Laura Haley-McNeil

1/14/18, Just Say NO!

Hello, Everyone!

We are firmly into the new year, the holidays are behind us, and now we’re looking forward to implementing the plans we so industriously wrote down on new year’s eve. Or maybe you’re like me and just kind of wing it. I keep a goal list in my head, and once in a while I tell my husband what I hope to accomplish this year. I’m fortunate in that he listens to me, tells me I can do it, and then I go on my merry way.

There are also few things that I don’t want to do this year. Mainly, I don’t want to spend too much time on social media. I’ve never had a huge following so I wasn’t that addicted, but I still found myself checking Facebook and twitter, and I’m glad I limited it to that. My friend’s daughter tried to teach me how to use snapchat, but being the technophobe that I am, I couldn’t learn it, so deleted it from my phone. A few weeks ago, I deleted the Facebook and twitter apps from my phone, and only allowed myself to look at these once per day. I had heard an interview with a man who had helped to develop Facebook, and he said that the premise behind the concept was to condition users to continually check their pages—in other words, it was the Facebook founders goal to make users addicted to their site and what better way to do that than to reward users with likes and followers and other gratifying measures, kind of a Pavlov dog type of set up. I resented being reduced to the status of a dog, but that isn’t the real reason I deleted those apps from my phone. I’m all about saving money. My cell phone carrier had developed a plan where my monthly phone bill would be reduced by ten dollars if I limited my monthly data usage. That was what convinced me to delete those apps from my phone. What I wouldn’t do for ten dollars. The Facebook likes meant nothing compared to saving money. Having the Facebook app and the twitter app on my phone used data and I was using so much data I didn’t qualify for the ten dollar discount. I had to have that discount, so away went the Facebook and twitter apps.

And then there was the Starbucks app. I had become addicted to caramel Frappuccinos, and my bathroom scales revealed my addiction. My weight has always been a struggle. I’m sure there are a few of you out there who can identify with this plight. Starbucks had employed the same Pavlov dog method into their app. Every time I ordered a Frappuccino, Starbuck rewarded me by adding stars to my account. If I collected enough stars, I was eligible for a free Starbucks item. That was my trigger. I was saving money. But I was also gaining weight and I was also spending money and time going to Starbucks every time an offer popped up on my phone. It was hard, but I had to do it. I had to delete the Starbucks app from my phone.

I had wanted to spend less time on my phone. It’s so convenient. I can look up something, shop and read. My phone made everything so easy, it was hard to say no. but no I said. I still go through withdrawals, but as time goes by, it gets a little easier. I’ll never be cell phone free, but at least I can control my use of it better than I did before.

If you create new year’s resolutions, I hope everything is going well with those and that you’re getting better at keeping them. I hope you have a wonderful week filled with happiness, and if it’s cold in your part of the world, remember summer is just around the corner. Have lovely week, Everyone!