Eleven whole years I've been on Facebook,. Eleven. Whole. Years!
When I received my best wishes from Mr Zuckerberg, I was more shocked than appreciative! Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful for his love and always get giddy over his 'Happy Birthdays' and 'Friendversaries' but this one hit me.
I've been on Facebook half my daughter's life. Don't worry I put more effort into bringing her up than scrolling through my feed ;) but eleven years - wow!
I was first introduced to Facebook by a friend, she was impressed, excited and pretty insistent that I join. I told her I couldn't be bothered with that rubbish and carried on with my life...
Social Media Madness
As you guessed, I caved in.
Around six months later, my friend showed me her page, she then helped me to set up my own page and the rest is history!
After Facebook, I discovered Twitter, then Instagram and immediately felt the need to share my life with the world - what I had for dinner, what I was watching and how much sleep I'd had. You know, all the important stuff that the world simply needs to know...
Two years ago I began my blog, so I got a website, and another page for Twitter and Facebook and not forgetting Instagram! That's six, yes six social media pages to manage, to be honest, my personal pages are somewhat neglected and yet the world still revolves.
I entered the blogging world enthusiastically and nervously; enthusiastic to write yet nervous about etiquette, privacy and trust.
Social media gives so much information, some helpful and some not, just like the real world, and knowing who to connect with is hard, I mean how can you tell if a person is genuine without looking into their eyes?
I love blogging and I wanted to be good at it, I spent a lot of time drafting and scheduling blog posts, tweeting and posting regularly to get my stats up. I wanted lots of followers to make my blog successful and if I went a day without making myself known on social media, I'd worry that my blog would suffer.
I'll let you in on something, it does.
Yep, if I don't tweet, share a pic or publish a blog post my stats go down, it seems that the more active you are on social media, the more the cogs turn and show your posts opposed to other peoples.
So in short, to maintain my virtual life, I have to spend less time in my real life.
I refuse to do that because life is for living after all.
The Pressures of Social Media
Everything has it's pressures and we all know social media brings it's own.
I know social media can be both a help and a hindrance, and
I use it to communicate with friends and family. My blog also relies on it in many ways so it's useful to me.
On the flip side, I know people who have had chats misinterpreted, people who have been bullied and people who feel the pressure of living a perfect life, because that's often what's portrayed on social media. It's so easy to tap out a status, send an angry message or pretend life is okay by posting a photo. Too easy sometimes.
When my daughter was younger, I let her join Facebook.
We chatted about how amazing it was and also how it had the potential to cause problems so I set some rules:
That was the deal. Some may consider it invasive, I considered it parenting.
When I scroll through social media for my blog work, I come across people begging for followers, I hear the worry of being un-followed and there's an obvious stress about not having the time to publish another blog post because they're too busy. There are so many ways for us to be controlled by social media if we allow it.
We all want to be successful but there are enough pressures in life without adding virtual issues to the mix. Sometimes we're busy and that's life!
The love, the tears and the laughter - that's life.
Technology is amazing and will always be a massive part of our future.
Those who disrespect it will undoubtedly cause oppression and negativity and we all know there's enough of that in the world. If we respect social media it can have a positive impact on our lives, as long as we differentiate between our virtual lives and reality.
The key? Why live of course!
Life is about balance and it's most certainly for living, use social media, be grateful when Mr Zuckerberg wishes you happy birthday but don't forget to switch off too. In the grand scheme of things, numbers of followers and viewing stats don't matter.
Get offline, seek simplicity and rest assured your social media accounts will still be there when you switch back on. Not only that but you may be surprised to see you haven't actually missed much!
Make the effort to live, not just live but love and laugh too.
Sure it may be a statement that's over used, but I like it and living, loving and laughing? that's real life right there.
Didn't I tell you the months would fly by?! November is here!
The month that brings Bonfire night, Christmas present buying and my birthday! (Woohoo!) It was a big one for me last year, so I may be wiser ( I said 'may') and technically older but, you know me, I'm hanging on to that youth!
Anyway, let's leave the babbling there and get back to October.
It's been autumn filled, children filled and food filled (As always)
Jam packed times with the littlies
We had such an amazing weekend with the Grandkiddies!
Every brew I made went cold, I had enthusiastic helpers for everything and the rest of the world was pretty much ignored.
What's not to like about snuggles and bedtime stories? instead of reading one, we often make one up by each giving a sentence in turn. Our stories usually involve, trumps, poo, and a gruesome death by either of those two things! Oh and lots of giggles, of course.
Our days began with the important job of choosing from the variety pack of cereals, serious stuff. I showed my support by relieving them of the cinnamon flavour 😉
We had a yummy lunch at The Angel Inn, ham and jam butties all round! (No not together!) it went down so well, we apparently HAVE to have lunch there every time they visit! We shopped and we enjoyed some Kimi's Gelato which is a sunshine tradition! They played in our new garden in the autumn sunshine and we baked a chocolate fudge cake, topped with pirates of course!
(It was soooo yummy!)
It was sad having to drop them back home. When we returned home, neither of us could be bothered to even think about tea so we went to Mela! (Convenient!)
We went to bed early that night not because we wanted to but because we couldn't keep our eyes open! 😆
That Christmassy smell!
Give me berry candles, cloves, cinnamon, and any other Christmas smell you can think of!
The house smelled absolutely delicious when I made make the Christmas cake!
The traditional weekly shot of brandy for the cake (and one for me) has commenced! Hic!
I love fruit cake and soaking it with brandy can only be better!
This year I've made 4! Yes 4! I bought so much brandy that my local store thinks I have a problem!
Halloween just wasn't a big thing when I was a kid. In fact simply donning a black bin bag and backcombing your hair meant you were pretty much Halloween ready! 😆
When our girls were little, they'd dress up, arm themselves with a gory trick to justify the treat and skip down the street ignoring the rain! My daughter's trick was a joke eyeball and she'd pretend it was hers falling out! She always got rewarded with a treat!
This year I bought treats and we actually ran out!
In our old place I stopped buying them because no-one knew we lived there, I'd just end up eating them myself (Shame) this year was exciting! Giddy kiddies putting on their best spooky faces (I simply went mascara free for a scary look ;) and 20 minutes in the treats had gone!
We felt so bad that my husband drove out to get more supplies! Guess what happened? Yep he came home with sweets galore and only two more kiddies knocked on! Luckily he'd bought peanut M&M's so I can help out there!
October - done!
This time last year I was approaching the big 40! I'm sure I can remember every month so far and now we're in November!
My Christmas gift crochet plans have been delayed a little because I've been so cold I made myself some fingerless gloves and I'm on with a matching cowl! Needs must!
Oh and I've even discovered base layers! (I'm like a Michelin Man!)
I'm that 'always cold' person and I've seen a hilarious crocheted all in one for adults...
Oh, October was also the month my husband first muttered the words 'get your feet off me!' this year! They say 'Cold hands, warm heart' but what nice quote have they got for 'Cold everything'?!
Anyway, I'm babbling, as always, goodbye October and hello November!
(Any birthday cake will be welcomed!)
So when is Christmas chatter socially acceptable?
Yes I can hear you shouting 'December!' at your screen but hear me out!
Personally I'm thinking about it 1st September and yes I know, not everyone wants to hear it! Apparently it's too early to talk about it, or even buy presents, in September, yet come October people are counting the weeks down with dread.
Come November, people are starting to panic and when December comes around, hysteria hits as if there was no warning that Christmas was going to come around at all!
Isn't it obvious that grabbing those perfect presents as and when you see them is better than a Christmas Eve emergency selection box?
(I'm not criticising selection boxes, I miss them, please someone buy me one for Christmas...)
Surely this shows that Christmas chatter in September is actually organised festive planning? And you know, socially acceptable...
Preparation backs me up even more!
I'm talking Christmas cake, the gift list, homemade gifts , spreading the cost. wrapping as you go. Am I convincing you yet?
See, early preparation (& chatter) is helpful. 😉
While we're figuring things out, can I just ask, when did Christmas get so extravagant?!
Is it just me or do people seem to be re-carpeting their living rooms with Christmas presents? I guarantee this will be the case again this year - the photo's on social media prove that the ratio of present to child is bonkers!
I know we're not living in the 70's anymore (Ahem!) but things really have changed. When I was kid (Don't start) it was a small pile of gifts and a few more from family throughout the day.
Is waking up to a toy shop in the living room really going to help the littlies appreciate and value what they have? They can't even remember what they opened that morning on the conveyor belt of gifts.
Is it too much of a competition?
(The most Grinch-like I get)
Okay so let's say you're not interested in Christmas Chatter, you're not getting prepared and you couldn't give a mince pie whether the present/child ratio has gone bonkers.
(Mince pie 🤣)
Look me in the eye and tell me you're not engaging in some Christmas Consuming!
Have you or have you not;
Whether you're shaking your head sternly or not, I expect the real answer to at least two of these points is YES! And that my dear readers is Christmas Chatter/Christmas Preparation/Christmas excitement, whatever you want to call it and this is the point in my blog post where you're probably thinking;
'You know Sarah's right, lets talk Christmas!'
Hi I'm Sarah!
Blogger in The Lakes
I live in the beautiful Lake District...
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