Tired of and bored with Facebook (and other social media sites)?

 Image courtesy of Basketman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Image courtesy of Basketman at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Are you sick and tired of Facebook? Burned out and bored with social media? Today I was talking with speaker/author Dana Arcuri about this. I shared with her that while I’ve met some AMAZING friends and business associates on social media, and am able to keep up with our grown daughters, their children, and family and friends who live in other states on Facebook (for which I’m extremely thankful), I’m tired and bored with social media. And I don’t want to just live a virtual life!

Apparently I’m not alone, because others want to leave Facebook. It’s crowded, it’s becoming more about advertising, and teens don’t want to use it any more because their family and friends are now on it (teens want to be independent!). And worse: it’s getting boring! So often users forget the cardinal rule of relationships: “Thou shalt not bore thy friends.”

Facebook can ruin relationships, according to this post by Elizabeth Bernstein. She writes that people post about what they eat, “uber cute kittens,” say they need to floss their teeth (yuck!), get lovey-dovey with a spouse (why do this?), or say rude things they wouldn’t normally say in a million years in real life (apparently they feel safe enough to act this way, hiding behind their laptop or computer).

The drama, the bragging, the boringness, the familiarity, and the constant promotional “Buy this!”are driving people away – especially young people – to other sites like YouTube, Pinterest, Instagram, Path, and Snapchat. Teens want more creative self-expression rather than telling all the mundane details of your life. 

Dana shared this article with me today, which was very eye-opening. 

Referring to Facebook as “FaceCrack,” likening it to crack cocaine, the article states that Facebook (and other social media sites like Twitter):

  • create brain changes similar to those hooked on drugs and alcohol;
  • diminish attention span, result in superficial learning, feed narcisstic tendencies (selfies!), and create a disconnect between your real-world personality and online identity; 
  • leaves people feeling lonely, miserable, envious, frustrated, and angry.

God made us for an intimate, fulfilling relationship with Him and others. He never created us to live just virtual lives, but to have real ones.

I’m extremely grateful for the wonderful friends and business contacts I’ve made on Facebook and other social media sites. They have enlarged my territory and given me a wider, even a global, platform for speaking and writing. Yes, absolutely, I will continue using social media to connect with friends and business peers. Social media is not just a fad, and it’s not going away.

But I absolutely refuse to be a social media slave.

I love the options the article How Facebook is Altering Your Mind suggest, and want to share them here, plus add a few of my own:

  • Read good books. Yes, paper ones.  Read my books. “You will notice with a good book you find a comfortable place to sit, the light is better, your breathing relaxes – your body and mind relax.” Books take you places you have never been. They also help you learn many new things, inspire and motivate you, and give you great, valuable content to share with others. My husband Ray and I devour books each week. 
  • Exercise. Get outside the house in the fresh air and sunshine. I’ve been doing this lately, and on the days where it’s too cold to walk at the track (like this past week, when it was only 7 degrees!), I work out to a kickboxing video. Just get moving! Live! Get fit and healthy so you can fulfill your God-given purpose. This is good for your body, soul, and spirit. 
  • Contemplate. Gift yourself the time to observe and reflect. Meditation is excellent mind training. Most major world religions teach this. For Christians, this would be time to meditate on the Bible, memorize Scriptures, and prayer. You can sit in a park, people-watch at the airport or coffee shop, enjoy the quiet of a library, or hike a mountain.
  • Do things in your community. Get involved. Church activities, sports, plays, farmer’s markets. “Get out and DO. You are wasting time on Facebook. If that last sentence rings true, turn it off and get out there. Life is beautiful.”
  • Take a missions trip. My friend Kim Weber and her son Nathaniel are planning a short-term missions trip to Haiti this fall. We have a mission field right here in the U.S. ~ our children and grandchildren, nephews and nieces; inner cities; slums. Make a difference where you are or go to a place where there’s a need and unselfishly help meet it.
  • Spend time with your family and friends. What good is it to have wonderful relationships online with friends, if you are ignoring the people in your own house or those God so carefully placed in your life? Let’s face it, if someone only spends time on a computer, laptop, or smart phone, they get weird. You were created for face to face relationships. Eat supper with your family at night. Go to lunch or coffee with a friend or biz peer. Go on a date with your husband or wife to see a good movie, or to a bookstore. Meet with other Christians for a Bible study, prayer, and/or worship. Have a girls’ night out with a jewelry party, chocolate cheesecake dessert, or fun pedicures. Enjoy and love your family and friends in real life!
  • Use your spiritual gifts, talents, and skills. Do what God has called and anointed you to do. For me, this is speaking and writing books. What are your spiritual gifts? Do you know? If not, find out what they are. You can take online tests. Read Spiritual Gifts and Ministries of the Holy Spirit by Lester Sumrall and Step Out and Take Your Place by Krista Dunk. Don’t be like the man who hid his talents in Matthew 25:8, but use your talents ~ and God will bless you with more. Live your life in a way to seek to please God.

 Please don’t misunderstand and think I hate Facebook or other social media sites and am telling you to get off them completely (or at all). Social media has been a blessing in my life and enriched my life through meeting new people and enabling me to do things (like speak in Canada, the Bahamas, and Africa) that I may have never been able to do, otherwise.

Social media is a TOOL. Use it as such. Keep things in balance. Just remember to live your REAL life – offline!

 

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Today is Leah’s 20th birthday

Leah with violin
Leah with violin

Today is our youngest daughter Leah’s 20th birthday. So hard to believe ~ where did the years go? It seems like yesterday she was a baby in a pink gown. You can read the story about the pink gown here.

Today I baked her a yellow cake with chocolate frosting. I found this arrow in the art section of the store, and bought it as her cake topper decoration.

arrow for direction this year for Leah
arrow for direction this year for Leah

Since Leah isn’t sure yet what she wants to do with her life, Ray and I have been praying for God’s wisdom and direction for Leah since she graduated in 2012.  I believe the arrow is prophetic and symbolic of God giving her direction this year, and of her choosing to go the right way, to follow Jesus.

It’s also cute and can be used as wall art for her bedroom. The arrow is actually a chalkboard – how creative!

The arrow chalkboard reminded me of Leah’s creativity. She is multi-gifted. Leah takes violin lessons and plays the violin beautifully: classical music like Bach, hymns, Irish jigs, and she’s even written a couple of her own songs on the violin. She is teaching herself how to play the mandolin and the guitar.

She is also an amazing, self-taught artist.

She draws by hand and draws daily on the graphic art tablet Ray bought her several years ago. Here’s one sample of her incredible graphic art:

Copyright 2014 Leah Jones
Copyright 2014 Leah Jones

Here’s another sample which is my favorite.

Copyright 2012 Leah Jones
Copyright 2012 Leah Jones

She was embarrassed when we sang happy birthday for her. We always light the candles and have our kids make a wish and blow out the candles on their birthday cake.

Leah was embarrassed when we sang to her
Leah was embarrassed when we sang to her

Ray also bought her and him an ice cream waffle cone today.

Ice cream waffle cone
Ice cream waffle cone

One of her birthday gifts is the Sims 4 video game, which she requested for her present.

Sims 4 video game
Sims 4 video game

Another gift that Ray and I gave her today is a cubic zirconia sterling silver heart necklace. She liked it and said it is pretty. Leah likes “shiny” things.

Leah's sterling silver heart necklace
Leah’s sterling silver heart necklace

 Here is a picture of Leah with me, Ray and Heather last year.

Me, Leah, Ray & Heather
Me, Leah, Ray & Heather

 Here’s a picture of me and Leah together at my Cinderella women’s conference this year.

Me with Leah
Me with Leah

 Here’s Leah with her sister Heather at Leah’s homeschool graduation.

Leah's graduation - her sister Heather and Leah
Leah’s graduation – her sister Heather and Leah

Here’s Leah with her sister Eden.

Leah at her graduation with her sister Eden
Leah at her graduation with her sister Eden

Here are Heather, Eden, and Leah together.

Heather, Eden, and Leah
Heather, Eden, and Leah

Leah is a beautiful, spiritually gifted, musically and artistically gifted, talented, highly intelligent, loving, balanced, funny, young woman. Ray and I are proud of her.

Some people don’t understand Leah because she is so quiet. Ray and I used to be the same way; we were both incredibly shy, but grew out of it. I believe Leah will grow out of her shyness, too, one day. Some friends shared that they believe Leah is like a late-blooming flower. They bloom late in the season, but when they bloom, it’s like they spring up overnight. 

Leah is very shy and finds it hard to talk with people, and has just a few close friends, but she’s a wonderful person to get to know. If you’re not her friend, you are really missing out!

Here is Leah with her friends at the bowling alley.

Leah and friends
Leah and friends

And another pic with friends at the bowling alley. (Annabelle too)

Leah at bowling alley with friends
Leah at bowling alley with friends

These are her friends from small group on Sundays.

Leah & friends
Leah & friends

Leah and her friend David Christian at the bowling alley.

Leah & David Christian at bowling alley
Leah & David Christian at bowling alley

Here’s her friends from small group acting goofy.

Small group
Small group

She loves her friends.

She also loves her iPhone cell phone. She has a piano app on it that she plays all the time and her games. 

Leah loves her iPhone
Leah loves her iPhone

And she loves animals, especially cats.

Leah and cat
Leah and cat

Leah also loves horses. She used to take riding lessons and competed in English horse riding shows. She won a blue ribbon first place prize in her 3rd show! This year she was able to ride on a horse again for the first time in years. I’m praying for us both to be able to ride again soon.

Our daughter Leah on Ace
Our daughter Leah on Ace

God has great plans for  Leah’s life. I can’t wait to see them unfold.

“I will bless you with a future filled with hope—a future of success, not of suffering.” ~ Jeremiah 29:11, CEV

Leah, we love you so much. You are precious to God, others, and many other people.

Your life is a beautiful gift to me, and I’m so thankful for you. Happy 20th. 

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You are a _______!

I’ve been tweaking things at my website lately, like my EStore. I’ve added info products that I used to carry, and I’m planning to add more this year: ebooks, books, webinars, telecalls, cd’s. It’s time to get productive!

I was Skyping with a friend/business peer yesterday, who surprised me when she said she thought I was mostly a coach. Wha-a-a?! (No offense, coaches!)

We discussed how both of us can more effectively and clearly market ourselves and our biz.

We talked about how we as women entrepreneurs need to be bold and step up and say, “I am a _______.”

Beth Jones, International Speaker
Beth Jones speaking at Carriage House, Butler, MO

For me, that would be, “I am a public (professional) speaker.”

My signature talk is on The Power of Shoes, based on Cinderella’s story.

I so wish that I could claim credit for the title. One night I was having an insomniac, late-night Facebook chat with my jewelry artist friend Jennifer Whiddon, telling her my signature talk will be about Cinderella – and I wanted it to focus on shoes.

I LOVE shoes. Women in general love shoes.

Cinderella’s glass slippers were cool, and I wanted to encourage women to walk in their unique shoes (their purpose, life assignment, gifts). 

I spoke on Cinderella when I flew to Canada to speak at Doreen Penner’s women’s retreat in Manitoba (and bought beautiful, new shoes to wear when speaking!).

Since then, Doreen has strongly encouraged me to delve deeper into the story and consider it as my “one talk.”

Jennifer got really excited about the whole idea, and immediately thought of the title The Power of Shoes.

This is why I surround myself with brilliant, creative people. They think for me.

 Jennifer and I brainstormed about the talk. The wicked stepmother and stepsisters told Cinderella she couldn’t go to the ball like everyone else. She felt left behind, all alone. Have you ever felt like you were on the outside looking in at others?

You weren’t meant to fit in, but were created by God to STAND OUT ~ set apart by Him for a holy purpose! You were made to do great things!

No one could fit into Cinderella’s glass slippers but her. No one can fit into or walk in your  shoes, either – no one else has your purpose, your spiritual gifts, your personality, your looks, your experiences, your intelligence, your story, what makes you uniquely you.

This “not fitting in and standing out for God’s purpose” could be my unique hook for speaking….with me wearing a funky Cinderella dress and shoes (boots!). 

If you are an event planner or know someone who needs a women’s conference or retreat keynote speaker, contact me here. I’m now booking speaking events for 2014 and 2015.

(Shameless plug over now…)

Anyhoo, my friend knew I spoke, but it surprised me that she thought I was primarily a coach and an author! 

Yes, I write books. I’m writing one now ~ Promises in the Dark.  It is the most transparent, vulnerable book I’ve ever written, which is why I’ve had MAJOR resistance to writing it (I was supposed to finish it last year!). I.e., you hear about a lot of my bad stuff I’ve done! But it has a point!

If you haven’t heard about it, the book’s theme is God’s promises versus the world’s promises. The world promises you and me so much, but comes up empty and leaving us unsatisfied (and often hurt and filled with regret). God’s promises are true and forever. They fulfill you.

You can view the book trailer for it by clicking here.

And yes, I also coach clients. I’m working with 2 wonderful clients now!

But coaching is a way for me to use my spiritual gifts to help women discover their gifts, to tap into their creativity and great potential, and to succeed in business. It is also an additional income generating stream for my online biz.

But PRIMARILY, I am a speaker. And I love to travel. Combined together, this is my PASSION.

Speaking on a stage in front of a live audience and traveling are what makes me feel alive and energized. What makes you feel that way? Do you know?

I love looking into women’s faces as I speak to empower them, and encouraging their hearts. I love praying for them afterward, and if God is graceful to me, giving them a prophetic word from God to speak life into them and their troubling circumstances.

Urging them to come higher and step into God’s fullness for them. To display them for His glory.

I love when the anointing of God hits after I take the mic and then afterward, I am all empty, having been used by Him out of His utter mercy toward me…because it’s not about me anyway. God can use a donkey if He wants!

My constant prayer is, “Here, I am, Lord, send me” and “God, please, don’t let me flop…I can’t do this without you!” 🙂

I love studying His word, reading great books, and sharing with others the gems I’ve discovered. I love sharing the good news of my BFF, Jesus, how applicable and relevant and practical it still is in this post-modern, so independent world, and the powerful stories of what He’s done in mine and others’ lives. 

I can’t even breathe without Him. He’s everything to me. And I have to tell, even if I stumble over my words and am not polished perfect. But I’m simply willing to go wherever He wants and open my mouth and glorify Him. And I think He likes that, because He knows I will ALWAYS POINT TO JESUS. 

What’s funny about this speaking business is that years ago, I used to be scared to death to speak in front of people! Like most people. It’s the #2 fear among Americans.

So I am a speaker by default…and by divine assignment! God opened the door about 3 years ago for me to share my testimony at a woman’s Bible study. The director of the pro-life pregnancy center where I was a voluntary counselor was asked to speak there.

She was busy, so she recommended and volunteered me instead! When I got in front of that roomful of ladies, my whole body shook, I sweated profusely, and my voice quivered. I thought I was going to faint.

Then I got hooked on it. Now I LOVE IT! God has such a sense of humor ~ and uses the most unlikely of people.

Like me – a woman with a past, like the Samaritan woman at the well Jesus spoke to – and then He used her to turn the city inside out.

Turning my messes into messages of hope. Hope only Jesus can give.

So yea…if you didn’t know, I’m a speaker! If you need one, talk to me and let’s get this event booked! Email me at elizabethdjones@gmail.com or contact me here

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