20 October 2018

Lucky Sevens

What did I learn from ten days off social media and dramatically reduced news?

1. I missed my family.

2. I didn't miss the depression and sadness that often envelopes me when I read news.

3. I missed my blog and the blog community.

4. Just like every other day of the year, when my internet connection is not adequate or the sites I wish to visit are blocked, I had plenty of other things to do instead of spending time on the internet. It's become a way of life for me over the last five years, so that part didn't really change.

5. Most of the time I spent on my phone for the last 10 days was trying to duplicate photographed 7-point snowflakes in 6-point style, reading scriptures, and taking pictures. I get a weekly report now, after the last iPhone update, on Sunday nights giving me my average screen time. It will be most interesting to see the total tomorrow night because I think I was on the phone more than before my fast because I was reading scriptures (and General Conference talks) on my phone. I love the technology and ability to do that (or even read novels I've downloaded), no matter where I am or how bad my phone signal gets!!!

6. I still didn't get any sewing or quilting done, even though that was a goal.

If I ever do another social media fast, I probably will limit my news feeds again but not cut off methods of communicating with my family. I'm hoping I don't ever have to do another fast because one of the most important lessons I learned during the last 10 days is that I don't have to spend time grieving about the condition of the world.

A journalist at heart, I've been addicted to news feeds since I was a teenager. I set a goal to become a journalist when I was covering my first presidential election for my high school newspaper because I was so disgusted by the total vacuum of unbiased reporting, even back in the '70s. My teachers and later college professors had drilled into students the need to remain neutral, but none of the reporters I saw were doing that.

I fought journalism for a good 24 years, trying to make a difference and change what I could, without much real success at all. I finally abandoned the profession because it literally felt like a sinking ship. I still have newspaper ink coursing through my blood, but I do not miss the long hours, the negativity and the sensationalism.

I stopped watching most television in my early 20s because I didn't like most of what was being offered. I do not miss television at all.

And now, after this social media fast, I feel I can continue to pull back from the negativity and drama over which I have absolutely no control. The hunger to know everything that's going on every minute throughout the world is gone, although the craving still surfaces from time to time. During such bouts, I try to find a way to do something kind for someone else, and it's turning out to be the most wonderful substitute, equally addictive!

The other day, Lizard asked if I'm going to take snowflakes to Children's Hospital this year. I didn't get to last year because I couldn't crochet as much as I wanted, due to elbow pain caused by collapsed neck discs. I've been stashing flakes for kids all year long. When I told Lizard I plan to deliver a pizza box full of snowflakes around Thanksgiving, he asked if he can go, too, because he, too, wants to see the reaction of the staff when they open the box.

We don't get to see the kids' reactions, but the staff's reaction probably will send us to the moon and back, with plenty of enthusiasm to carry us all the way through the holidays.

Thank you to all those who hung in here at my blog, waiting for me to return, and leaving comments even though I was not reciprocating. It was refreshing to read all the comments last night and catch up on some of my favorite blogs. I learned my blog does not cause me depression or sadness (although inadequate internet access can still be a source of frustration), so I don't plan to take another break until the day I retire as a blogger.

There are days when I think 10 years is enough, and this is my 9th year. Most days, though, I can't imagine not blogging, although not having the pressure to come up with a new snowflake pattern every week sometimes seems like the ultimate vacation. I have about 10 months to decide, and being a woman, I could change my mind a million or seven times between now and then.

Of course, my blog hit the 7,000,000 mark while I was on my social media fast. Of course. Of course!!!!!!!

I noticed one day while looking for a snowflake pattern. I darn near missed the counter! I noticed all the nines four days before the actual rolling of the zeroes, and I calculated the magic moment would be about 1 or 2 p.m. Tuesday, October 16.

So, yes, I cheated. I set the tally-keeper to animated display (the only time during the entire 10 days I logged into Blogger), I took a few screen shots of my visitor total whenever I checked the weather (because, you know, it was just a couple more innocent clicks, and I didn't linger), and I peeked whenever I got a chance from about 11 a.m. Tuesday until 12:43 p.m. on the 16th. I got to see the number actually roll!!! That was awesome! What an adrenaline rush!

I was at work, where my website (and most anything fun on the internet) is blocked, so I was checking on my phone. It wasn't long before all my bosses and co-workers were looking over my shoulder so they could watch the tally climb, too. So the atmosphere was a bit festive, even though we had some severe limitations!

I think the coolest part of my newest collection of zeroes is that I just finished crocheting 50 7-point snowflakes for my parents for their Golden Anniversary, and 7,000,000 visitors to my blog just 10 days later is kind of like a crown of royalty!


  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! and I think your blog probably fills some spot for writing and telling someone in the world your thoughts about all kinds of things!!! so Please do keep it up! we need positive reinforcement every day , every one of us, it is like dropping a pebble into a pool and the waves keep going out further until they are not to be seen by the naked eye, but we have no idea of how far they really reach!! I admire your fortitude and commitment to your life and creativity!!! God bless and Take care!! from Iowa

    1. Thank you, Melody! This blog definitely does fulfill a journalistic and creative need on my part, yet it's a thrill to know someone else enjoys what I put into it! Blessings upon you, my friend!

  2. Huge number indeed at your feed. Yeah, we don't need to bother with the negative crap. Not sure if I'll ever give up blogging, but I'm not saying I'll post every day forever. Things can change. Always finding something to do is a win too.

    1. Thank you for sticking around even though I went computer silent, Pat. Your fortitude (and your rhymes and cat photos) inspires me!


Dusty words lying under carpets,
seldom heard, well must you keep your secrets
locked inside, hidden deep from view?
You can talk to me... (Stevie Nicks)

All spam is promptly and cheerfully deleted without ever appearing in print.

If you are unable to leave a comment and need to contact me, please use the email address in the sidebar. Thank you!

Related Posts with Thumbnails