August 22, 2023

A Break From Social Media

First, I am sorry for not saying that I was going to take a break--I had no idea I was going to do that, actually. I realized on Tuesday that I was burnt out--I really needed a break from my computer, from social media, from all of the negativity online. I'd read a few not-so-nice comments, and after a super rough year, I closed my computer and chose not to write that day. (Which turned into a week.) It makes me sad that people are so mean to each other on social media.

Jerry's and my 20-year wedding anniversary was on Wednesday, and while we didn't have plans, I didn't want to even look at my computer. I wanted to have a great day with him. He actually had an entire week off after getting home from Texas, so it was a good time for me to take a break. 

Maybe I've just gotten more sensitive over the years, but if there is one thing that I have learned, it's that a lot people definitely don't follow the "Golden Rule": Treat others as you would like to be treated. On social media, I think of it as: If you don't have something nice to say, just move on. It's so simple!

Ain't that the truth.

I will never understand people that choose to spend their time arguing in comment threads, writing nasty comments, hate-following, etc. Over the years, I have used social media less and less. I turned off ALL Facebook notifications several years ago, and it was the best social media decision I've ever made. I only look at Facebook about once every couple of weeks, mainly to reply to any messages I may have.

I like Instagram, but mostly for looking at memes. I don't use Twitter, Snapchat, TikTok, YouTube (unless I'm looking up instructions for something), or any other form of social media. I use Pinterest, but not for the social aspect of it--I just use it when looking for ideas (usually recipes and crafts).

The worst is on Facebook, where a lot of people look for things to be offended by or to argue about. Even something like a news article from my local newspaper about opening a new restaurant nearby causes a big argument in the comments. I just don't get it! If I'm going to spend time on my computer or my phone, I want to spend it looking at or reading things I enjoy.

On Jerry's and my anniversary, we pulled out our "memory box" and sifted through 24 years of memories  (we started dating in 1999, married in 2003). We have a few newspapers in there; our wedding was the weekend of the big blackout that spanned across several states, which was obviously huge news. We also have newspapers from the kids' birth announcements, and from a few times when someone from our family was in the paper.

And you know what's kind of funny? When we came across a newspaper that had a photo of my kids and Joey (they'd asked for readers to submit local photos), I found myself reaching my hand over to enlarge the photo with my fingers! Hahaha, I was so used to looking at photos on my phone, it was a habit. It hit me then--reading an actual newspaper means you can avoid comments altogether. I told Jerry: "Look how awesome this is! There aren't any comments to make people feel bad. I miss the days when people just read the newspaper; maybe they felt the same hate back then, but they couldn't share it with thousands of other people."

(At that moment, I remembered the newspaper had also posted those reader-photos on Instagram--and someone commented on this picture that it was cruel to let Joey play with the kids when the water was obviously so cold. BAHAHA! Yes, I forced him to play with the kids out there and pose for a photo.)

Anyway, Jerry and I had a lot of fun going through all of the stuff we had in our memory box: movie ticket stubs (from as far back as 1999!), cards and notes we've given each other, advice cards from our wedding guests (instead of a guestbook, I set up a table with note cards on them and asked guests to give us their best marriage advice). Sorting through those was bittersweet; there are several people that have passed away since then, and reading their advice, written in their own handwriting was kind of hard. But nice.

After that, I just decided to take time away from social media (including my blog) for the week with Jerry. We didn't have special plans, but it was a relaxing, stress-free week. And it was exactly what I needed! I was able to eat regularly--breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. Sitting at the table. Enjoying my food. Cooking new recipes. I even went for a run! (Not a long one, but a run nonetheless.)

I realize it may seem confusing that I am relating those things to social media. They aren't, but the negativity affects my mood, and my mood affects my actions.

Early on in the week, I made an impulse decision to disassemble my denim quilt--the one that I made with my jeans as they got too big when I was losing weight. (Nothing to do with social media--just something I thought would be fun.) I am going to put it back together, but in a different way. I had no idea just how long it would take to disassemble the quilt! There are 289 squares, if I remember correctly. I'm waiting on a 4-inch square template to use my rotary cutter to trim all of the squares the same size. (When I made the quilt in 2010, I used scissors--how I didn't get carpal tunnel back then is beyond me!)

Other news: I am about to pay the final payment on the Jeep--two years early. When we bought it, I set up the payments to be automatic, with extra money added to the payments, to get it paid off as quickly as possible. Now, we're able to roll those payments seamlessly toward the house payments. And barring any sort of unexpected expenses (ha!), we should have the house paid off in October of next year.

We also canceled our Amazon Prime membership! We had Prime since the very early days (I think 2006 ish). Recently, I had a big issue when trying to return something to a third party seller (the dimensions on the listing were incorrect, so it was too big; and it arrived damaged), and Amazon refused to honor their A-to-Z guarantee. I was charged $44(!) for return shipping, after I'd already sent it back. So, I canceled our Prime membership.

It turned out to be a GREAT decision. We used to spend way too much money on Amazon because it was so easy to just make a few taps on our phones and 30 seconds later, it was on the way. Now we can't order something so quickly and easily. We have to have a minimum order of $25 to get free shipping, so if there is something we need, I just add it to the cart and wait until we have a minimum order that is over $25. The balance on our Amazon credit card? NEGATIVE $75! After I'd paid the balance, a refund went through and now we have a negative balance.

The shipping without Prime also takes a LOT longer, so impulse buying things that we want *right now* has lost is allure. I've been waiting nearly a week for the template that I ordered for my quilt. I actually should have just gone to Hobby Lobby or JoAnn's to buy one, but I thought that maybe the shipping estimate was longer than reality (I was wrong).

I had planned to write a post yesterday, but I completely forgot that Jerry and Eli had a softball game (I like to go to the games) so I decided to wait until today--giving me a full week off. And it was exactly what I needed! I feel happier, I've gotten back into a good routine, and I am working on creating better habits.

A very well-known blogger that I used to follow just stopped writing one day nearly two years ago. There was no post saying that she was quitting blogging, and she hasn't updated any social media (that I know of). I think of her often, and I really hope that she and her family are okay. Of course, she doesn't owe anyone an explanation, regardless of her reasons for quitting blogging, but it's hard not knowing whether she's okay (I'm sure it is for her other readers, too).

So, unless something tragic happens, I'm going to be sure to write a final post before quitting. I will definitely take some more breaks when I feel like I need them (hopefully with a notice), but right now I am happy to be back and in a better headspace :)


  1. So glad you posted. I was actually going to comment on the last one saying just that, you owe no one an explanation, but that I hoped all was ok. Just because you usually let us know when you take breaks. From a kind person to another, I care. I come to your blog everyday and read. But you have to do what is best for you! And people who are at$$holes can go eat rocks. I agree, people can become keyboard warriors and be so cruel. We never k ow what others are going through and mean comments are just so unnecessary

  2. I was wondering! Glad you're back !

  3. I'm glad you had a good break and are in a better headspace. I'm on holiday at the moment and it's great to have a break from work, school and the house, even though it's not exactly a peaceful holiday. Maybe you could plan to take breaks from writing when ever Jerry has a week off. I hate working when my other half isn't.

  4. I am happy to hear that you are ok, was worried about you. Love to read your posts but I get that you need a break just like everyone else does. Enjoy your time with your family.

  5. Happy anniversary to you and Jerry! Count me among the readers who were mildly concerned, but very glad you enjoyed your much-deserved break.

  6. Take as many breaks as you need! Your well-being is more important to those of us who appreciate your blog. Anyone who is rude or nasty needs to get a life and learn to love themselves.

  7. I missed you, I'm happy you're back! I was getting worried but I was hoping you were just on a social media/blogging break! I actually said to myself yesterday if she doesn't post this week, I'll DM her on Instagram. But then I thought well if she's on a social media break I guess that defeats the purpose ;) Sounds like you had a wonderful week off together!! These breaks are definitely well needed. I hate reading all the negative comments on things too. But I also keep getting sucked back in to social media :( It can be so draining

    Also I LOVE that pic of Joey and the kids in the lake. I cannot believe someone posted such a negative comment! You literally cannot post anything these days without at least one negative comment. It's so frustrating

  8. oh, so happy you are back writing.

  9. I am hearing more and more people (especially bloggers and influencers) talk about how great they felt taking a break from or limiting their time on social media. I can't understand how people can be so cruel and why they would be unless they're just that unhappy, but still. I hope you don't stop posting, but I understand if you do. I have a blog too, and I only post once a week. It keeps me in contact with people while not putting a lot of pressure on me. Maybe that or something like that would work for you too? Whatever you decide, you have a lot of people who support you. :) I have been toying with canceling Prime as well. I think it's a great idea. Inspirational.

  10. I was thinking the same as some of the other folks: hoping you and your family were ok. A break is definitely understandable! Glad you are all ok.

    I laughed at you trying to enlarge the newspaper photos. One thing I sometimes do is try to turn actual pages on my Kindle - somehow I can't grab them, LOL!

  11. I appreciate that you won't leave us hanging...

  12. So happy you are back and that you are doing well! I enjoy your honesty - I find it so refreshing!

  13. I’m glad you’ve had a relaxing week off. To echo a previous poster you don’t owe anyone anything and if you need to take a break or even stop writing your blog for the good of your mental health that’s what you should do. I like reading your blog because I think we have a similar mindset. I was brought up to treat others as I would like to be treated. A few bloggers I have followed in the past have ceased blogging sometimes with a message and sometimes not, and it always feels like a small bereavement however hopefully they are living happily (free from the evils of social media).
    Congratulations on paying off the Jeep and I’m thrilled that you are so close to paying off your house. You sharing your financial struggles and how you tackled them really helped me to create my own budget and 4 years later I am in a much better place financially (because of you!). I’m about 20 years off of paying off my house because your advice helped me buy a bigger one. There are horrible people out there whose actions are directly or indirectly affecting you, however I hope it helps to know that your actions are also directly and indirectly making the world a better place too.

  14. Glad you are taking time for yourself! You can't always take care of your online family and take care of yourself and your actual family alllllll the time!

    I wonder if we followed the same person who suddenly stopped posting. I'm seriously worried that something bad happened. I've even tried to google her name, and nothing ever comes up. It's very unlike her to just drop everything.
    In that, I appreciate that you would let us know if you ever stop your blog. :)

  15. Welcome back!! I was worried about you, but also knew that you could take care of yourself and you would come back when it was time. There is so much to love about this post. Congratulations on your financial choices.


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

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