Facebook: to poke or to puke?

The Weekly Writing Challenge is an interesting one indeed!

There is a lot to be said about Facebook. With the 10 year anniversary coming up in a little more than 7 months, it has been in the news for more bad reasons that good ones of late. First there was the noting on the Stock Exchange with promises of huge profits for investors, which didn’t quite pan out that way. Next we had endless security warnings and messages of accounts being hacked or user’s details being leaked. Furthermore, at least once a week you can find an article of how Facebook have ruined another relationship or assisted in someone being conned out of their hard earned savings.

I couldn’t really be bothered with my account being hacked. No one has anything to gain by stealing my identity and, since I’m a bit of a control freak, I tend to change my password on a weekly basis, at the very least, making it just a little difficult for anyone who would try. I never post anything that won’t pass as suitable for Luke, my (very strict) gran or my pastor. If their eyes can’t see it, then it’s not on there, very simple rule!

In terms of Facebook ruining relationships, I am of the opinion that it can only ruin your relationship if you allow it to happen. It goes down to a very simple little thing called moral values. I value myself and I value my relationship with Jacques. Nothing will compromise that, EVER. I have in the past, and will continue to do so in future, removed people from my friends list who post links or ideas that are not in line with what I believe and what I stand for.

I just don’t see how it is possible to have someone as a friend when their opinions or interest are in obvious contradiction to your own. I guess some people suffer from FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) and thus feel compelled to be “friends” with everyone they meet or who just looks remotely interesting. I’m so glad I don’t! Every person on my friends list is someone that I know personally. Don’t even bother sending me a friend request if I don’t know you or just met you. You ain’t gonna get anywhere fella!

As far as Facebook activity goes, my feed is forever updating, thus it is always open at work. I don’t have a lot of Facebook friends – it’s only family, colleagues (old and current) and friends from school. My father and his wife, my brother and sister-in-law, my mother and grandmother, my late sister’s husband and child – they are all in different towns scattered across South Africa. If we did not have Facebook, let’s face it, it would be immensely difficult to keep up to date with the happenings in their lives, photos and such. I love Facebook and I am very grateful Mark Zuckerberg for “stealing” the idea.

Why then is my Facebook feed so very, very long? 90% of my Facebook activity relates to pages that I am subscribed to: motivation, inspiration, spiritual, personal growth, health, news, gospel, sport and technology.

I can definitely see that for certain people and in certain relationships Facebook could be a problem, but it can only be one as far as you allow it to be. You are the one who needs to answer to your conscious; you are the one who needs to close your eyes at night and go to sleep peacefully. Play it by the book and you have nothing to worry about.

Mark Twain said it best:

Companions for life!

The Weekly Photo Challenge asked us to post a photo which shows companionship.

No photo could ever be a better example of companionship, than one of my mom and Luke. Those two are the best of friends and nothing could ever get between them. I have my hands full when they get together and you would swear that you have to 8-year olds in the room instead!

I had a hard pick to choose the best one, there are so many. The one I chose just shows so much love and “softness” between them and it is one that I will treasure forever!

No longer a mere mortal

You’ve imbibed a special potion that makes you immortal. Now that you’ve got forever, what changes will you make in your life? How will you live life differently, knowing you’ll always be around to be accountable for your actions?

I suppose some will love the idea of living forever; going from one era to the next, see the change in society and how we adjust to new inventions and such. That’s not for me though.

I really wouldn’t want to be immortal, not on earth in any event. Just the idea that I could never truly love someone and grow old with them is enough to make me cringe. It must be horrible to fall in love, share a life and build memories, just to see the person you adore grow old and die right in front of your eyes, all while you remain forever 35.

If I had no choice and I have to be immortal on earth, I suppose I would do all I can to fight for equality and freedom. I would dedicate my days to solely fighting for the greater good, telling people of a much better life that awaits us after this one.

Immortality in the here-after: now that is something that I really look forward to. I guess knowing that there is an eternity of love and joy that awaits us is what makes death less scary for me.

What do you think?

The Natural World

Describe your first memorable experience exploring and spending time in nature. Were you in awe? Or were you not impressed? Would you rather spend time in the forest or the city?

I’m going to jump in and answer the last question first. I will pick forest over city in a heartbeat, every time. My love for nature was born in the long, warm summers of the Free State.

My first memory of nature is playing in mud and clay with my brother after summer rains, building clay oxen, mud pies, tea cups and tiny huts. I also remember the huge back yard at my grandparents’ house with large fruit trees, a tiny vineyard and a vegetable garden. I would sit under the huge apricot tree, watching the neighbours’ homing pigeons flying overhead as he sets them free for their afternoon flight. My great-grandfather was a very serious old man and we were all thoroughly afraid of him. He made his own dried apricots and early afternoon you would always find him somewhere in the back yard; watching over his apricots to prevent birds from swooping down and stealing the fruits of his labour. More often than not he would doze off and that was when we would jump at the opportunity to steal the apricots right from under his nose. Unfortunately, he also woke up more often than expected; walking stick in hand, his stocky frame bent with age, he would chase us away.

My favourite memories, however, would have to be the days in my early teens, tending the garden with my mom. We had a couple of fruit trees and the vegetable patch with potatoes, tomatoes, pumpkin, beans, peas and carrots was the biggest. This was not where we built memories though. We had a tiny garden in front, just a patch along the sidewalk really, which my mother tended to with such love. All of our joy and pain went into that little patch. All our heartache and jubilation worked deep into the soil.

I don’t know the title of the song, or if it even had one, but we would always sign one specific song while busy in that flower patch. I remember one specific day when my mom started digging with such ferocity I thought she would break the spade in her hand.

“There’s a hole in my pocket, dear Liza, dear Liza, there’s a hole in my bucket, dear Liza, a hole!” – Stabbing and jabbing at the ground, every syllable another stab to soften up the earth.
“Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, dear Henry, then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry, mend it” – Pulling and tugging at the weeds, destroying the pests with every single word.
“With what shall I mend it dear Liza, dear Liza, with what shall I mend it, dear Liza, with what?” – Uprooting everything that should not be there, making sure the earth is clean and ready to receive the seed.

The song is kind of endless and it just carries on and on and on. Usually after about 10 minutes of the above, we would be in stitches as we make up phrases to carry on with the song – all worries forgotten. I think it must be all the laughter and love that we put into that little piece of earth which fed the flowers. Our sidewalk with Cosmos, Dandelions, Agapanthus, Forget-me-not’s and Vygies (Lampranthus / Mesembs) was the brightest and prettiest one in town!

That is where Nature Therapy started for me and to this day I believe that there is nothing to clear your head than getting out there.

Great or Greatest?

What makes a blog great? What makes you follow a blog or “like” a post?

There are so many great blogs out there and I discover a new one to follow almost daily. The WordPress Freshly Pressed portal is usually where I would be trawling around for new and interesting posts. Further, as a rule, I follow back anyone who follows me.

Even though I follow a lot of blogs, getting a “like” goes a bit deeper than that. For me to “like” a post, it would have to be something that absolutely speaks to my soul; something that really gets through all the mental clutter of a busy day and makes me think. A re-post goes even deeper! You know that feeling when you hear a song, watch a movie or read a post that sends the goose-pimples racing up and down your body? Better yet, when you read a post and by the time you are done you do the annoyed look around the office to see who is watching as you wipe away the tears? That’s a re-post right there!

Thank you to all the wonderful members of the WordPress family for inspiring me everyday, for making me think, for lifting my spirit, for bringing back to earth, for making me cry! I love reading your words every day!

Playing catch-up!

I’ve neglected you and I’m sorry!

I made it through the first week of school holidays, month-end at the office and major techno-fails which, touch wood, seems to be under control for the time being and I’m here to do catch-up:

Three Daily Prompts
Two (virtually) finished posts I’ve been working over in my head for a week or so
One Weekly photo challenge
One Weekly writing challenge
One guest blog post

Phew, that’s a lot to post tonight, but thankfully Luke is visiting his dad and Jacques needs to work late, so let the writing begin!

Thanks for sticking around! Ill make it up to you!