Technology I Can’t Live Without

Today, I’m giving you a chapter of my book “Platitudes of Gratitude.” If you like it, and want to read the rest of it, you can pick it up here

Let’s face it, people, I am screwed in the zombie apocalypse. I would die without the creature comforts of modern living. My whole day focuses around technology.

Let’s start from the beginning.

7 AM – The alarm on my phone wakes me up. Neither my husband nor I have a wrist watch. There are no clocks in this house that is not on some sort of appliance, stove, DVD player, or phone.

7:30 AM – I’m making coffee in my Keurig. Let me tell you of the wonder and glory that is my Keurig. This mystical, magical contraption cuts that annoying wait time for precious caffeine to only three minutes. And there’s no wasted coffee if you have one of those weird days that you don’t finish a full pot. I’ve never had one of those days but I hear they happen. That’s not to say I drink it all. Most of it gets reheated five or six times in the microwave. This is usually due to a toddler that needs a peanut butter waffle (frozen waffles from the freezer made in the toaster), or he wants to watch PJ Masks (recorded on the DVR and played on the flat screen TV), or his walking, talking, romping, stomping, roaring dinosaur isn’t roaring or stomping (needs batteries and a software update only downloadable through Wi-Fi).

8 AM – Start laundry. I think this may be my downfall in the upcoming apocalypse. I have a difficult time imagining myself on the bank of a river using a washboard or rocks to wash my yoga pants. I wash them on delicate with Woolite by themselves. I will not have them mingling with my husband’s Simpsons boxer shorts. It’s bad enough I do. And the direct result of that mingling is why I go through a pot of coffee a day. I hang my yoga pants on velveteen hangers to dry. No outside dry line for them. In fact no outside for them. At all. Now that I’m thinking on it, the zombie apocalypse may result in me becoming a nudist. Or a zombie. Or a naked zombie.

I would go on but I think you get it. I’m pitiful without the wonders and beauty of modern technology.

Throughout the day is me on my phone. Ahhhhh, my phone. dear gracious Goddess how I love my phone. In the event zombies begin to take over the world I would be one of the first to know. That would be from someone updating their Facebook status. Even then, I would be likely to comment, “Pix or it didn’t happen.”

Can we talk about Facebook, for a minute? Or sixty? I am one of those people everyone makes fun of. And I’m OK with that. Facebook has allowed me to do something I strain to do in real life: Socialize. The advent of social media has been a gift from the Gods to introverts all over the globe. Finally, I can talk without stuttering, sweating, or passing out in a pool of my own vomit. Facebook particularly has been helpful in battling my social anxiety.

Unlike a bar or store, I can look up your profile and see if we have anything in common. Mom of toddler (check), homeschooler (check), loves Disney World (check), doesn’t watch The Walking Dead and finds it stupid that everyone is crying over who Negan killed (we were so close to being best friends).

The best part of Facebook, in my opinion, is that I can stay connected with my parents and friends back in Philly. I live one thousand one hundred eighty eight miles away from my parents. That’s a seventeen hour and forty five minute drive without stopping or delays. With Facebook, I’m able to keep my parents updated on birthdays, holidays, homeschooling lessons and projects, and potty training. They get to see pictures of art work, haircuts, and the occasional nap time. I’ve been able to keep my family together through photos, videos, and status updates. It helps make it a little easier being away from them.

Facebook has also been an effective business tool. I would have never know how to promote or market my first book. I would have never known about Nanowrimo. I would have never known how to make a thousand dollars a day just by posting pictures, updating my status on Facebook, and wearing cute shirts all day. I would have never known my exes got married to women that look like me. The techniques I’ve learned about marketing on Facebook are good not just for business.

In a society where people have their heads in some sort of mobile device, communication skills have declined. No where is that more evident than on social media. Case in point, the cold message. You would never walk up to someone in the store and tell them to buy your product or join your team. Yet, that’s what we see everyday in our inboxes. Between weight loss and makeup girls messaging me all day every day, I’ve started worrying that I’m not as cute as I think I am.

“Hey, girl, hey. I’m not sure you saw it but I just joined Totally Awesome. And you can tell by the name that the products are totally awesome. And so is making money. You look like someone who is awesome and likes to make awesome money. You should join my awesome team. It would be totally awesome.”

No. Just no. This is not totally awesome. And my name is not girl.

What I know isn’t awesome is cold messaging. In my time with at home businesses I’ve made an effort to learn how to add friends and make connections. The biggest lesson has been how to build real relationships with people. Not just friending but making friends. I’ve been noticing more and more marketers heading in this direction as opposed to the inbox route.

It doesn’t take much to say, “Hi.” From there you can move on to the more advanced, “How are you?” It’s almost like having a real conversation. It’s not a herculean task. There are more at home marketers learning these techniques and teaching it to their teams. Remember, kids, spam marketing practices do not work in this day and age.

Now if we could work on the dick pictures next, that would be great. When did that become a thing anyway? Oh well. With the greatness of Facebook must also come the short, shriveled, and hooked to the left plague that is the dick pic.

I have been able to reconnect with some good people from my past. I am grateful for that. And I’m grateful for them. These were the people that made high school bearable. They’re the ones that stuck with me through some of the darkest times I’ve been through. It only makes sense to me that I get to say, “Because of you, I get to have the best times now. Thank you for being a beacon on the shore.”

Speaking of the past, I do enjoy getting friend requests from people who made my life miserable. The girl who tied tampons on my overalls, the boys that stole my backpack once a week, my narcissist ex who recently got served divorce papers. I’m sorry, loves, but if you didn’t support me when I was struggling to make this dream come true then you don’t get to see pictures of me at Disney World or in Philly, random statuses about how amazing my daughter is at art, or videos of me singing about tacos. Sucks to be you.

I think one of the best things about Facebook is the sense of community that comes from finding your tribe. How cool is it that I can connect with other homeschooling moms of toddlers and teens that love Halloween, writing, Tim Burton films. The only difference is they live in England. I would never have met these wonderful, shining people were it not for social media.

And yeah, at the time of writing this, Facebook has become a political battleground. Trump vs Clinton. Liberals vs Conservatives. Democrats vs Republicans. Us vs Them. This election cycle is a wreck of a circus train where the elephants and donkeys are making monkeys of the audience.

I’ve said it before but it’s worth repeating. I’m not friends with anyone because of who they support or vote for. Unless you’re in favor of an Adolf Hitler presidential ticket with a Charlie Manson vice president and Emperor Nero as secretary of state, you can sit with me.

I know the world isn’t all sunshine, glitter, kittens, and rainbows. And that’s OK. The people I chill with are real people trying to make real, positive change in the world. That’s my vibe. That’s my tribe. And I’m grateful I found them.

Out of all the wonderful technological advances we have in our modern society, the one I am most grateful for is social media. Snapchat filters are fun. In fact, I have a rather unhealthy obsession with Snapchat filters. Instagram is a great little mini blog platform. But Facebook has allowed me to share more of myself with the world. More than I ever could have imagined. I’ve been able to share my daughter growing up, my pregnancy with my son, my divorce, my marriage. My life.

Through the years I have met people who have become true friends even though we live miles and oceans apart. I’ve met teachers, mentors, and guru guys that have helped me step into my role in this world more fully. I’ve been able to learn more about my family while sharing more with them. And I’ve been able to defeat the age old question of socialization and homeschooling.

Facebook. To answer the question at the start of this, Facebook is the technology I am most grateful for. It has allowed me to be more. More social. More creative. More involved. More connected. More myself. And anything that helps an introvert feel more comfortable is always a good thing. Despite the endless updates and political vitriol, Facebook is an amazing tool that I’m grateful for.

Whoa. I’ve got to go. I need to post a picture of my cat sleeping in a sun spot. And for that I am grateful.


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