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I’m Logging Out of Facebook

I'm Logging out of Facebook

About a week ago, I decided to delete the Facebook app from my mobile devices. I did this because all day long I would get notifications and updates. Most of the updates could have been turned off if I had spent some time customizing, but I didn’t want to deal with that. I felt that my phone had became too much of a distraction in my life and I wanted to get some part of that time back.

Over the last year I have noticed that I check Facebook much more often than I used to. I used to get on once a day for a few minutes just to see whats new. These days, Facebook has figured out how to get us on there more often and I believe they do it by showing us less of what matters to us. I have noticed that I don’t see much from the people who are closest to me. I have to scroll past a lot of nonsense before I actually reach something that matters to me. I know that part of this is due to the fact that I used to just accept all friend requests and this resulted in 4,500+ Facebook friends. In reality, I have probably have seen 100 of them in the last 2 years, maybe less.

I also had noticed that most of what I come across on Facebook is negative. It doesn’t matter if it’s a comment under a post I make or posts that are in my newsfeed, they are negative. I can’t share anything on Facebook anymore without someone throwing me under the bus for it. Sometimes my posts are snarky but often I post about my take on things. It is then that I get thrashed by people who are my “friends” on Facebook. Nobody honors anybody’s opinion these days. Nobody can just let a person have their opinion and make it known these days. Posting it online means that you are going to get crap for it.

I am not running away from confrontation or differences of opinion, I just realize where my time could be better spent. Social networks come and go and for the most part, the friends that are kept there are not friends, perhaps not even acquaintances. I will keep posting, but I won’t be checking for comments or responding to them. I will post to my blog, which posts to other places such as Facebook, Twitter and Google+.

I will continue to check Twitter because I have an interesting feed there. On Twitter, you can craft your news feed to contain posts from people you want to hear from. You can do this on Facebook, but it is not as simple as it is on Twitter. Twitter keeps posts short, so scrolling past long winded complains is a thing of the past. Google+, though not a popular social network with many people I know personally, has a lot of professionals who post valuable content that I find interesting. Because of that, I will continue to check Google+. Because Twitter and Google+ are not filled with ads and other nonsense, it takes less time to check them.

Why not just delete Facebook?

I have been a Facebook user since the day it became available to the public. At the time, I wanted something other than Myspace, which had became just as horrible of a place to spend time as Facebook has become. The problem is that I have a lot of content on Facebook. I have posted countless text posts, uploaded 1000’s of images and videos. I know that I can export them, but I don’t want them to go away. My wife, family and close friends are still on Facebook. If they want to tag me in something, I want my name to be there. I don’t believe that deleting Facebook is the answer. I never deleted my Myspace profile.

Since joining Facebook, I have gotten married and have had 3 beautiful children. There are a lot of posts and images that comprise a timeline of that chapter in my life. I may want to scroll though that from time to time.

I will be posting more to my blog

Rather than posting to a social network that will most likely go away one day, I will be posting to my blog. I started this blog in 2005 and had been blogging since 1996 when I created my first website with Frontpage. I have a photos feed on my blog that I have been posting photos to that I would normally have been posting to Facebook. To make it easy to go back and see photos by subject, I have been tagging photos. For example, you can see photos I posted during our Newport Beach vacation by viewing the Newport tag, or photos and posts from Nascar races by viewing the Nascar tag. People who care to can still post comments under my posts, photos or videos and they can do so without the Facebook ads and other nonsense. People who actually do post comments there will most likely be actual friends of mine who are not just trying to take me down a notch.

I have always been a big advocate of driving traffic to your own website rather than sending it to social networks. Most of what I write does get posted to this blog, my company blog or other sites of mine, now I plan to post all content to my own websites.

It will take some time to completely log out of everything that Facebook sends notifications to, but I will get it done. I have already deleted all mobile apps, logged out browsers and system updates on my Mac. I changed privacy settings to show a notice to those who happen upon my profile informing them that I am not logged in any longer. I am sure it will take me a few weeks to figure out the best way to keep Facebook active while remaining logged out.

Will I be back?

I am not sure. I am already enjoying other things rather than hoping for at least one positive post on Facebook for every twenty I scroll past. I have started catching up on blogs I follow and will even have some time to find a few more to read.

I finally got to a point where I realized that Facebook was a distraction that mostly brought negative energy my way. I will still get notifications of me being mentioned in other conversations because I have had many people tag me with questions. I enjoy being useful and love answering questions when I have a decent answer to provide. I will just provide whatever feedback is required through email or in person.

I will also continue to post to my Facebook pages. I have Facebook pages for my Photography business and my Marketing company. Facebook is still a somewhat decent way to keep a feed going with updates.

What could you do with your time if you were not scrolling Facebook all day?

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I think I have developed social anxiety

Don’t get me wrong, when I am in a public situation, I am just fine. The problem is when I have to figure out something to do with my spare time. It’s when there is no agenda that I have issues. I don’t have any problem being alone. I can do that all day, its when I have to figure out something to do where other people might be on their social time that I have issues.

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Dealing with Social Issues and Ignoring the rest

Liam Hill - Reuse of this image is strictly prohibited. This is my son.

We live in a time where people care more about social issues than the current health of our country. It’s like they don’t understand that the health of our country would render our social issues meaningless should we go so far down that as a country, we end up losing some of the freedoms we were born into. I was about to post a simple statement to Twitter and Facebook about how society has its priorities backward when I thought perhaps I should go a bit more into detail.

Before I go into detail I want to make this statement: This post is not about my take on the following issues, though I may insert my opinion to make a point. My opinion on these issues is not important. What is important is how we the people are handling our differences. You are no different than I. In my eyes, we are both people with the same rights and opportunities (I think it says that somewhere in the Bible and also in the Constitution of the United States). Though some of our likes, dislikes and choices may be different, we are the same. We were born the same and will die the same. Do not take what I say out of context. If you do so, I will make a public display of you on this post. The reason we are in the mess we are in today is because people take so much out of context and run with it rather than dealing with the bigger issues that will affect this country for not just decades, but probably centuries. I am also going to refer to our differences as “trivial” because they are trivial in the bigger picture of things. My personal issues are small compared to the national debt as an example. I would gladly put aside my opinion on a lot of things for a season to provide more focus to situations that pose a threat to our society as a whole. I call this “being an adult.”

I have had conversations with many people on different subjects who are so passionate about the particular social issue that they fail to see the poor state our country is in. Their social issue is so important to them that they fail to acknowledge the true issues we face in America.

This is definitely an era of change. Though I have only lived for 34 years, I feel like culture has changed extremely fast in the last 10 years. Don’t get me wrong, I am fine with change. What I am not ok with is ignoring issues that could eventually lead to our downfall. I am going to share some thoughts that many of you may not agree with, but I want you to read what I have to say with an open mind and carefully consider whether or not you are being selfish when it comes to focusing too heavily on your social issue of choice. Also keep in mind that by me mentioning these issues, I am not diminishing them at all. I feel that we need to take everything seriously and carefully consider the long-term implications of them. I just feel that we have not been acting on these issues in the right manner and it has led to us focusing on them rather than the issues that are ultimately plaguing our country.

  1. Racism – We are an advanced society, that as a whole, understands that racism is wrong. We the people can handle racism ourselves and do not need the Government to spend countless dollars helping us anymore. Let me use the recent Donald Sterling situation as an example. It came to light that Donald Sterling made some very racist remarks. Though it was in a private conversation, it was made public and there was outrage. Clippers fans, the NBA and the rest of the world acted and made an example out of him. There is no room for racism in this country. We didn’t need the Government to do anything in that situation, we the people, handled it on our own. There was a time when we did need Government to assist with the rights of minorities, but that time is over. We are an advanced society now, who for the most part, does not and should not treat anybody differently. If someone is treated differently due to ethnic background, it should be the people who step in and I believe we do just that these days. Our words are powerful. We can stand against racism on our own. When racism happens, we take to the streets, or social media as it’s called today, and voice our opinions. There will always be small minded people who will hate others, but we are strong enough to deal with that on our own these days. When it comes to choosing elected officials, it is important that we choose officials that are not race biased, but that should be a question answered and then we move on to bigger issues such as the financial state of our country.
  2. Same Sex Marriage – I am not here to take a stance on this subject. That is for a different conversation. What I do want to discuss is the fact that so many would choose an elected official based on their stance on same-sex marriage. This is such a huge social issue that it consumes a large portion of what these politicians debate about when they should be debating about how we will fix our economy and national deficit. We can’t blame politicians for arguing about this because we are the people who make it more important to talk about than issues that affect everybody. I am not saying that we should not talk about this just because it does not affect 100% of us. I am simply stating that if we do not handle the bigger issues that the US faces, we will end up being slaves to another country. We live in a country where we have the freedom to do and be a lot of things. Many of these freedoms are not accepted at all in other countries, namely the countries we owe a lot of money to.Here is my opinion, which will most likely not be popular with some of you: Get over your social issues for the time being and stand up for your country. All I, and many others see, is selfishness. I recognize that it is easy for me to say this because I am married, but if my country was falling apart, I would be able to set aside just about any injustice so I could pay attention to the more important issues at hand. This does not mean that we should forget about this. It is good to know the stance someone has on this subject, especially the stance of a potentially elected official, but that is it. Do not discount a potential good choice as an elected official over their stance on marriage. If we continue to elect the wrong people, marriage won’t matter for any of us.
  3. Religion – We used to live in a country where we had complete freedom of religion. Even though it is a right practiced by the people of this land since the early 1600’s, our generation is doing everything we can to tear it down. This is something that has been a right of the people for centuries, yet our generation has the audacity to decide that it should be stifled. I don’t care what the topic is, it is not one single generations job to change something that has that long of a history. We focus too much of our attention trying to remove things like prayer and words written on monuments, that has no negative effect on anyone. It is the selfishness of people who are not happy with themselves who feel the need to focus extreme amounts of energy on tearing down rights and monuments of others while our country loses more money than we can even fathom each waking day.
  4. Health Care – I do believe that in an advanced society, we should focus on being healthy and that means having something in place to help the citizens of the United States be healthy. However, putting the Government in charge is not going to do that. Each of us who earns an income in the United States now has to pay for the health-related issues of everybody. There are certain things that I think should be covered as part of being a US Citizen. However, I do not think that I should have to pay for the healthcare of someone who goes into liver failure because they decided to drink so much alcohol over a long period of time that their body could not handle it anymore. I recognize that this is not the case with each situation as some of these people will be paying a premium just like the rest of us, but many of them will not be.
  5. Public School System – The Government has turned our public school system into an assembly line. Students are taught to correctly answer tests rather than be expressive and artistic. Programs that schools used to offer such as art, music, woodshop and other electives have no funding. What we are funding though is programs that assure each student is being tested on a regular basis. No child should be left behind so we stifle creativity and the natural process for which children learn so we can make sure not one of them falls behind. The only way Government can control that, is with testing. We are failing our children by letting Government get carried away with their programs. The public schools that are succeeding these days are the schools that stretch the limits by attempting to offer the same experience that were available in the past. With our the arts, there is no way to stretch our minds. Even a scientist is made a better scientist by having experiences the arts. We are not giving our children any other option to excel at besides reading, writing, math or science.Now let me take a step back and suggest that we should not rely on the Government to provide these things anyway. As parents, we should be exposing our kids to things that will help grow and expand their minds. The problem is that parents believe it is the Government’s job to raise their kids during school hours. We let the Government feed our children 2 out of 3 meals each day while at school and teachers are often the only authority a child has over them during most of their waking hours. It is the job of our schools to equip our children with an education so they can get a job and make a living. It is the job of the parents of these children to do the rest including help them make these decisions that will affect the rest of their lives. Not all children come from families who can provide this, but by allowing the Government to provide things that should be provided at home, we raise children who rely on the Government for things that they should be providing for themselves. We the people, could and should provide these services, not the Government. The Government gives handouts, it does not help people better themselves. It enables people to stay down and reliant on them. People, especially children, learn nothing by being given something for nothing. Our school system needs to go back to providing education and safety while being education, nothing more. We can let organizations ran by the people provide the rest. There are plenty of programs out there for those who need assistance with their children. These days we make it too easy to let the Government provide for us. There is a time and a place for Government help but it should not be allowed to become a lifelong pursuit.
  6. Name any other issue here – We the people can handle things on our own for the most part. There is a time for Government intervention but very few of our current social issues actually call for that. Deciding to choose a Government official over another because of their take on a trivial social issue is simply not responsible.

I find it funny that we continue to call out our Baby Boomer parents as the source of the problem. We blame so much on them, but now it is our turn to make decisions and raise children. I don’t feel like we are doing any better, even with the example of our parents having been something we could have learned from. Yes it may seem like our parents had priorities that were not in line with what we as their children had hoped they would be, but we have an opportunity to be a generation that does not put our personal issues over the needs of those who will come after us. The problem is that we are not being that generation. We are the most needy and selfish generation the United States has ever seen. If we do not get our way, we throw tantrums and complain, like the children that we are. We take action on issues that affect us now and ignore those that will have a lasting negative effect for generations because we were not correctly taught how to consider the long-term effects of our decisions. My generation complains about their parents but I can only imagine the negativity that will come from our kids who for the most part were raised by other people because we were too busy fighting other fights that only seem to affect us in the here and now.

I recognize that topics like racism, same-sex marriage and religion are all things that need to be fought for. We are a country who has always stood up for its beliefs on topics and didn’t relent until the change took place. The difference this time is that our country is so in debt to other countries who do not share the same beliefs as us. Imaging where our freedoms would go should a major shift happen? We will be blaming each other for focusing too much on trivial things that could have waited. A responsible person would not go get another credit card to keep spending when all of their other credit cards are maxed out. That is what our Government is doing right now to create more programs that make it more necessary for the people to rely on them. Much of our current Government wants us in their pocket. They all have agendas, regardless of the party.

The last point I want to make is this: Ever since the inception of this country, we have fought for rights. I am not saying that we need to lay down on what we find important so we can get back on financial track. I am saying that our country is bleeding out and we are focusing on the wrong wounds. The fact that racism is still a thing and that people don’t seem to have equal rights is a big deal. We should continue to fight for injustice and stand up for those who are being treated wrong. What we shouldn’t do is ignore bigger threats to our country that will affect not only our future but the future of our children and their children. We are on a path that is setting our countries future up to fail. We are doing that by allowing Government to control too much. We are smart enough and strong enough to correct our own social injustices. We live in a time where we need to look at the bigger picture and figure out how to fix it before our Government and lack of concern for these issues run us into the ground. I think we fail to see how large the problem is. We think we are above reproach, but that time is running out.

I openly accept your opinions in the comments below. Keep in mind that this is not a debate of the above listed social issues. I mentioned topics so there would be context for this discussion. Your opinion may be different than mine, and I am ok with that. We are individuals who are allowed to have our own opinions. I think that we can all agree on the fact that if we continue on the road our country is on, our opinions on such issues won’t matter. Maybe we have to hit rock bottom before we can all agree. I really thought 9/11 was a wake-up call, but we quickly forget how to agree on something and go back to fighting each other over trivial matters.

Because I know that many of you will miss it, once again I am going to say that you are I are the same and deserve the same rights. We also deserve the right to fight for those rights so long as they are moral rights to have (the people should also control what constitutes morality, not the Government). I do not and will not judge you on your differences of opinion. I don’t have one single friend who even agrees with me on 50% of what I hold as values, and I am ok with that. The moment that I decide to surround myself with people who only share my opinions is the moment where I cease to grow as a person.

(Liam Hill – Reuse of this image in this post is strictly prohibited. This is my son.)

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The Social Consequences of Everything

This video had me cracking up because it sums up the comments underneath just about everything I post on Facebook.

Remember the 90’s when everything seemed more carefree? Of course at that time my generation was just a bunch of teenagers, so what did we actually know anyway? Regardless, where we have gone in the last 10 or so years is downhill. We can’t have an opinion about anything without someone else ruining it. If you stand for anything these days you will most likely get put down by others. Nobody praises you for having an opinion anymore, you get attacked for it. We will soon be in a place where nobody will want to speak up about anything out of fear of being attacked for having an opinion on something. Of course we will still let Government and Celebrities have opinions because it is ok to follow their lead. Sharing a video on something Ellen says is our way of taking a stance on something these days.

This video makes me laugh, because it’s so true. We can’t do anything these days without upsetting someone. We feel like our take on things is so open minded and accepting but in reality it’s not. In actuality, everybody is over-sensitive and closed minded because they cannot accept that someone else has an opinion that differs from their own.

I have a challenge for you. Instead of getting upset about somebody else’s take on something, spend some time getting to understand why they think they way then do about that subject. Respect their opinion and once you have enough rapport with them, give them your opinion and why it’s important to you.

We are quickly becoming a country segregated by our opinions. I can easily see this becoming something akin to racism. I don’t want to see our nation become a place where we treat people differently because of their take on trivial things. People are never going to agree on everything. What makes us unique is our individuality. Take that away from us and what do we have left?

You may disagree with me on this but I think people today are way too emotional about everything and are too soft as people. They can’t handle someone that disagrees with them because they were raised having everything the way they wanted it. We live in an option overload society. Everything comes in a million different flavors or variations so we can have it our way. If a kid doesn’t like something, the parent gives them options until they are happy. This just results in a bunch of adults who can’t handle the real world because it doesn’t come in their flavor.

It’s time we stop being irresponsible.

What is your take on this? I gladly accept your opinions below.

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Twittastic Networking in Modesto

Modesto Tweetup AvatarLast Wednesday about 50 Modesto locals collectively showed up at Hero’s Pizza to socialize and network. Those in attendance ranged from homemaker Moms to Presidents of large companies in our area. All of us had one thing in common, we all used the social network called Twitter. If you are unsure as to what this thing called Twitter is, watch the video titled “Twitter in Plain English“. The event was called The Modesto Tweetup (@modestotweetup) and was only advertised by word of mouth through Twitter itself. Less than a week before the event Lloyd Gomez (@lloydgomez) did some graphics for posters and a quick tee shirt design. Income generated from the shirt sales went to support the March of Dimes. I witnessed quite a few people including myself purchasing shirts. In fact I am wearing mine as I write this!

Modesto Tweetup Shirt

Using PeopleBrowsr.com we linked up 2 laptops to big screens which displayed tweets live on the screen so we could experience the reach a group of local twitter’ers have all at the same time. My laptop (pretty mac) and Daniel’s laptop (meh Dell) (@danielversola) ran the screens. Naturally, I brought a camera and took pictures which are available on my Flickr account.

This Tweetup was the 3rd in succession for Modesto, the first two were impromptu dinner gatherings. The success of the 3rd Modesto Tweetup spurred @lloydgomez, @danielversola, @BDUBweitl and @jeradhill (me) to start planning right away for the 4th Modesto Tweetup which is scheduled for May 20th at Hero’s Pizza in Modesto. The purpose of the Tweetups are to get together for networking and socializing. Our goal is to always have a philanthropic connection to each gathering such as our support of the March of Dimes at the Tweetup last week.

It will be exciting to see what happens at the next Tweetup. If you are a Twitter user, please make sure to follow @modestotweetup so you know what is happening. If you would like to get involved, feel free to contact me, we would love to hear your ideas.

See you on Twitter. Follow me at http://twitter.com/jeradhill