart and not spoken to me, turned the other way like I was invisible. It happened to me twice in one shopping trip. I have "friends" on my facebook who have started rumors about me. There are "friends" on Facebook who have trashed their "friends" while all their "friends" played judge and jury. Marriages have been ruined because of Zuckerberg's brain child. Lifelong friendships have been tossed aside because a "friend" smarted off on someone's wall and someone else got involved, whether invited or not. Lies are spread. Information is misconstrued. Jobs have literally been lost because of Facebook behavior. Facebook posts hold up in court, people. They hold up and they hold up bigtime.

We have become a society of passive-aggressive social idiots. We are losing the ability to communicate with one another face-to-face. The telephone took some of it away years ago. Email took more. Facebook is destroying it completely.

I've been threatening since Spring that I was going to delete my Facebook page. I decided to leave it until after my class reunion because, honestly, it was incredibly helpful in finding and communicating with classmates and putting together the reunion was made much easier. Then the reunion came and went and I kept my page. I have become increasingly more and more convicted about my use of Facebook lately and it weighs very heavily on me. I find myself more and more these days picking up my phone and calling people, even when Facebooking them would be easier. I also find myself loathing text messaging more and more every day, too.

We hide behind our devices. We avoid person-to-person contact. It's easier to be mean while typing than it is when we're standing in front of a person. We get involved in arguments and situations we should stay out of - and we would stay out of if we weren't sticking our noses in everyone's Facebook page.

I am a youth leader in my church. The kids in our youth group, save four, have Facebook pages. Sure, it's very easy to communicate with them through the site, but it's not worth it. I have their phone numbers. I know where they live. I don't need Facebook.

So I still have my account active for right now. I set up a page for our church awhile back and post things to it, but I'm thinking the pastor is internet-savvy enough he can do those updates as needed. The clock is ticking and soon.... I will be Facebook-free.

And I will not miss it.

I have, however, missed my blog. I've missed writing in general. I've missed out on a lot. I might miss out on some information, I might miss out on some news, but I will also miss out on the drama. That seems incredibly refreshing at this point.

I will miss my Farmville, though. I'll miss my imaginary cows and my imaginary crops and my imaginary pink tractor, but seriously? I have three kids and a husband who have been missing me more. They are real. They are mine. They are important. It's time to give up the thing keeping me from being as real as I need to be.

And who needs an imaginary farm when you have this?


Unknown said...

This is what I think.

Melessa Gregg said...

FYI: I would knock you over with my hug if I saw you at Wal-Mart. I've been missing my blog and writing too. I'm not sure if I'm ready to delete the FB because it is handy for communicating with the youth group I work with (and with my h.s. reunion too), but I've tried to post a bit more often. I'm looking forward to hearing more from you. :)

Hillbilly Mom said...

I'VE missed your blog. One less person to keep Fitty occupied and away from my Mansion.

Jill of All Trades said...

Oh gosh, I know what you mean. It is addicting and I've been realizing that lately. Hope you do get back to the blog thing, I've been remiss too on mine. You are right who needs Farmville when you have that wonderful family!

Creative Char said...

Divine girlfriend, I follow your blog , I have gotten others to follow your blog, I have several of my own blogs I write and.... my life has suffered greatly from the addiction to Facebook. I have been a Facebook addict, particularly Farmville, until I got desperate and cancelled my Facebook account, losing the farm(ville) until I could get clean completely. Only after I literally moved to the country in real life did I find it safe to go back onto Facebook. My daughter, however, stayed strong and broke her addiction. I may be in denial because I label myself a "checker" more than a "poster" but I still have to log on every day or at the very least every other day. (I remember the old days when my mother couldn’t miss a single day of her daytime soap “The Days of Our Lives”. Who would have ever thought it would be replaced in our lives by a computer to have social interaction. Recently my daughter suggested to both her sister-in-law and myself that the three of us join Orkut so we could post and share to our family at least, until we could manage to get the rest of our family and friends away from the dark side. Seriously, how do you know you are addicted to Facebook -- uh, well, the mere thought of ending your Facebook activity sends you into sheer panic and you think to yourself, “Seriously I couldn't live without knowing what’s going on in everyone's life and I just have to connect by sharing what I think about stuff and what I'm doing”. Yeah, if this is you, then you KNOW you are an addict so shut up and wake up!!! The question is what are you going to do about it? I love you, Redneck Diva, for once again you have inspired me to break my addiction and to blog again. Hugs hugs hugs to you.

Jim said...

Diva: I just discovered your blog while doing research on things 'redneck' (honestly)! I say "Amen" to your thoughts and am impressed with your descriptions. You have hit the nail on the head about Facegbook addiction. I have seen some really tragic examples as I'm an attorney and frequently witness people bringing screen copies of this stuff to court. It scares me to death because I know of people who share their accounts with friends and such and often don't have any idea of what has been posted under their name.
Would you allow me to share your comments with one of my church groups? We have some folks who are more into Facebook than life!
I've not had a chance to go deeply into your postings, but agree that blogging is a much better vehicle since it is based on though, reflection and conviction and not just superficial expressions and knee-jerk reactions. Keep up the good work and God bless you.

Redneck Diva said...

Jim, share away!! I'm flattered you find it worthy of sharing. God bless!

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...