Facebook Rehab

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facebook rehabI have a bit of a problem. I am addicted to Facebook. The problem is that I am on Facebook for literally 16 hours a day. I can’t stop looking at Facebook on my phone, my Nook HD+ and my computer, and sometimes all 3 at the same time. If that is not an addiction, I don’t know what is.

The problem is that I have an addictive personality. When I start something, I have a hard time quitting. When I got my first Windows computer in 1997, I would wake up in the morning and go straight to the living room and sit down and get on AOL and read email and sit in chat rooms all day long.

When I played EverQuest from 2002 to 2007, I was literally on my computer from the minute I woke up until the minute I went to bed.  Of course I had a few shows on each week, so I would watch my shows. When Facebook came out, I was on it from time to time, but not as much time because I started playing Lord of the Rings Online and EverQuest 2 and I had my PSP games.

The Facebook addiction came gradually. When I started writing my book in 2010,  I was on Twitter more than I was on Facebook, but by the time I finished writing and editing and after I published my book I started paying more attention to Facebook.

When I created the Facebook page for my book and my blog, they were both supposed to be a platform for both advertising my book and for posting articles with child abuse stories, but the more research I did, the more depressed I became about my childhood. The book was supposed to help me release all that pain, so that’s why I didn’t post or blog about child abuse issues and instead started posting and writing about LGBT issues. It just so happened that a lot of the issues was about equality.

At any rate, my Facebook addiction has taken a bad turn for me. On my personal Facebook profile, I like to post funny stories that friends post. I also crack jokes in the comments on other people’s posts. Unfortunately I started saying things that didn’t make sense and I started saying things that were off topic and many times people have yelled at me.

One person in particular recently told me that she disagreed with me. Ok, that’s fine, we’re all individuals with our own opinions, but you don’t see me telling you how much I disagree with you because I’m not that kind of person. If I see that someone has their own opinion about something, I respect it and move on. I don’t call them on it. I mean, who does that? I got really upset, not that she disagreed with me, but because she made it a point to tell me she disagreed with me. Lady, I don’t know you and I honestly don’t care if you agree with me or not.  Aren’t I allowed to have my own opinions?

Anyway, this whole thing has just taught me that I have been spending way too much time on Facebook. I stopped playing video games and I stopped reading. I was trying to learn to write fiction because that has been my dream since I was a child, but I stopped reading the books that I bought called Write Great Fiction because of Facebook. I bought all this D&D stuff to learn to play, but instead I kept looking at Facebook.

Of course I don’t blame Facebook. I don’t blame video games or computers or my cell phone for my addictions, I blame myself. So it’s not you Facebook, it’s me.

So this is what I have decided. I switched to a role playing character that I have on Facebook, which happens to be a character I played in EverQuest and will be the star in my fiction books if I ever start writing them. That way I can still post things on my book page, which I will spend 1 hour a day doing. If I can’t access my regular Facebook page then I won’t be tempted to sit on it all day. I will turn on my computer once a day to check for messages on my regular Facebook page, but I won’t read anyone’s posts or respond to any comments. I’ll look, but don’t touch. The rest of my free time will consist of me reading books and playing video games. It’s a vacation that I have needed for several years.

So as of right now, I am in Facebook rehab. Chat with you when I feel that I can space my time between reading, writing, playing video games and using Facebook and Twitter and whatever other social media outlets there are.

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No More Gender Labels for Toys

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target gender labels I saw a post for an article on Facebook earlier today about a guy named Mike Melgaard who changed his Facebook avatar to a Target logo and changed his name to Ask ForHelp and was responding to people who were voicing their outrage about a new policy at Target to remove gender labels from the toy aisles. His responses were hilarious, and I have not laughed so hard in such a long time.

There were many hundreds of posts today made by people outraged by the news on Fox and Friends, but that’s what they do over at Fox News, they exaggerate and tell lies to make people mad enough to go over to the Target Facebook page and tell them they are boycotting.

This is what people who have been leaving comments think. They are saying it’s for political correctness. They think that Target is pandering to transgender children or parents or the gay and lesbian “agenda”, but that is simply not true. This is what they actually did. They removed the sign that says “Boys toys” and “Girls toys” and just have signs that say like, and this is just a guess, “Lego’s” and “Dolls” and “Barbie” and so on. All the boys and girls Lego’s are all in the same aisle. That’s it. I mean, how simple is that? They did the same with children’s bedding.

More than a few people have jumped from toys to bathrooms. They think that this has to do with transgender people, so they think Target is going to make the bathrooms gender neutral for transgender people. What does removing the words “boys” and “girls” from signs have to do with bathrooms? People, get your minds out of the gutter! Toys and toilets aren’t even in the same hemisphere. It’s not that slippery of a slope.

People say they are going to Walmart, well, here is some news for you, Walmart doesn’t have gender labels on their toy aisles, and neither does Toys R Us. That’s what the response has been from most everyone who has responded to these people. So by saying you are going to start shopping for toys at Walmart instead, well, I have some bad news for you.

Here’s the thing, children have their own sense of what kind of toys THEY want to play with. If you bring your child to Target and tell them to pick out a toy, the toy they choose is the toy that THEY want to play with. It’s that simple. I mean, I honestly don’t know how much more simple it can get.

If your son wants a Easy Bake Oven, are you going to say no, that’s for girls only, what is that telling your son? That cooking is only for girls? Ask Gordon Ramsey how he feels about that. My uncle does a lot of the cooking and my aunt works on the car. Are you going to tell my aunt and uncle that they have to switch gender roles?

When I was a kid, I had my own toys and my sister had her own toys, but I wanted to play with her toys because they seemed more fun. She had this one toy that was called Fashion Plates. It was a toy where you open the lid and place 3 plates in, 1 for the head, 1 for the torso and 1 for the legs. It could be a dress top with pant legs, or a blouse with a skirt. Here is a commercial I found on YouTube, but their description said Hasbro made these from 1989, but that’s wrong because my sister had her fashion plates in the 1970’s.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gH-E27Iyzxg

I loved to color, but I wasn’t very good at drawing, so it was nice to have something to make the pattern for me to color if I didn’t have any new coloring books. I colored a lot, and all of my coloring books were filled in. They didn’t have a boy version at that time, so I had to work with what my sister had.

My sister also had Donnie and Marie dolls complete with a TV studio set with cameras, microphones and outfits as well as the Cher dolls with the TV studio set and MANY outfits.

I had some cool toys too like Lego’s and I had a lot of Matchbox cars with a case and tracks. Oh and I had one of those electric racetracks that you have wired remote controls and you can press the button to make the cars go. Fun times. Oh, but I digress…

Look, kids want what kids want, and you can’t tell a child that they cannot play with a toy simply because it doesn’t match their genitalia. I mean, you’re the parent, you can raise your child however you want, but I’m telling you that if your child wants to play with toy X and you give them toy Z, be prepared for a lifetime of resentment and therapy. You can like what you like, but you aren’t the one who is going to reject a toy because that’s not what they wanted. It’s your money, throw it in the trash if you want to, I don’t care.

I had hours of fun playing with my Light Bright, Lego’s and Spirograph, which are gender neutral toys. I even had hours of fun playing with Donnie and Marie, which in my opinion should have been gender neutral toys, but because they were dolls, they were targeted to girls.

If you are boycotting Target because of this decision because you think this is a LGBT issue, let me give you some news. That computer, tablet or cell phone you are using right now was the invention of a gay person named Alan Turing. You will also be disappointed to know that Target is a gay friendly company. They sell gay pride clothing. Oh and Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft, Apple and Google (who owns Android) are all gay friendly companies. So next time you are using a computer, tablet or phone, just remember that you are using something invented by a gay person.

Alan-Turing