Posted in Enjoying the Simple Things, On Life, On Parenthood, Thinking Out Loud, Uncategorized

Technology has gotten the best of me lately…

technology

 

I’m not one to usually come across as not caring.  I usually try pretty hard to be understanding, to reciprocate, to be there for others.  I don’t think of that as a bad thing, although some might.  It’s just the way I am.

 

Recently it has been a whirlwind of change.  Well, maybe not a whirlwind to others… but only to myself.  Over the summer my camera broke, which has left me without the view I am used to.  I’m not complaining… even though I know you have heard this before.  It’s just a fact.  I have used my phone but the pictures are way too crisp and clean for what I hope to achieve.  My daughters camera is a point and shoot.  I swear that thing takes forever to focus on the right image and almost always focuses on everything except what I was wanting to focus on.  To me, no matter how disappointing it can be… this is life.  Sometimes, you just can’t do what you want to do or do it the way you want to.  You have to learn to adapt.

 

This is not to say that my camera is long gone.  We finally got a chance to order a cleaning kit – it is sitting right here on my desk, waiting for me to use it.  I am hoping for sooner than later 😉  So we are working on it.

 

Actually a bit before my camera died, my daughter dropped my phone on the garage floor.  It did not survive.  I was without a phone for a bit because we wanted to buy a particular kind.  Once that arrived, I was happy to once again be reunited, but my phone was not the same anymore.  For some strange reason, that darn phone has “family safety” on it.  I went into my account and deleted family safety, but it still blocks certain things… namely blogs.  Nothing has been changed on my phone from the previous phone, no one installed family safety, but there it is.  We are still trying to figure that one out, but my husband has been a bit busier than usual at work, so we haven’t had a chance yet.

 

To understand how that impacts me, you would have to know how I work.  I already know I’m not normal… that’s okay with me.  Way back when we started homeschooling, I knew that if I wanted to be successful, I would have to keep the distractions to a minimum.  You know… people call and chat forever, not realizing that you are busy or you go to see a math video with your 1st grader and end up spending hours watching old clips of I Love Lucy together.  And while I consider that time well spent, things still need to be done.

 

I am a bit practical.  I know these things waste time, but aside from just realizing that – I try to contain that distraction.  So years ago, I had my husband install a software program on all of the kid’s computers that block things that easily distract them.  If they want to play games – they can, but when all their work is done for the day.  Since I was their primary teacher, I also needed to block distractions – so I gladly gave up my access to all things distracting to be a better teacher.  I know many would say, “Have some backbone!” and to that I can only reply, that’s exactly what I was doing 🙂

 

It can be a pain sometimes, but I find it incredibly rewarding to achieve the things you set out to achieve.  I feel that success in anything will always come at some cost.  So yeah, I don’t have unfettered access to the world wide internet, and that’s okay by me.  I allow myself an hour a day to spend on the blog and at those moments I can access anything I want – but my blog is usually my main choice of reward.  Some days that really sucks because it will lock me out before I get a chance to finish and then I have to wait for the next day.  Other times (and they have been more prominent lately) I don’t have any free time at all.    That’s just the way it is.

 

I know… I’m strange.  I think (or at least I hope) that each of us make choices that help us be more successful in life and I do believe that this has helped our family immensely.  No matter the strange stares or the odd looks.  I will continue to be me, no matter how strange I might seem.  I just feel that life is too short to spend all of my time distracted.  I remember the days when children played in the streets and people were out in their yards, tending to gardens.  People, back then, spent more time – together.  Is it really so strange that I wish we had more time together?

 

Anyway, that leads me back to my problem.  I don’t read other blogs on my computer – but on my phone.  With that gosh darn glitch, I have had a hard time reading anyone.  It is not because I don’t want to spend time – I actually cherish the time I am able to read and I miss all of you terribly.  The problem is, if I use the browser on my phone, it blocks all blogs.  Okay, got that – so download another browser.  I did.  Problem is, it allows me to read, but after I spend time typing up a long comment, it will sit there and never add the comment to the person’s page.  At first, I assumed it actually added the comment, but I just couldn’t see it.  Unfortunately – nope.

 

I’m still working on this and hoping to tie my husband to his desk chair long enough to fix it for me.  I have no idea what else to do to the phone that I haven’t already done.  Family safety is not the program, by the way, that we use on the computers.   We don’t use it at all but a long, long time ago my husband did try it.  As far as we know it was deleted and the account on my phone I deleted myself.  Ugh.

 

So yeah, I’m a bit of a mixed up lady these days and who knows what will happen as we keep getting more and more technologically advanced!  Sorry for all the rambling, but I just wanted to explain.  I have truly missed seeing everyone and although I can “see” anyone’s blog that I want, I really hate seeing but not supporting my other bloggers out there.  So I send you my deepest apologies – I am telling you that I truly have missed you – and I hope things will get worked out soon.  In the meantime, thank you so much for supporting my oddities.  It means more to me than you will ever know.

 

Sumyanna 2017

Posted in On Writing, Thinking Out Loud

Searching for Connection in the Age of Social Media

I do think that a lot of us are searching for connection.  We post to our blog, we join a group or forum, and we hope that somehow everything will all fall into place.  We will write – and we connect with people who enjoy our writing.  Seems easy, doesn’t it?  Well, in some cases, this does work – but there is still a lot more going on than meets the eye.  I can truly say that I still do not completely understand what you have to do to be successful on social media.  I have seen many good writers want to give up.  Even though they write wonderfully, they feel like a failure.  I have seen them (time and time again) complain about not making it while others (for whatever reason) get a lot of attention.  So, it must mean that they are not good writers, right?  Absolutely not!  It is confusing sometimes, because the reason behind their failure is no more clear than the reason for another person’s success.  I, for one, have tried to figure this out, and cannot find an answer.  Social media is a confusing place to be sometimes and it is easy to get lost in the crowd.  The biggest mistake you can make is to disregard the value of your own voice.  Whether you are a writer, an artist, or a photographer – you have something unique to you that deserves to be shared.

Now, there are many things I have seen / witnessed / been a victim of in social media.  I have been called out for having horrible writing skills by the same person who accused me of plagiarizing them.  I have been told that I have said things that are not true in a poem, even though it was written about my own experience.  I have been told that I should write shorter poetry, or more symbolic poetry, more rhyming poetry, or haiku . . . and the list could truly go on and on.  To survive all of it – you really need to believe in the value of your own voice.  It is not something you gain right away (but if you truly look at it, something is prodding you on to write).  Instead, I believe belief in your voice is something that you have to learn over time.  All of the negative experiences you could possibly have might make you want to throw your writing out of the window and swear you will never use a pen again.  Instead, you must hold on to it tightly.  Keep at it – and believe in yourself.

At the same time that I have witnessed these things, I have also become friends with some amazing writers, photographers, and artists.  I have learned a lot not only about myself, but also more about the world around me.  I have learned to write better and to expand my abilities and interests.  I am no longer confined to the four walls of my home or the streets that line my neighborhood.  Instead, I have come to know people from all over the world – people of different races, languages and religions.  Through their work and words, I have been able to see a part of their world through their point of view.  To me, this is the greatest gift: to go beyond what we know and to learn and understand more about one another.  In this, we widen our perspective and allow ourselves to grow.

One of the blessings I have gained as part of this experience, is the belief in myself as an artist.  It is not to say that anyone is going to be knocking on my door with a publishing deal, or that people are going to be lining up to follow me.  No – instead, I believe in what I have to say, how I say it, and that it makes a difference.  I may never have realized this if I had not taken a chance on social media.  I might not even have been writing at all.  So yes, I am grateful.

It took me a long time, but I have finally realized that it truly takes bravery to post and continue to post to social media.  You need to step out of your comfort zone and believe in yourself, which is not always easy to do.  You must believe that when you step up and submit your work, it is worthy.  It does not matter how many people like or accept you – your voice is just as worthy to be heard than anyone elses’.  For those that are counting followers and likes, know that if you want to receive sincere appreciation for what you write, you personally are required to appreciate it first.  That’s it.  You can look outside of yourself, you can compare yourself to others, you can hope and pray that if you make enough comments on other peoples’ posts you will get some action, but at the end of the day – it takes you knowing that your words are worth writing.  You must know that someone out there needs to hear your story, be touched by your poem, or see the beauty through your own lens.

I can guarantee you that I have often underestimated the value of my own words.  I have wondered why I bother to continue to write.  There have been times when I have wanted to give up.    Then, in walks someone who tells me how touched they were by a poem or story.  They tell me they feel that I wrote about exactly what they were going through at that point in their lives.  It gave them hope or a sense of calm knowing that they would get through that experience too – because now they knew someone else who did.  There is power in words.  I have seen it with my own eyes and I do strongly believe that this is why I so badly ache to write.  Growing up, nothing was perfect.  I took solace in the stories of others, the experiences of others wrapped up in poetry, prose, and short stories.  So whenever you wonder why you do what you do – remember the powerful influence reading has had on you.  When words uplifted me, helped me understand the plight of others, gifted me with a different view, and gave me strength when I wanted to give up – I have to ask myself, what am I going to give back?

 

(c) Sumyanna 2016

 

Wonderful image courtesy of Morguelife (Ladyheart)