Dropping off of the social media grid

Random Musings from the Keyboard: Instead of Facebook Messaging or texting someone, why not pick up a telephone and give them a call for a cup of coffee.

Lately, several friends have decided to live like their parents and grandparents did. They are not going out to homestead and live off the land while digging their own well for a water supply and growing their own food. That would be to easy compared to what these friends want to do.

Some of their kids are questioning the sanity of their parents, who want to do something that would bring them into a world where getting cable TV was a big deal and the latest technological wonders – a phone that wasn’t connected with a wire and actually let you walk around the house while talking, for example – are in the house.

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These friends have decided they are going to cutback on their technology needs (or, otherwise translated to “addictions”). Instead of communicating with Facebook friends who they may or may not actually know, they have decided to forego the social media site and meet face to face.

That's right; communicate like the parents use to. If you have something to say, say it in person. Not through a keyboard on a service where anonymity may or may not be available.

How's it been working out?

From one “free” individual, it’s been okay. Actually phoning someone and setting up a time to meet for a coffee without sounding desperate or needy was interesting, as was hearing the response from the recipient: “Why didn’t you just Facebook me or text me?”

Trying to explain why you were going old-fashioned was like trying to explain to your kid that when your grandparents wanted to text someone, they went to the telegraph shop and sent a wire. A few hours or a day later they got a reply.

Another individual has recently discovered the advantages of dropping by their financial institution in person every now and then. While dealing with finances electronically is quick and easy, this person discovered something by visiting their local banking branch. While in line, they bumped into an old friend they hadn’t seen in ages, despite being bonded by Facebook. Renewing an old friendship was worth the two-minute wait in line and, as they put it, “We talked about tings we would probably not have mentioned on Facebook.”

Others have left Twitter and other social media services with the impression that there’s to much information being shared that really doesn’t have to be shared.

As one person puts it, “Send me another picture of what you had for supper and I will send you a picture of what the food looks like coming out the other end.”

While cutting technology may be difficult for some, going back to the days of the party line and water cooler might not be that bad for others.

Instead of staying at your work cubicle during a break banging away on your phone, it might do some good to walk down to the staff room and say “Hi” to co-workers in person.

Why text or tweet when you can talk.

Tax time

Well it’s that time again for most – getting together the tax receipts and anything else we could legally use to get a refund from the federal government. According to some sources, we spend the first six months of the year working to pay our taxes, so anything we can keep in our wallets and purses is a definite plus

What can we use as tax deductions? One person suggested the cost of adult diapers; as a medical expense of course. The stress of filling out a tax form can create an irritable bowel in some and a little extra protection can avoid a lot of embarrassment .

Should we be able to write off the cost of alcohol consumed while preparing your return?  Booze can numb the pain of not getting a refund and, if consumed in large quantities, make you forget your tax issues for a few hours. This begs the question, would the cost of curing a hangover qualify as a medical expense?

Could the cost of a family vacation that you didn’t go on be used as a medical expense? After all, the kids were driving you crazy and you needed a break from your partner. It’s just what the marriage counselor ordered. Now how do you declare it?

Also, brace yourself for the fall federal election. Key issues will probably revolve around personal taxes and the carbon tax. It’s too bad we can’t institute a “nonsense” tax during the election. Every time a wannabe Member of Parliament and party leader says something, they would have to pay a levy. This could cut down on all the promises and the verbiage we have to listen to during the campaign period.

And the politicians talk so much, a “nonsense” tax could be used to lower other taxes.

Weather woes

In January, we had the polar vortex. I n July, will we experience a Sahara vortex? A few days of dry above average sunny days would be nice, but not to the extremes of the cold one.

On that note, in about two months it will be spring. Have you started planning the veggie garden?

Thought for the week:

Why hasn’t the spork become a kitchen staple?

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