This blog, though it has been very neglected, is about to come alive again as I meander through this strange year we call 2020. Hindsight? Maybe.
As a sort of an introduction in how I started Plaid Oak Outfitters, or at least the art and design portion of the story…
Twenty-two years ago, after struggling to climb the graphic design corporate ladder, I finally got a job as a website developer and designer. I was more interested in the graphic design aspect of it, but since this was a time when the world was on the brink of CSS and WYSIWYG, my job required me to also learn HTML so that I could build my websites from scratch. It was fun. I enjoyed just about every aspect of it.
Sixteen years ago, a few years after I had become a full time ”stay-at-home” mom, I was very big into blogging. I started with ’Blogger’ and soon moved over to WordPress where there were more design freedoms. I blogged mostly about my kids, life, art and design. Then I joined Facebook– 13 long years ago… and the blog eventually fell by the wayside.
Facebook was exciting and fun in those early years. Back then, it was still mostly for college students, but was beginning to branch out to those of us in our late 20’s to mid-30’s. In those days, when you came across someone from your High School on Facebook (even if you hardly knew them) it was uh-mazing. It felt similar to seeing them in a restaurant while on vacation in Europe. I mean… what are the chances??? That excitement eventually wore off.
During those beginning years of Facebook, you had to find creative ways to work around the fixed ‘is’ when filling out your status update, and you had to be sure to take your moves on Scrabulous before your opponent got irritated with you. You would write on people’s “walls” and in order for them to respond, they had to go over to your profile and write on your “wall.”
Ah. Life was simple. You could be candid… and honest… and social on social media without fear. Facebook was fun. A place to connect and to stay connected. Surely staying connected is a good thing. Right?
But things changed. Hasbro sued Scrabulous, forcing them off of Facebook. Then, they removed the fixed ‘is’ and everything went downhill from there.
Then came the rise of YouTube, Twitter, Tumblr, Instagram and so on. The payphones disappeared right from under our noses with no one paying any attention– everyone was looking at their cell phones. Social media became the preferred way to be “social.” People began to sit in groups without paying attention to each other, but taking pictures of their food with their phones.
The world shrank. Nobody was special anymore. Great achievements weren’t so great anymore. Did you, your child, or your family member accomplish something really unique and great? Turns out that it isn’t so unique since so-and-so and so-and-so’s cousin did that same thing way better than you two months ago. Old news. Saw it in my feed. (Did you ever stop and think about that word, “feed?”)
Did something tragic happen to your loved one? I can’t emote since I already know about 10 other people who are going through the same thing. It’s too much to handle, so in order to survive, I must become numb.
Why didn’t anyone like my post? Why didn’t so-and-so respond to my accomplishment? Surely they saw my posts. They must not like the fact that I got that great job. They’re jealous. I’ll “unfollow” or “block” them.
Over the last decade, flashing screens have sucked the life, brains, compassion, empathy, and creativity out of us all. People are more closed off, lonely, depressed and suspicious than ever. People’s attention spans have drastically decreased. Social media platforms have become the breeding grounds for harsh misunderstandings and sweeping assumptions and conclusions.
These things have bothered me more and more, and over the last 4 or 5 years I’ve felt the tug to separate myself from this sad digital world.
In rolls the Year 2020.
Most news sources and main stream media (MSM) outlets have always been deceptive and manipulative. Satirical fake news sites eventually latched on to this reality, exposing the media in a tongue-in-cheek way. Many, myself included, have known about the deceptive practices of the MSM for quite a while (I owned a Kill Your T.V. sticker in 1992), but I have to admit, I had been clueless to the extent of the lies. Clueless about how dark and wicked the people behind the scenes really are.
I had seen clues for awhile, but my initial reaction was to quickly try and forget about it. No. That’s too horrible. It can’t be true. I would hide my eyes. But when the clues keep flashing before your eyes, eventually you can’t ignore them anymore.
Several weeks ago, I saw a picture on Instagram that promoted the sexual abuse of small children. I was horrified and quickly reported it to IG only to get a response saying that it didn’t violate their community standards, or some kind of garbage like that.
A few weeks after that, I saw a post on Facebook that showed that there are dark, wicked, evil people that want to make it “normal” to abuse and rape children. Beyond horrified, I finally decided to cut my ties. I no longer want to be involved with companies that tolerate and encourage this wickedness. I will no longer add to their revenue by spending time on their platforms and clicking on their ads– fueling this abuse.
My eyes and ears are opened widely. Just about every day I learn more about how vast and dark all of this is. I’m done. Enough is enough.
Oh, and Epstein didn’t kill himself.
I’ve removed all of my personal and business profiles from Instagram and Facebook, and I’ve deleted WhatsApp from my phone (owned by FB). I’ve also removed my shop from Etsy for similar (and different) reasons.
For a few years now, I’ve been building this small e-commerce business I call Plaid Oak (which has it’s own story). I had created a following on Facebook and Instagram which took a lot of work. My business has a stuffed animal mascot who had his own IG following (that was surprisingly large) and his own FB page and his own closed group. They’re gone.
So, now I’m on my own. Just me and my own website, a couple of silly videos on YouTube, a presence on Pinterest, and a profile on Parler (@HappyHuman).
But that’s okay. I have a clean conscience and I trust the Lord to bless my decisions. I’m hopeful, but I also understand that blessing sometimes comes in ways that don’t look or feel so nice. I’m okay with that. I cannot live with myself knowing that the patronage and ad revenue that comes from the little clicks of my mouse are helping fund the living hell that these children (little more than babies) are forced into.