Wednesday, January 21, 2015

We've Got a Wild One, Folks!

My growing child has been a very active little bugger. Instead of a few random pokes, I feel like arms and legs are flailing in all directions! Kickboxing classes seem to be taking place in my womb as I'm trying to go to sleep at night!

We're seeing the movements even through my clothes now. It's very distracting when we're sitting and watching movies, and my belly gives this great jerk to the side. We often have to rewind (does anyone say that anymore?) the movie because we lost about ten minutes to watching the baby's activities and trying to guess which way he's facing.

Just had an appointment where heart rate and measurements are still right on track. I get to do the gestational diabetes glucose test next appointment in three weeks. Oh, joy. I was even told not to be surprised if I flunk the first one; I have so little sugar and carbs in my diet now to begin with, my body may freak out and not even know what to do with the drink when the day arrives. "What IS all this crap?!"

It amuses me to think what adjustments would have to be made if the tests DID show gestational diabetes. I guess my apple juice will have to go. Other than that, I have no idea what we could possibly change. No fruit?

I have recently fallen in love (again) with my calligraphy dip pen, even bought some parchment and a few extra colors of ink to play with. (I will never buy pearlized ink colors ever again though. They are way too difficult to remove from my pen while cleaning it.) I've been writing letters on adorable stationery with matching envelopes that I get from the Internet. I'm hoping a few of the recipients will write back in the same old fashioned way.

This sudden interest in letter writing and generally supporting the post office is pretty easy to understand: my frustration with social media continues to grow. A lot of people make great fanfare about whittling down their friends list, and that ever popular post, "If you're seeing this, you made the cut!" has been making an appearance on my newsfeed with alarming regularity. I notice this because I am pretty selective about accepting friend requests to begin with. I've stopped playing Facebook games. If I don't know a person or see/converse with them on a regular basis (or did at some point in time, even if we don't currently), I usually won't accept. I made it pretty hard to find me on Facebook in the first place, so I don't get random requests from strangers anyway.

At the beginning of this year, I did go through my friends list and unfriend those who hadn't been on Facebook in a very long time, or rarely posted at all. (I imagine a couple of them had probably unfriended me when their lives took an entirely new direction.) There weren't very many of those.

But today, for the first time, I unfriended someone for a very different reason. This person often posts inflammatory memes and articles, always negative in content, as well as disturbingly graphic and violent. Rarely were the posts ever about life or activities in general.

It made me sad to click "Unfriend." I'm all about being free to post what you want. I understand that the posts were very important to this person, that they were about life missions this person has, that there is great hope change will come about with the sharing of these memes and whatnot.

I've been told that a friend or two thought about unfriending me because of all the pictures of adoptable cats from the local rescues I share. But they hadn't because I post funny things and life updates as well, not just cats. And I guess that's my issue too.

When I find myself wanting to hide almost every single post a person makes on Facebook, it's probably time to unfriend. The constant negativity was turning me off to the message of the poster. That internal sigh was turning into a hurricane wind.

I also find it rather pointless. Unless you are friending a ton of strangers because of business, fame/celebrity, promotion, what have you (and you have a very loose handling on privacy settings), you are most likely posting to friends who already share your beliefs. Preaching to the choir. And if you have differing opinions, the likelihood of changing those opinions through a Facebook meme is next to zero. Do it excessively, and you are likely to drive people away from the message instead.

Sometimes people know how to debate, bringing up countering points without the intent to change minds. But most people only know how to argue and fight, sling insults, devolve to a verbal brawl without intellect or facts. Even when the initial post wasn't an invitation to debate or a plea for advice and opinions, many are still quick to put their dukes up and goad others into their battles.

One phrase that makes me groan: "I don't really want to get into this here, BUT - "

Then don't. Just don't. Please.

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