Saying Goodbye to Facebook (Kind of)

I had quit Facebook. Well kind of…

Coincidentally, right around the time the whole Cambridge Analytica thing came to light, I decided to quit Facebook. It didn’t have anything to do with the news, as I found the entire thing to be a complete joke. I had been tossing it around for a while.

A while back, my mother told me something that my 4 year old daughter had said to her. She told my mom that she didn’t want a cell phone when she grew up, because her dad was always looking at his. This made me angry, mostly because it was true. I run a business, so I get many emails and messages requiring immediate customer service. But, I won’t feed that line to you. I used to tell myself that one all of the time. Everyone uses excuses. It was a Facebook problem.

I’d never really be doing anything productive on Facebook. Mainly it was just thumbing through my news feed, looking for someone to piss me off. That would happen multiple times a day. In today’s political climate, everyone has all kinds of people shoving their beliefs down your throat, and virtue signaling like you wouldn’t believe. Why did I need that?

I had read an article a while back (I don’t remember where) that talked about cell phone addicts being the new “alcoholics” to our children when they grow up. It would be a similar memory that the kid with the drunk parent had, except instead of a bottle, it’s a phone.

Immediately, I deactivated my Facebook account. They provide you with a link that can download everything you ever posted on there as a backup. But deactivating it wasn’t enough. I wanted to delete it. They do not make this easy at all. The only way I found to get this option to delete, is to actually search for “delete” in the “help” section.

After I deleted my profile, I deleted the app from my phone. The next two days were very strange. I quickly noticed the extra time I had, while also habitually grabbing my phone to use the app I no longer had. I found myself using my phone a lot less, in fact my mom would frequently get annoyed that I wasn’t responding to texts. I simply didn’t have my phone on me as much. It was nice. I was also a lot less angry with people in general.

One thing about a Facebook-free life is missing out on things like concert announcements, sales, and other events. This was becoming an issue for me. After some thought, I decided to use my business page to follow the things that I like, but no people.  This way I could get all of the news and events I genuinely wanted, without wanting to punch someone. I would still keep the app off my phone, and I would only check the news feed a few times a day while at work. This system worked for me, and continues to work.

There is no doubt about it. Social media sites are difficult to quit entirely. If only there was some app that would just gather all the Facebook stuff I wanted, and send it to me in an email.

This new method though has definitely improved my life.

 

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Toys That Aren’t Bullshit

“I want a flashlight for Christmas.”

This is what my kid blurted out on a routine visit to Home Depot.  That comment made my brain hurt.  I started thinking about all of the insanely cool toys I had growing up.  I remember sitting down on a Saturday morning, and watching commercial after commercial of insanely cool toys.

Now, every time I head to Target to get my kid a surprise toy or something, it’s super difficult.  Everything is garbage.  I can’t tell you how many toys consist of a hundred tiny pieces that will get lost forever in my shaggy carpet the instant they are free’d from their packaging.  I won’t lie, occasionally I’ll get so fed up cleaning the house that ill just grab a handful of bullshit accessories from random toys that I haven’t seen in months, and just toss them in the garbage.  Not once has my kid said, “Hey Dad, where is that tiny comb that came with the stupid Pony.”

Stepping away from Target, or any of the other mega stores, you can find some really cool things if you think outside the box.

1) Probably my favorite toy for my daughter, is the “Kids Karaoke Machine” by KidzLane.  I love music, and I take every chance I can get to introduce my 4 year old to the classics.  Sometimes the music can be a little controversial, like Lou Reed’s “Walk on the Wild Side” or “Bad Reputation” by Joan Jett, but it hasn’t been an issue.  This device is awesome.  It stores up to 100 songs on its internal memory that you can add from your mp3 collection.  It also works with Bluetooth, it has an AM/FM radio, and can work off a USB stick as well.  With two working microphones (not the greatest), you and your kid can sing along to the Ramones for hours.  I get the biggest kick out of watching my daughter clean her room while listening to her music.

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2) The “Snap Circuits Jr. SC-100 Electronics Discovery Kit” by Elenco is a ton of fun.  I remember owning a more archaic version of this toy back in the 80’s.  This toy comes with a booklet featuring a hundred different things to build using circuits, resisters, motors, etc.  It is awesome.  Getting to see your kid’s face when she gets to see the fruits of her circuitry labor is priceless.

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3) The “Magformers Intelligent Magnetic Construction Set” is another awesome toy.  These things are pretty expensive, but sometimes you can catch deals on them.  I think my wife scored a good deal on a set from Zulily.  These things come with a little booklet outlining different things to build with these magnetic pieces and supply hours of interest.IMG_8677

Finding a cool toy isn’t too hard, you just need to think outside of the box.  There is more to life then tiny plastic bullshit, pretty dolls with hair, or expensive baby dolls with stupid background stories.  Science!  Science will always be the most fun, and now more then ever there are loads of options to choose from.

One thing I do want to try soon is one of the many science subscription boxes.  Just Google them, there are loads of them including one that Amazon does called, “STEM Club Toy Subscription.” They have them for different age groups, and basically you get a new science related toy every month.

Let me know if you have ever tried any of these and what your thoughts were on them!