Tag Archives: #deletefacebook

Menagerie

Shamelessly mirroring one of the blogs I follow, I’m going to combine prompts in a wild menagerie.

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Last night I was riveted to Twitter as I followed the saga of #MPRRACCOON. If you’ve been away from the news, this was about a plucky lil “trash panda” who got trapped on the ledge of an office building in St. Paul, MN, and when some workers tried to rescue her, she scampered onto the UBS tower next door and started climbing up up up. Now, some of you may remember the story I poasted a while back of a raccoon who killed one of our parking lot cats. Since then, I’ve not had a favorable view of the creatures. But all that changed yesterday as I (along with loads of other folks) rooted for the Twin Cities bandit to make it through her ordeal safely. We held our collective breath as she began to climb again, hoping she wouldn’t plummet to the ground. She stopped, went down, and seemed to be done for the night. I went to bed not knowing her fate and checked Twitter as soon as I woke this morning, so happy to see she had made it to the roof!

Speaking of buildings, the other night I had a very weird dream. I was in a house with my daughter and we couldn’t find our cats. So, naturally we decided we needed to look in our other house. I love that in my dreams I have not only one, but two houses! Yay me. We walked outside into the snow ~ apparently it was normal for there to be snow in southern California, but it wasn’t that cold. We didn’t have coats on and just tramped through the snow in our regular shoes. Crunch, crunch. We did remark on it, like oh yeah, it snows now ever since the something. I wish I could remember what “the something” was in my dream. I’m sure it was important. Anyway. We entered house number two, and there were the kitties. But inside this house everything was all snowy. I guess roof construction hadn’t caught up with “the something” yet.

The most vivid dream I ever had was when I was around 7 years old. I was at the zoo and a wolf either got loose from an exhibit or I entered his cage by mistake. He trapped me in a corner and ripped out my throat and I died. I know you’re not supposed to die in dreams, but I did. Then I woke up and had strep throat. This is not to bash wolves. I have huge respect for them and wildlife in general.

That’s it for the prompts, except one, and nope I am not introducing zoobloggery to my repertoire here ~ it’s just a coinkydink that all the snippets have to do with aminals this time. Soon we will be back to noodling about movies, food, and migraines, patting myself on the back again for leaving Facebook and dating sites, whining about writing, etc. You know, all the topics that make this blog so darned irresistible to fans everywhere. Until then… mwah!

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My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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The Persistence of Me

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I confess I don’t know much about Tom Wolfe (RIP), but have only begun learning about his brilliance this past week from his obits and write-ups in the news. Of course I’ve used the phrase “The Me Decade” to describe the 1970s, never even knowing that he coined it. How embarrassing! I’m adding The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and Bonfire of the Vanities to my reading list.

I think a strong argument can be made that the Me Decade hasn’t ended and shows no signs of abating anytime soon. All the selfies and oversharing, plus the endless quiz-taking, are encouraged by industries whose purpose is to make us feel insecure about ourselves, and are part of an infinite loop of superficial self-examination, wasting our time and energy as we search for enlightenment in our belly button lint, rather than expanding our horizons outward for fulfillment. I’m no stranger to these behaviors myself.

But something interesting has happened, a small thing, but interesting nevertheless: since I quit Facebook and Instagram two months ago, I haven’t taken any photos of food. My life is no worse for this; I don’t miss these pics at all. In fact, that was simply another superficial way to “connect” with people online when we really had nothing in common. In my opinion, this obsession with selfies, including food pics (unless you’re a restaurant critic or recipe blogger), is part of the narcissistic sickness of society. Notice me! Like me! Follow me! We see our favorite celebrity posting 857 photos of their face and we think we should too. It’s headshot day! Gah.

I suggest that the me-ness of the Me Decade never disappeared but instead spilled into online life, splashing over all we did, turning the entire social media experience from information-based, when it began, to communication-based, for a time, and finally now into a monstrous narcissistic ouroboros that not only controls how we behave online but offline too. We are even more self-centered now than we were in the 1970s despite allegedly “connecting” with all sorts of people different from us all over the world. We don’t actually do this in any kind of meaningful way. I doubt most of us even begin to relate to people in our own neighborhoods and what issues they might have in this primary election, if they are different from our own. All I see is people ready to bully, disparage, and dismiss anyone who thinks differently from them, more now than ever.

If you don’t conform to my reflection of myself, I push you out of the picture. Turn the camera back to selfie mode. Ah, much better. Smile. Click.

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I know some of you probably thought I would jabber on about the narcissists I’ve dated and link to my new poetry book All She Wrote, which explores quite a bit on that theme, when you saw the prompt “narcissism”… well, surprise! I actually do have otter things to say sometimes besides look at my stupid mistakes. 😀

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The Daily Prompt: Narcissism

Popularity Observation

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I’m not a popular blogger. Not sure I want to be ~ I had a tiny taste of it many years back and it was a lot of work. I constantly checked my stats and felt as if I failed when I didn’t keep outperforming the previous week’s totals. Every day I pressured myself to write at least two posts and one needed to be funny. I tried to find ways to link other bloggers in posts. I also made sure to visit many other blogs daily, old friends and new hopefuls, and leave comments to encourage them to visit me. Ughhh! Needless to say, just like my Facebook obsession, this left little to no time for Real Writing. And it was pointless as well ~ the blog was neither monetized nor promoting any writing. It was simply an exercise in ego.

Now? Some days I get less than 10 visitors here, though it’s hard to tell if more are simply reading via a reader or in email. Visits are only recorded from click-throughs. Usually a day with a new post will generate 20 or more visitors, but not always. If I link to the word of the day, I’ll get more. I haven’t SEO’d my blog, and I’m not even sure what that is, but it seems fake, like fake FB friends. Why would I want that? Are those people going to leave real comments and care about what I say? Are they ever going to be interested in buying my writing on Amazon? Hah.

I know some of my fellow bloggers must be SEO’d up the wazoo because their post will appear in my reader as an hour old and already have 200 likes. WTF? And it’s a poem or something, not exactly the most popular form of writing out there, but yet 200 people have somehow found it and liked it. Right. That happens. What does this mean? Does it translate to money? How much? I suppose I could google this properly, but why not just fling my question to the winds and wait for a wrong answer from one of y’all?

On Twitter, I’m a nobody, a nothing, a speck of dust. I heard about this thing called a shadow-ban, where you see your tweetles but no one else can since the PTB have put a block on their distribution, and like a cyber-hypochondriac I thought ooh maybe I haz that! But no. I’m not worthy enough to have any kind of ban obviously. That’s not why no one notices my twips. No one notices them because they aren’t noticeable. It doesn’t matter how witty I think I am, or even when I remember to hashtag a particularly clever thing… nothing. But occasionally a friend likes one, so I know I haven’t been shadow-banned. Then a popular twatter says something and gets 800 hearts in three minutes… the count rolls over into the thousands as I watch. It’s not even that funny, but there it goes. Whatever.

Again, I’m trying to figure out some of these popular tweepers. They seem to be on Twitter all day long. Are they getting paid? They churn out a comment after every blip in the news. Then they immediately have thousands of likes and retweets. What’s their source of income? They can’t all be stay at home moms. Some are men, but the ones I’ve observed are mostly women.

If it’s just an ego thing, pffft. The reason I’m curious is I’d like to know how to get more people to see my tweets as a way of promoting my writing. I observe so many writers there hawking their books… doesn’t seem like a fabulous strategy. If everyone is doing it, is anyone really clicking and buying? I don’t think I got any sales that way, but then again, I’m not a popular tweep to begin with. I can’t believe that if all you do is promo you’ll be more popular. That’s so boring! If you’re popular for being funny and smart, and oh incidentally every once in a while link to a product for sale, then I can see people clicking on it. But why would someone buy something you’re selling if they don’t know who you are in the first place? This is why celebs are desirable salespeeps, isn’t it? If only I could get Meg Ryan to promo my books for free. LOL

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The Daily Prompt: Observe

Abrupt Victory

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Somehow I stumbled onto a giant conspiracy ridiculousness this morning that’s been raging for the past 6 months or so around social media, yet I’ve been (until today) totes oblivious to it. I consider that a victory, my friends. I don’t know how I managed to avoid this idiocy on Facebook, which I exited only this past March, and Twitter ~ even though I have loads of political stuff blocked on the twit, gobs squish through anyway, and that is indeed what happened in this case.

I’m going to be very careful describing the thing here because I don’t want to attract any wackadoos to my blog (not counting you nuts who already are fans, natch, and I lurve you all very much). Apparently there is a fantasy hero named Q in our gobblement who is part of a storm that may be coming to usher in WW3 or stop WW3 (one of the two)… well, sort of a co-hero sidekick to the main dude, right-hand of God guy, you know who, our savior (insert eyeroll emoji), yada. This Q is hashtagged with an anon after it, which I’m not spelling out here because of the loons, and all other conspiracies and general bad things of the past 20 years that are ever mentioned by these crazies are followed with this tag on general principle (to alert others of their ilk that they’re all woke to the thing).

Yes, I spent over a half hour reading these nutjobs’ tweets because I am fascinated by mental illness. What can I say? If I could do my life over I would be a shrink. They have several themes: hating Hillary, carrying on about Obama being a Muslim, praising you know who, trying to decide if Jews are good or bad (they’re very confused about this point except they do despise Soros of course), ragging on the British royals, the Pope, Pelosi, Bill Gates (who is always trying to kill us all, the rascal)… and they really loathe white slavery and pedophilia rings. Well, good on them cuz those last two things really suck. Don’t they? I mean gah!

Every once in a while the standards are mentioned also: fluoride, chem trails, The Wall, etc. But those are pretty much in the background right now. Hillary is always fresh. You just can’t have too much Hillary with these lunatics. She’s on their minds 24/8. They eat, sleep, and dream Hillary. It’s hill-arious.

But like I said, I managed somehow to avoid these tinfoil nutballs for a long time and I’m proud of that. Yay me! I will return to my “normal news” now where I am allowed to see only tidbits doled out by the Deep State and be happy in my oblivion. ThanQ very mush.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Abrupt

In Which I Beg a Big Corporation to Take My Money

When I deleted Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, I wiped all the history, cookies, etc. off my devices in an attempt (probably futile) to rid myself of their tracking and crap. Until yesterday this was no big deal, but then I tried to buy a song for my Nutty Playlist on iTunes and all hell broke loose. I had to re-enter my info and every time I tried to put in my credit card stuffs, the program shut down. Fine, I said, I have an iPhone meow, I’ll do it that way. NYAAH!

I went to Apple music on my iPhone and said hai can I haz a song? They said only if you sign up for our music thingie and pay. WOT? I don’t want to pay for a whole program ~ I just want to buy a song sometimes like I do for my cool themed playlists. They didn’t care at all about my cool themed playlists. Rude. I didn’t know what to do except I did know I was going to get what I wanted and finish my Nutty Playlist and put it on a CD to listen to in my car because well I just had to! They shalt not thwart me and my OCD! (Especially when a CD is involved.)

I went to Shazam on my iPhone where I remembered it offers the option to buy a song. First, I had to play the song on YouTube on my laptop so I could Shazam it (it was “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, if you must know, which no one suggested, but I chose later after googling songs about insanity which I do not recommend because it can really flip you over the edge into severe depression). After the song was up on Shazam, the buy option appeared, so I clicked it. Next, I was flooped over to the iTunes store where it let me buy the song with my fingerprint. WOT? I didn’t have to sign up for the program? Nope. I could buy “Angie Baby” for $1.29 like I had wanted to in the beginning. I did that. I also bought a couple more songs for Nutty and also some for another playlist that had been sitting around called Dating Sucks. Burned them to CDs. Now I have two new CDs and am working on two more themed playlists. I’ll pester you guys about those later.

The coolest part is that it only took a few seconds for the song to show up in my iTunes library on my laptop after I bought it on my phone. Isn’t technology AMAZING?! Actually, one of them took like 45 seconds and I started to get angry. WTF??? The otter ones only took 10 seconds. I can’t bear all this waiting. I have things to do! OMGGG!!

I still don’t understand why Apple allows you to buy an individual song via Shazam but you can’t simply click into the Apple store on your own and buy one. That’s so weird! More likely I’m misunderstanding how to do it, but whatever… I got what I wanted. Yes, in a very roundabout strange way, but hey.

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The Daily Prompt: Thwart

Corncobs & Donuts: A Friday Morning Rant

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I was curious today about why some Twitter users had donuts in their profile descriptions, so I began googling up the meaning. I mean, of course donuts are delicious, especially coconut ones and the kind that have little cimmanom crunchy whatsit coatings (never know what you call these donuts ~ I just point at them like a grunty caveperson), but I had a feeling Twitter donuts meant more than this and I was right. Back in my day, when all we thought about was sex, the meaning of a donut would have been sexual, but now everything is political, so naturally donuts are too. I’m not even going to attempt to paraphrase the ridiculousness of the political donut, but simply link to the article I found which essplains the whole insanity. Scroll down, donuts are in there, after the roses and corncobs.

Also, back in the day, roses and corncobs had sexual meanings too. “Roses” stood in for dollars as payment for sex on certain personal ad websites, some of which, notably Craigslist personals, have had to shut down since the passage of FOSTA on March 25th, the anti sex-trafficking bill. Oh, you probably didn’t notice that bill with everything else going on people rage about 24/7, but it will probably end up changing the internet as we know it, making service providers actually liable for content, starting with subjecting websites to criminal and civil liability when third parties misuse personals unlawfully. I agree with this btw, even though probably most of you do not. The liberal media (see previous link) has been crying about how closeted gay & trans peeps, adulterers, and others are losing an important venue to find anon hook-ups. How sad. If only websites had followed their own damn TOS in the first place, including Facebook, these “free speech” catastrophes might have been mitigated somewhat sans gobblement involvement. But they were all too greedy. I digress. You can find the sexual corncob meanings here, after the otter ones.

Why is everything so stupid? Rhetorical. Don’t personsplain at me! It’s part of the reason I left Facebook ~ I keep finding new reasons. Privacy breach/data scraping, too addicting, too political, too irritating, too many memes, people constantly reposting headlines, BORING, and just… stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid. RAWR! Sure, all that same stuff is on Twitter, but I can block it all there. I’ve blocked an entire family from my Twitter feed, every one of their names, and it’s marvelous. I do not see any of them. How awesome is that? And I’ve also blocked most of the other SOS politicians and keywords to keep the crap that people obsess over out of my face. When a new story comes up that everyone goes nuts over, I block that too. I occasionally see some politics, a joke, or something that doesn’t mention a person by name ~ what’s funny is that generally those tweets are usually much more interesting than the normal political garbage because someone is expressing an honest opinion, not reposting a link. So, I don’t mind them. But, as I’ve said, I am mainly there for the poetry, which is fab.

I find it amusing that every day the Facebook horror seems to be getting worse. The only thing I regret is not dumping it sooner.

Okay, time for a donut ~ and that is not a euphemism!

Promptku

Oh, radiant sun!
I explore this new morning
Weekend sans Facebook.

Suspicious birdsong—
Noisy swallows retweeting
Fake news on a wire?

Faceless in this crowd,
Bewildered I meander…
No one needs a like.

Frantic for caffeine,
I dash into greasy spoon,
But I can’t “check in.”

Foreign face in toast
Conjures Instagram moment—
Also deleted.

Toxic media,
Begone from my existence!
Not you, silly blog.

Present in present,
I incubate baby pomes,
My little Om-lettes.

~*~

The Daily Prompt: Toxic

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You Are The Product

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How many times have we read that lately? I actually read it a long time ago and it made a lot of sense. Who the hell gives away anything for free? We always knew our eyeballs were being sold to advertisers, or we should have known. And of course it isn’t only Facebook ~ insurance companies, credit bureaus, Google, etc. all have your data. Sometimes you’re the product even when you pay for the privilege, like on Match dot com. Isn’t that a kick?

Several years ago I was searching for a fun Google map I had created of all the places I’d lived and traveled to, maybe a couple years prior to that. I was just poking around, as you do, wondering if it was gone forever, when I blundered into my total location history since the beginning of time. Whoa, what? I thought I’d deleted all that! I had a big sad as I emotionally revisited the restaurants and hotels I’d gone to with the man who broke my heart… and then I deleted my location history permanently up to that point. Well, I think it was permanent. Who knows? No biggie, except I don’t want to see all that ever again. I know the gobblement and Google and Russia and some creatures on another planet have it. Whatevs.

Oh, I found the fun map. Whoopee.

Some peeps on the Book of Face used an ad blocker, which I’m sure was very clever. I never bothered with that. But it turns out FB was still able to gather gobs of data from your phone logs and your friends’ profiles too. You could be locked up tight, but they could still sell you to people based on stuff your friends had public. Plus anything you “liked” was up for grabs to create a shadow profile of you to package and sell. One of my friends said she liked incorrect things to throw THEM off the scent. Maybe that helps. I have to say that my ads were pretty inaccurate as is. I didn’t hide my true self, and yet I was shown very few tempting ads all those years ~ where were the adorable kitty tee shirts, the romance novel 4-packs, the c00kie cutters, the stitchery stuffs? I saw loads of ads for real estate and spa trips, things I could never afford. I’m assuming they, whoever THEY are, figured anyone in Orange County must be wealthy. Wrong!

I’m not going to bother linking to the scary articles that tell us how much FB and Google know about us because we’ve all read them in the past week. Plus you can easily find them yourself if you haven’t. For me, though, FB was the least necessary of the bunch and the easiest to jettison (along with Messenger and Instagram). And yes, I’m going to keep talking about it as much as I want to, pffft. I do miss some of the interaction with FB peeps, but I accept that’s the price I pay for reclaiming a huge chunk of my free time.

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I watched an interesting movie on Prime yesterday called Paperback, kind of a writers’ movie and also a movie for the romance-cynical. No spoilers just a rec!

App Gap

Ever since I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Messenger from my phone last week I’ve had an “app gap.” What I mean is that I had two screens of 16 phone apps each, 4×4, all filled in, and now there are two missing from the bottom right of the last screen. I know you can all math, so yes I did “unbundle” my fitness apps or else there would be three missing. I also know you are all laughing at the idea that I have fitness apps. SHUT UP! I am planning on fitnessing at some point, and if that day ever comes, those apps will come in handy.

Initially I thought, hmm, I could d/l some innocuous apps I wouldn’t use much, like solo chess and another boring game, but that sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it? My idea is to spend less time involved in distractions from my projects. Without FB, maybe solo chess would suddenly become exciting. You just never know.

Then I had an epiphany. The adorable photo of Gatsby I use for my home screen had been pretty well covered up by my 4×4 app grid, but the two missing apps on the second screen reveal his beautiful golden eye and sweet little pink nose. Plus they remind me how I’m not wasting oodles of time on FB and Messenger meow. Win win! Embrace the gap! (You had no idea how OCD I really was, didja?)

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On a related unrelated note, I stumbled across this article a few days ago (I have a lot more time to actually read the news now, go figure). The advice was written for men by a woman (or someone with a female ‘nym) and says to delete all your dating site apps because they are rigged, not fun, and a waste of time. I agree with this advice 100%, despite being a woman and allegedly having so many more opportunities than men on the sites. Maybe if I were 35 I wouldn’t say “allegedly,” but I’m not, so I am saying it.

If dating were a “numbers game”—if exposure to more people meant dating more people—then people would just go to the nearest concert venue, introduce themselves to as many people as they can, and magically end up with a date. — Sophia Benoit, GQ

Yes, some people have managed to beat the odds and find someone via a dating site blah blah blah. So what? Some people also win the lottery. That doesn’t mean buying a lottery ticket, or 100 of them, is a good use of your time/money/energy.

DELETE ALL THE THINGS! Or don’t, wev. But I wrote four crappy pomes this week for my book of crappy pomes instead of BSing on the Book of Face, and I am feeling gosh-darned great about that.

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