Detox · Personal · Self Care · Social Media

T-Minus 4

Today marks 4 weeks until my social media detox is over. 3 months has felt sluggish and yet sped by. Can I go back to the main social media platforms? I still have one more month of chosen quiet. I don’t know that I’ll return. If I choose to it’s to keep in contact with a select flew.

Part of me wants to scrub it from my life. Even to add into the mix Good Reads. Recently Jesnevertheless made a great point. She mentioned how sites like Good Reads has turned the joy of reading into a competition rather than a means to share one’s love of reading. I’m a sucker for a reading goal. This year I’m barely over half way to my own reading goal and that’s ok. Instead of focusing on enjoying the books I’m reading I could be internally freaking out I’m not going to reach my 2021 challenge. My focus is misplaced.

I also, have felt like book blogging is in its self a competition of sorts. It doesn’t help that I NetGalley request splurge like a drunk going on a shopping spree at midnight. I’ve felt convicted in this department. No more requests!

So will I be back on the usual social media suspects next month? Potentially and possibly not. I have provided direct contact to a few friends and for the most part there has been silence during my detox. Maybe they thought I want privacy or something. Who knows. All I know is that social media is a communication crutch to replace direct communication. You’re viewed like you’ve died if you leave the platform and welcomed back when you return.

Book Review · Books

Red Lip Theology

The title sucked me in and the contents through me out of my comfort zone like a touch down in a football game. This book dropped me headlong into what it’s like to be a black woman in the black church. I’m as much of a white girl as you can get, so this was a cultural journey I got to experience through the eyes of Candice.

The author was raised by her single mom. Though they didn’t always see eye to eye they still loved each other throughout their disagreements and tears. When suddenly Candice’s mom passes she discovers just how toxic the church can be when she was needing her church family the most.

This book is Candice’s faith journey, her experience of the being raised in the black church and how it shaped her. Not only does Candice share about how she’s come into her own faith, but how stepping outside the spiritual system she was raised in has helped her grow in ways she wasn’t expecting.

I’ll be honest. I facilitated between agreeing one moment and the next trying to not be horrified. I have had my own outside of the box journey and dipped my toe in areas of spirituality that I’ve skedaddled from in abject fear and repentance. We won’t know otherwise unless we explore. It’s not easy to decide to journey to what can be viewed as the wrong side of the spiritual tracks.

I received my complimentary digital copy of Red Lip Theology by Candice Marie Benbow from Convergent Books, care of NetGalley. The views shared are mine and fully my choice. If you are looking for a book on faith that will challenge your old school ways then I recommend checking out this upcoming 2022 title. I think I’m still mentally processing all I’ve read. Thank you for being bold when others would rather you be silent. Thank you Candice.

Detox · Personal

One Month

It’s one over 1 month of being off major social media platforms. It’s been silent like a tomb. It’s like taking a step outside a snow globe. I’ll be honest. It’s lonely. Will this fact sucker me to return after my detox? I’m not sure. We shall see come January.

Personal

Dear Gabby

Dear Gabby,

Your case has captured the world. I’m just sad it had to be because you had to end up being a domestic abuse statistic. It should have been prevented and averted.

I’m sorry that the police didn’t see the real signs and save you. You were so distressed and upset, while Brian was being all cocky and chatty with the police. There was no real concern coming from Brian that you we’re having an anxiety attack of sorts.

My personal observation from watching the police body cam footage was disturbing. Being condescending towards a woman in true distress is infuriating. Gabby was petrified and her distress seemed to be played down instead of being taken seriously. A little spat wouldn’t have someone being as upset as Gabby was. If she was the true aggressor in the fight with Brian she would have been angry I’d think, but no she was extremely upset.

Your case has brought to mind that abuse is not merely something that can be physical. It can be emotional, psychological, financial and spiritual. Culturally we just think of it as being physical. How many are out there, both men and women, who are being psychologically and emotionally abused? No, physical signs that show red flags. This abuse can seem invisible unless someone is brave to speak up.

I hope your case will open the door to more conversations about DV and how as a society we can become more aware of the signs. You won’t have died in vain. Thankful your parents are working to help others escape it.

Book Review · Books

Carry The Dog

Some books burrow a place into your soul. Carry The Dog has done just that. The last page has been read and my brain is reeling from this novel. This novel is NOT for kids or teens. If you are sensitive to dark topics then you may want to proceed with caution. It’s dark. Pitch black, can’t see ANYTHING in front of your face. The only thing you can do is listen to the main character, Bea’s thoughts.

How do you survive a childhood overshadowed by a famous mother? To have a parent whose loved and hated by society for producing what she considers art? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but what if that perspective is twisted and marred?

Bea is on the cusp of the big 60 and her childhood that she thought was ‘normal’ keeps throwing her flashbacks. She’s trying to survive. One cig and drink at a time. Thankfully she has her younger sister, of sorts, Echo to keep her grounded.

When Bea’s ex tries to worm her into agreeing to allow someone to do a documentary on her mom she’s confronted with a past she’s trying forget. How does one process trauma? She thought ignoring it would make it disappear, but when Bea tries to confront her aging father, she realizes sometimes you’ve just got to dive into the pig sty and face crap head-on.

This novel tackles the intricacies of family on a whole different level. What is a family? Can a fractured one be pieced back together? Is it possible to pick up the shards of a disassociated self and make her whole again? How does our own perception morph between childhood and adulthood?

I received a complimentary physical and digital copy of Carry The Dog by Stephanie Gangi care of Algonquin Books and NetGalley. The views are mine and of my own volition. Thank you Stephanie, Algonquin Books and NetGalley. This novel is Gone Girl level on the psychological front. I almost couldn’t stomach it, but I’m glad I did.

Detox · Self Care · Social Media

Detox Week 2

Today is 2 weeks of me surviving being off of social media. It felt at first challenging to not want to log on, but now that I’ll be going into week 3, that urge is dissipating. I think I’m starting to get used to the silence. It’s like being invisible, though you are very much alive.

Will I return come January 15th/16th? I might. I might not. Will returning change anything? The only thing I see it changing is providing an easy way for people to stay in contact. That’s it. Will people reach out more when and if I return? I highly doubt it. Maybe I’m transforming into a pessimist, but when society lives virtually is it really all that surprising?

True connection has been turned into a little box to type, add cute emoji’s to match the mood and sentiment. Sterile. As a society we’ve settled for digital affection. Our brains have gotten used to our Pavlovian response to notifications. Will our virtual life get likes? Does anyone give a bleep? It seems we are gradually going from flesh and blood humans into technical beings. Is that progress? Honestly I believe it’s by design, planned and not an accident. We’ve become digital zombies and that’s what they want.

Detox

Detox Interview

Thanks to my BFF Ashley who inspired me to join her in a 90 day social media detox. She thought it’d be fun to interview her on how her detox is going so far. Below are her thoughts and answers to my questions. Enjoy. It just may inspire you to join us.

What inspired you to do a 90 day detox?
I was on my phone too much. Mainly on FB. It’s highly addictive and there is mostly politics on there. It’s really depressing now. You’re hearing you get reprimanded for certain posts. I find myself scrolling for no reason. Now I don’t see the point with FB, they’re silencing people. It’s become not a respectable company. Social media is addictive. Doctors have said it’s a bad habit of hunching over and people don’t talk to each other any more. For example when, having family time family members will just be on their phones. The evolution of technology is doing more harm than good.

Why did you pick 90 days instead of 30?
I think 90 is more of a challenge. Having a longer time to go without it is more beneficial.


What positives have come out of this so far? I’m more productive. I feel relieved, liberated and free. I don’t have the urge to check my social media. I’m able to concentrate on certain things. Now when I get off work I immediately plug my phone in to charge it and leave it there.

What negatives have come out of this so far? I find myself having the urge to check my phone to check the time. I only check my email and text messages. It shows how the addiction to technology has developed. If you don’t check your social media when you have it you may get anxiety.


What advice would you give to someone contemplating taking a detox off social media?Start small. For example try to set an alarm to only check your social media for a certain time frame. Get to a point where you challenge yourself to be off it for 90 days and see how it affects you, good or bad.

Detox · Social Media

Detox: Day 7

Well today marks day 7 of being off major social media platforms. Boy is it quiet. It truly puts into perspective how a lot of communication is strictly virtual via a social media platform instead of by direct communication.

Honestly it’s depressing. Maybe others feel like they want to give me the personal space while I do this 90 days of no social media. On the other hand, it’s proving that as soon as I jump back on I’ll probably get an assortment of “Welcome back,” comments. Though I’ve been accessible this whole time.

Am I going to return to social media? The depressed side of me is like, “I can’t not go back….how will people keep in contact with me easily?” The healthy side of me is like, “Why shackle yourself again to the addiction?”

A week in feels like it’s been months. That’s just how tough this detox is. And to think I still have a long way to go till 1-15-22.

Detox · Social Media

Detox Day 1

Recently one of my best friends shared she was going to do a 90 day social media detox. I thought that sounded like a great idea. A month detox is good, but a 3 month detox sounded epic. If you can change a habit within twenty something days, then you could really change a habit in a big way after 90.

It’s weird to be off the grid minus Good Reads and blogging. It feels like I’ve entered my own private cave and all the worldly noise is gone. It will be interesting to see if anyone directly contacts me. I highly doubt it. That fact alone speaks volumes about social media. It’s a communication crutch. Yes, it’s easy to update multiple people all at once, but is it truly personable and do people truly bare their soul online? Only the occasional person does.

I’m excited to see how many books I can finish by the end of the year. I doubt I will reach my goal of 100, but that’s ok. I just want to enjoy reading for once.

Book Review · Books

I Won’t Die Alone

Do you like comic books and/or graphic novels? If so, you might enjoy this short book about the end of the world that’s filled with different types of quotes with modern cartons of animals. Maybe it’s my mindset, my mood, but I know artwork is in the eye of the beholder. You either love it, or not so much. Sadly I’m in the last category. I wanted to like this book, but for some reason the artwork brought back Richard Scarry’s short story: Goodnight Little Bear. That artwork creeped me out as a little kid. I think for me it’s just not my personal cartoon style preference.

I received my complimentary digital copy of I Will Not Die Alone by Dera White and illustrated by Joe Bennett. The views are mine and my own choice. Please don’t let my review detour you. Check out this comic later this fall.