Just the Bears Watching

As a rule, I generally don’t talk politics on social media platforms. I may like or comment on something that is important to me. But I don’t engage in heated discussions.

The biggest reason for this is my writing. As an author of women’s Christian inspirational fiction, I want to reach readers with the redeeming message of God’s work in our lives. We are here for a purpose, each one of us. And it’s our responsibility to figure out what that is and live it to our fullest potential. I want my books to show that life is really rotten at times, but you can survive that and go on. You don’t have to be perfect, look beautiful, or have your life in order. You just have to keep getting back up and forging ahead.

I don’t want that message taken away by me fighting for my rights, or taking sides. All of us know what side we are on, what we believe. Some are more vocal about it than others.

Believe me, I’ve prayed, and thought long and hard about my position concerning social media platforms and writing. They are a huge help with any small business. They are a fantastic marketing tool.

But they are also developed by people that don’t have the same goals in life as I do as a general rule. Every decision I make in my life, every step I take is balanced with my belief in the Bible first, and then my beliefs as an American. I believe the Bible sets us free, and I choose to live my life by certain standards.

I firmly believe that all the social media platforms developed by all the names we are now familiar with have the right to control content. They developed them, it’s their site. They made the rules. We can play or not.

Because I believe I have freedom to choose, freedom to live my life the way I want, I may not play much longer. And that is my choice.

The problems begin when someone’s rights step on mine. Just because you have the freedom to do something, doesn’t mean you have the right to do it, or that you should. There are always consequences. You may like to run around in your yard with no clothes on. If you live in the middle of nowhere and just the bears are watching, that is your choice. But in a neighborhood, there are consequences for those actions. The biggest one being against the law in most places. On a more human level…just plain offensive to some.

Image by Annick Vanblaere from Pixabay

This past year, maybe more than others, has really clouded the freedom to choose. In past years, if you didn’t want to be exposed to something, you stayed home. If you were sick, you stayed home. Believe me, I spent many years working in church programs such as the nursery and AWANA wishing parents had made the decision to keep their sick children home! But, I could not control them. I could only make my immune system stronger, and be ready.

I think we are on shaky ground now because of fear. People don’t make good decisions when fear is controlling them. As a Christian, it shouldn’t be an option, but it is at times. Because we are human. Being informed, researching, and knowing the facts helps with that fear.

Anyone that knows me, understands that health-related topics have always been important to me. As I said in my last post, that stems from my mother having leukemia at a very young age and using alternative methods. That included her going to Mexico for treatment. There were risks involved. So, I have always believed that health-related decisions are a person’s freedom to choose. I’ve worked in the medical profession enough to not believe it all, and remember to be informed, and make my decisions based on facts. I have that freedom.

I use natural products as much as possible. My daughter recently introduced me to Earthley Wellness.

Image by silviarita from Pixabay

Their site: https://www.earthley.com/ I’m including that link for those of you that may be interested in more natural products. I’ve liked the few products that I’ve tried so far. I do not know the people that own the company, and I have no reason to promote them, other than what I read this morning. And that is what prompted this post.

This company was started because of a mother’s concern for her child. She had the freedom to do that. I think the company understands what is happening, and they are taking steps to do what they need to do to sell their products, and speak their mind. Again, their freedom to do. You can read about that here:

https://www.earthley.com/earthley-news-instagram-deleted/?redirect_mongo_id=607e1b80c931070022dccc1d&utm_source

My rights end when they infringe on your rights.

No company, business, or person has the right to share their content on someone else’s platform without consent to do so. I don’t want views that I don’t believe put on my author’s page, etc. Hence the reason I may soon disappear from the big social media platforms. That may be a bad decision from a marketing standpoint.

But I never began writing to make money.

I firmly believe that those readers that stand behind me, will still be there. I have a message to share, and I will until I’m no longer allowed to. I will keep adjusting my strategy until then.

As a side note, and another reason for this post this morning. My yahoo news feed informed me of this:

Yahoo News

The Postal Service is running a ‘covert operations program’ that monitors Americans’ social media posts

Really? A big sigh. More research for me to do! Have a great day everyone!

Shifting Down

This is a post I’ve debated about writing for several months now. For the month of October, I tried some different things, just to see what that would result in. Some of you gave me feedback. A few people really liked the Monday One Liners and the Friday Trivia. A couple people said they would just rather read a post. To be honest, I’m rather lost in this blogging world. I just don’t know what works...for me.

I’ve blogged regularly for over two and a half years now. For those of you that blog, you know it is a time investment. Some bloggers seem to be able to take the world, (literally) by storm and within a few months they are off and running with thousands of hits and followers. That has not been the case for me, and I’m not really feeling that I’ve found my corner in the blogging world…or if I’m even supposed to.

As a writer, I love to write. I have written most of my life in some form or another. I will continue. But right now, I feel as though I should concentrate more on my novel writing, and those stories I need to tell. And I need time to do that.

So, I will be doing some reconstruction with my social media. My goal is to have more of a website, maybe a section that I blog in once a week, or once a month. I might offer a newsletter every three months or so for those that are interested in my books, and new releases. I have four books written several years ago that are badly in need of edits and covers. So, I want to make those a priority. I also have a little bird whispering to me about a fifth book in the Rubyville series. I also need to concentrate more on events, and speaking engagements.

The most difficult part of this decision is not having the daily contact with those of you that have become a part of my life on here. I so appreciate you! For sharing your lives with others, for the encouragement you have given me, for all the interesting stuff I’ve learned from all parts of the world.

This is not good-bye, but a pulling back and regrouping. I will still be here, and I will still share my life with all of you, just at a slower pace. You can still find me on Amazon right here: https://www.amazon.com/Deborah-Ann-Dykeman/e/B01B2BYPK6/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1509656300&sr=1-2-ent and my author’s page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman/?fref=ts

I check Goodreads daily as well. It’s a great place to encourage others, as well as authors. If you’ve read a book of mine, or another author, please leave a review there and follow them. You don’t need to purchase their book to do those two things. Every little bit of encouragement helps an author get their stories out there. It’s not only about purchasing their books, which is wonderful of course…but about getting that author’s name known around the world.

Until next time…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KOY0C5F8dfw

 

 

Around the World…in seconds

Yesterday I had the most views here that I’ve ever had! How exciting! I love to see all those little flags lined up, showing all the places people visited from. Wondrous world that we live in!

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Thank you to everyone that stops by, reading my posts, liking and commenting. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you!

And I am just one ‘like’ away from 100 likes on my author Facebook page! That’s pretty exciting as well. Follow this link if you’d like to make it officially 100 likes and above.

https://www.facebook.com/deborahanndykeman

I know for some of you this is probably not a great accomplishment. I read your blogs and after only a few months, you have a couple thousand followers, and thousands of hits. It hasn’t been that way for me. I started this blog back in May of 2015, and it has grown, but it’s been slowly. It can be discouraging at times. You wonder what you’re doing wrong. I admit it’s been hard for me to know what to focus on here. I’m kind of out there with a lot of different stuff. So I’m thinking on that. But I have met some wonderful people…encouraging people, through this WordPress community. And it’s so much easier than sending a message in a bottle, hoping it lands in some faraway place! 😉

Thank you all for your support. If you have any tips on how to make this better…I’d love to hear them. Meanwhile, I’ll keep reading your posts and learn all that I can. Have a great Wednesday!

The Calm Before the Storm

We are becoming a world of ‘likes’ and ‘thumbs-up’. Anyone that sees this symbol, immediately knows what it is, unless you live off the grid, or happen to have a tiny house in the middle of a jungle or Siberia. And then you are dealing with way more issues than whether  or not  someone ‘likes’ something of yours. Food and water might be more of a priority for you.

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I happen  to really like this one. It kind of reminds me of my childhood and a couple shirts I wore.retro-1254589_1280

And if I was in a silly mood, this one would work well. The one on the right would have been great for Christmas ‘thumbs-up’.

Little, yellow, happy faces adorn our social media. There are now some really cute little guys out there. I shared the sun, happy face the other day. It makes me want to smile. The flower brings good thoughts too.

But I can’t help but recall when this little ball of glee greeted you at the door of another huge shopping chain. smiley-1020193_1920

I think the goal was that you saw the little face and you just wanted to snatch everything up within sight and buy it because you felt so happy to be in the store. I needed to have one on the windshield of my mini-van. Then, while driving home I wouldn’t be running regrets through my head of all that I had bought!

The ‘thumbs-up’ symbol also has a different meaning for me and probably anyone that attended school back in the 1960’s and 1970’s. There was this game called, Thumbs-up, Seven-up. For some reason I still can’t fathom, we all thought this was exciting and a great way to spend a few minutes at a Valentine’s Day party, or while waiting to be dismissed for the day. You hid your face in your arms, upon your very smelly desk, and left one hand out with your thumb up. One person was to go around and smash down a thumb. And I mean give it a good hit. No, we were not to do that, and we were told each and every time not to do that. But, we were children and the day wouldn’t have been complete without someone crying and probably sent to the nurse’s office. Honestly, I don’t remember how the rest of the game went. I don’t know if we ever got past that first thumb hit. Please share on here if you can fill in that blank!

So when did our world become such as it is? We have way more ‘friends’ than we ever have. We communicate much more and in so many different ways. But for me, I feel as though I have less-developed friendships than ever. Am I the only one?

Gone are the days of receiving an actual letter in the mail. Do you remember walking to the mailbox with a sense of excitement and anticipation? The feel of the mailbox door in your hand, cold metal in winter, scalding hot in the summer? Pulling out that stack of envelopes and seeing familiar writing on one or two of them? Sometimes you would open it on your way back to the house, other times waiting until you found the comfiest chair or the solitude of your bedroom. And then you would read all about what someone else was doing in their life.

Phone calls were received in the same manner, especially if from someone far away. Long distance cost money, and you planned for a lengthy conversation, or shook your head when you received your phone bill in the mail.

Communication was all about patience, and anticipation whether a verbal, face-to-face chat, letter or phone. You took time for that person. And in return, they did the same for you.

No one can disagree with the conveniences of today, the instant gratification in any area. We no longer have to wait for anything, unless you have a doctor’s appointment. You can even schedule to have a baby on the day that is best suited for you. But as I’ve said on  here before, I miss the slower, more purposeful lives we once lived. We didn’t run around with our hair on fire, our lives scheduled to the limit, sleeping for eight hours deemed a luxury.

As we sit here in central Kansas, waiting for an ice-storm that seems to have changed its mind, things feel a bit more relaxed, to me. Everyone is anticipating what might happen. So let’s all take a deep breath and relish the quiet. Sit down with a hot drink of your choice, talk with  your family, play a game. Really connect with them for this period of time while life is put on a bit of a hold for a day or two. You just might find out how much you like it!

 

Social Media…Be Happy!

I’ve posted on here a couple of times about Facebook and social media. They are not friends of mine. The upside is the ability to connect with people you haven’t seen or heard from in ages. The downside is the ability to connect with people you haven’t seen or heard from in ages. Do you really want  to hear from that girlfriend or boyfriend you broke up with 20, 30 or even 40 years ago? Are the pictures you have of family and friends from the 1970’s really that great? If you look worse than you did in high school, maybe you want to stay in hiding. But… if you look fantastic, you may want to advertise it everywhere!

I really struggle with all the political stuff. Yes, we all understand that it is an election year here in America. But do we have to sling trash, insults and just keep the pot stirred? What does that say to the rest of the world we live in? Nothing good, I’m thinking! We are supposed to be the UNITED States of America. Not the ‘I’m going to do my thing and you can do yours, and if I don’t agree I’m going to treat you like yesterdays garbage’ States of America.

The abused animals and children information is something else I have a hard time dealing with. Yes, these are both horrendous problems in our world today. I would like to be able to stop it, have animals and people treated with respect. But I have a hard time getting my own family to listen to me…the rest of the world? Forget it!

I think the biggest problem, and this doesn’t just occur with social media, is about one’s rights. When your rights trample all over mine…you have exceeded your bounds. And this is rampant today.

Social media isn’t all bad…and I hope I’m not sounding as though it is. I love the really cute, funny items that are shared. The music videos are nice, and I love the beautiful pictures. And yes, I do adore looking at your photos…even if I don’t know you! (I think that is for another post, though!) So go ahead and Tweet, Twitter, Post to your heart’s content.

And if you have the time…watch this video. Just a little break in your day, and some good words to put to use in your life.