Why I have decided to give up Facebook— and maybe it’s time for you too!

Facebook was one of the first social media platforms of our time, and it began to transform the country before it slowly crept across the world. I remember exactly where i was signing up for my Facebook: sitting in my little apartment in Morehead, KY.

This was the first platform I remember feeling stimulated from something, that gave you an instant craving for more. Each day you would check to see if anyone asked to be your friend- and you searched people by what college they went to -and you posted pictures with funny lines from family guy and friends- and it seemed innocent but exhilarating.

Facebook went through many updates/upgrades and each time everyone hated it, but embraced it, and then convinced all their friends to join this marvelous would of networking. The good ol days!

Flash forward to 2018… and why I have decided to give up FB and why you should ponder the question for yourself.

I have deleted Facebook because it has changed the way I view the world, the way I view politics, mostly the way I view people, but- I deleted Facebook because I found myself deleting people I have admired and looked up to my entire life- because of politics.

To give FB a fair shot, they are only part of the reason- but I’ll share a short story of what brought me to this point….

For the last few years, since a very partisan president took over, I never cared about anyone’s political views- and I still don’t. I have many friends who are Trump supporters and many friends who are not- but I have learned the big difference in the two of them- and I will admit my own guilt of posting Political propaganda- but what I am innocent of is attacking someone’s post on their own page. I just read on their page what “I believe” and nonsense- shake my head- but keep scrolling right past them and move on with my day. But my most recent of posts struck a nerve with me and really made me rethink some relationships with really important people who I have always thought to be such wonderful and loving and accepting people. And I am sure they still are- unfortunately 95% of our Facebook friends live no one where near us, so we begin to break down their lives and what’s going on with them and how they are feeling based on what they post.

So- to sum this all up- a friend made a comment to a discussion happening over a post I wrote about how disgusting I thought it was that the President mocked a woman who is telling her story about a possible sexual assault at a rally in Mississippi. His view on the situation hit me in a weird way that I deleted them. And then I decided that Facebook is just not worth the anxiety it brings to life and the silly rage that gets you stirred up to delete someone on Facebook. It’s laughable because I still will always be great friends.

Now, obviously this is not something life threatening or a psychological trauma for anyone, but to me it was a wake up call. Facebook has far advanced from what it started as and now has because a way to manipulate, spread lies, bully, and brag. It’s so full of fake propaganda and honestly- is impossible to believe half of what you read.

So– for the time being- I will make FB my photo wall and only share one of the things I love to do most- share amazing pictures to the world- politic free- opinion free- and a sure way to not have to make poor judgments about who I thought so highly of!

To wrap it up- get off of Facebook and stop chasing the exhilarating feeling of people liking your posts and go find other ways to give you the same high you are searching for!

1. Do one good, unexpected thing for someone each day- it doesn’t have to cost you a dime. Leave a nice note on someone’s desk at work or give a water bottle to a homeless person, compliment someone’s outfit or shoes.

2. Send a nice text to a long time friend to tell them you are thinking about them.

3. Help make this divided country better – don’t spread your propaganda on social media- go out and vote- that is the best political move you can make!

4. America is still great, it’s always been great, and we have come so far in making it the best place to live. We can’t go back to the 40’s and 50’s too many politicians who set aside party lines have made this country “All for one and One for all!” Let’s go back to those days!

5. Teach your children the right things! They are too young to care about politics – so don’t push your propaganda on them and instill hatred they don’t know. Teach them to learn all cultures around and to accept everyone.

Any person, animal, or tv show a young child interacts is an influencer on their thoughts and lives.

What kind of Influencer will you be….

Facebook can be very hard to give up- here are some Tips on how to fill the void:

*Follow blogs on your interests- travel, sports, healthy eating, running – you can find anything and have good reads and updates.

*Podcasts are awesome! Find a great comedian, follow pop culture discussion, some of my friends love murder mysteries!

*snapchat / instagram / twitter (choose what and who you follow wisely 😏)

*Audio books- I have listened to a few and have enjoyed it during long rides. It makes you keep focused on the road- and on the story!

*clothing store apps- this is a dangerous option – but a fun one. I recommend Nordstrom Rack, Macy’s, H&M, Guess, and American Eagle. I check the clearance tab on all them and it’s a great way to find great deals- and pass the time!

Do you ever get over the sadness of losing someone you loved so much? Yes— read some tips on how!

As TheTravelingGringo, very few things in my life have been more satisfying than coming home to the happiest little dog in the world. Sadie – the greatest dog (Boston terrier) to ever walk the Earth- has the same routine ever single time I got home from work or out of town or even the grocery store: she would follow me to the garage door, I would usually grab a little chewy treat to keep her busy while I got in the car and shut the garage door, she would finish her snack and make her way upstairs to my bed and burrow herself a cozy- full covered spot (every once in awhile with one or two of her legs out to fight the heat of the covers), and she would nap until I returned.

As soon as I would pull in the garage, she would unravel herself from the covers and stand on my bed and wait to here the garage door to the house open- and when it shut, just like clockwork, she would hop off the bed and travel down the steps making sure not to miss a single one (she once got too excited and missed a step and then tumbled down the rest) and would run as fast as she could to see me- little stub of a tail wagging just as fast as it could, usually dancing around in a circle. She would then jump over to the small couch and i would kneel next to it and she would kiss my face and rub her neck against mine as hard as she could. Once she had enough of the loving part of us being reunited, she instantly searched for a frisbee and hours of frisbee toss from living room to kitchen had begun. This was my way of winding down from whatever my life was throwing at me.

It’s hard to believe it’s been over a month since Sadie passed but like life, it doesn’t stop because you experience tragedy in your life. I kind of laughed at myself writing the word tragedy- but to me it was and life didn’t stop. I continued to travel and continued to try to live a normal life- which mine is anything but normal. All things remained normal for me, but I found myself lost in time and work and would pull in my driveway – park in garage – walk in door – and wait to hear Sadie jump off the bed .. and then quickly reminded that it won’t ever happen again…

This last trip of mine was of normal summer fashion- left a busy work week behind and enjoyed a busy vacation- flew directly from vacation to a weekend of presenting and training for 12 hours a day – two days in a row- wrapping up 11 days of travel. I was tired and not running on full brain power and as my delayed plane descended into Memphis, I was a little sad because I was preparing myself to not be greeted at home from an excited dog.

I pulled into the garage – came through the door- and walked straight through the living and out the front door to get the mail. Sorting through the junk mail, I noticed a letter that would change my life forever. It was from my young nephew and my mother had giving me a little warning about this…. she told me that he had approached her and wanted to send a card he made to his Uncle Josh… on a piece of paper, he wrote out Sadiebug- Rest In Peace- in his own unique writing style and made a little cross. Instead of it opening the flood gates, I found myself at peace for once. I had to stop feeling sorry for myself and turn the memories that would make me sad, into something that would make me smile and get a little giggle out of…

I could honestly write a full book on this chapter of my life -but let’s get to the real point of the blog:

How do you ever get over the sadness of losing something that you loved so much?

Here are some tips (to think about):

1. The most important thing don’t – you will have constant reminders and triggers that will make you feel some kind of way. This is normal – this is mourning- you will get through them!

2. Remove all social media for a couple of months. Sure that may be hard– but what’s harder is seeing constant reminders/triggers once again that make you feel some kind of way. Even when losing a pet, don’ erase them from your life, but take down that profile pic of you and your pet.

3. Start building your new life and the new you. Life is going to go on- with or without you- choose your own path!

4. Don’t get advice from all your friends and family. They will be quick to get it, but you probably aren’t ready for it. (When my dog passed, a close friend told me the only way to get over it is to get a new one- I nearly told that person to “f@#k off”- that may work for them, but they don’t know what’s happening inside this swirling head of mine. Same can be said over a breakup- “go on a date or sleep with someone new”- no- don’t do that- Do the opposite!

5. Time HEALS everything- even when time seems to stand still. Remember to take deep breaths- and approach the new you one day at a time.

6. This is not a week long process or a month long process. This takes years. To this day, I think about a loved one quite regularly- I wonder what they are doing, how their family is, how their pets are– and I leave it in the wonder stage- I don’t go investigate it on social media- or have friends find out- or cry about to my friends and tell them how lonely I am. NOPE- I leave it at the wonder stage along with so many other things I will never find the answer too. What we don’t know usually can’t hurt us.

7. Do surround yourself with loved ones- but not to treat you like a depressed widow– but to treat you the same way they always have.

8. Find humor in life and don’t sweat the small stuff… adding positivity into other people’s lives will help your own life become positive again!

9. End the pity party– like mentioned above — life is not easy. How boring would it be if everything was perfect all the time. No one would grow, no one would be able to find out who they really are and what they stand for. New people and new pets will enter your life.

And finally….

10. Don’t look back at your past! It’s gone forever- Blaze a new trail- it’s likely to end up better than the trail that got you where you are today!