Using social media…Is Twitter or Instgram in our future?…New Facebook friends…Feedback, please…Horses…

These foals are hard to get close for more detailed photos when they’re very shy.

Glad we left Fiji!  Yesterday, there was a Category 5 Cyclone/Hurricane on the island where we spent our last month ending on January 4th. Our love and wishes for the safety of all our Fijian friends we left behind. According to this morning’s local news, that same cyclone may be heading our way. We’ll keep our readers updated.

Both Tom and I are Facebook users. Tom shares his opinions and humor with family, friends, and the many co-workers/friends he made over 42 years working on the railroad. Many of his friends are retired, spending a fair amount of time online, as does Tom.

For me, it’s less frequent, although I usually post a  favorite photo at least every other day. I read what my FB friends are saying, sharing and showing photos breezing through the posts in minutes. Overall, I may spend less than 20 minutes a day. Whereas Tom, a slower reader, can spend hours reading every post. We all have ways of entertaining ourselves.

This farm is close to our home in Taranaki. When we first arrived, we hadn’t seen the foal, only the two pregnant dams. Within a few days we noticed the young horses, hovering close to their mothers.  Both are still nursing.

If you’d like to friend me on Facebook, search at this time, Jessica Lyman, location, New Plymouth, New Zealand. (My location changes each time to move to a new country). There are a number of others with my name so please check the photo and location. 

As for Twitter, I’m on a fence about using it and have been so for some time. Isn’t Twitter more appropriate for younger folks who enjoy sharing their every moment or celebrities trying to build millions of followers to enhance their “brand?” 

I really don’t know what I’d say when I already spew many of my thoughts and opinions right here. It would be redundant. If we were involved in many other activities that took us to restaurants, malls, theatres, or multiple social occasions, as is the case for many active seniors, we may have more to say on Twitter.

They run together playfully as do the alpacas, especially in the evening when these photos were taken.

Instead, we do exactly what we love to do, get out to enjoy our surroundings, staying home to enjoy our surroundings, shopping and preparing our healthy delicious meals, taking endless photos in the process. These aren’t necessarily good fodder for social media.

The bottom line is a lack of desire to be online spending most of my day updating. As it is, I spend considerable time preparing these posts, managing hundreds of new photos, and joyfully responding to emails and comments from our readers. Occasionally, I check into my LinkedIn account, but spending a lot of time on that site, makes me feel as if I’m working.

Although there is a “working” element in preparing a daily blog with photos, I try to keep it within the framework of the pure pleasure it is after uploading 1300 posts. It’s hard for me to fathom, we’ve done 1300 posts. If I’d been told by an employer to deliver a post with photos 365 days a year, I’d have quit my job! The pressure would have been unbearable.

This foal has the same facial markings at it mother. Its elegant gait is amazing to see.

Posting here of my own volition, I feel energized and fresh-minded each morning as I begin. Writer’s block?  Never for more than a few minutes. When we have a TV we need only watch the news for a few minutes for a morsel of news to trigger my mind into a flurry of thoughts and ideas.

No, it’s not easy to manifest a concept for each day’s post. When we’ve been out touring, it’s easier. When we stay home at times for two or three days in a row, especially during rainy weather, we’re subject to sharing the most minute details of our daily lives, which may be of little interest to some readers.

They still stay close to their moms at this stage.

Each day I read our stats and can’t seem to find any connection between our content and the number of visits we have in any one day. I often think when I post a unique event more visitors will come although it’s not the case. There’s no rhyme or reason. In any case, we appreciate every reader that comes our way, whether it’s once, occasionally, or daily.

Please write if you feel you’d be interested in seeing us on other social media. How many respondents will be influential in our decision? I’m assuming many of our readers may be over 40 years old, people who don’t necessarily post “selfies” on a daily basis, nor would we. It will be fun to hear from YOU.

Have a beautiful day! 

Photo from one year ago today, February 22, 2015:

It is ironic that I’d planned to post photos of horses today and when I researched the year ago photo for today, this was our main photo. We took this photo on our way to Poipu Beach in Kauai while on a short holiday for my birthday. This horse seemed happy to see us as I approached the fence, giving us his version of a smile.  For more photos of that trip, please click here.

Facebook…How much do we participate in social media?…

These flowers seen from the veranda remind us of Plumeria in Hawaii.

We’re disappointed we weren’t able to capture photos of the fireworks we heard from dark until well after midnight. The position of the house, on the edge of a mountain, prevented a clear view of the celebrations surrounding us. We hope all of our Hindu neighbors in Savusavu, Fiji, and throughout the world had a fabulous Diwali celebration.

Overall, on Facebook, I’ve kept a fairly low profile. Mainly, I post photos or stories I deem to be “share-worthy” although that may not always be the case for my FB “friends” who may or may not care about the photos I post.

It’s natural to assume the number of “likes” determines the degree of interest one’s friends may have in viewing a particular post. When there are few, if any likes, it’s easy to wonder as to what didn’t appeal to one’s friends. 

Our single house is located in the far right of this photo, down from the house above that has three rentals, a huge upper floor, and two good sized lower apartments.

The most innocuous posts may elicit a huge number of “likes” and “comments” while other seeming life-altering events may hardly attract a single click of a finger garnering attention our way.

Tom, on the other hand, is a Facebook fan, frequently posting a wide array of views, objections to other posts, and occasionally, bawdy humor. At times, I may mention (in person) that his comments may not be “PC” but he shrugs and reminds me about our civil liberties, seeming to be quickly waning in regard to freedom of speech. 

It’s hard to argue that point. I slither away, keeping my own mouth shut about him tempering his opinions when Facebook certainly inspires us to address our varying views about many topics. 

Another view across the bay from the opposite side. Our resort is located near the open brown spot in the far right in this photo.

With dozens of railroad friends on Facebook, many retirees, Tom is provided with an opportunity to stay in touch with the “guys” which he thoroughly enjoys. The laughter and banter they often enjoyed in the lunchroom at work are now enjoyed online. 

Many of Tom’s many family members are on FB, giving him more opportunities to enjoy time chatting back and forth, staying up on family events and activities. It’s this type of communication that keeps him engaged day after day.

View from the opposite side of the island where slightly to the left-center is Nawi Island and the village.

Occasionally, I can’t resist posting a mention of health or, unhealthiness, in regard to chemicals in food or the overuse of sugar, starch, and grain consumption and the use of certain prescription drugs with dangerous side effects, that a good diet may better serve. I can easily fall prey to the lure of Facebook in stepping atop my soapbox to express my personal causes and beliefs, especially when another post triggers a response.

Before the popularity of the Internet, we saved such discussions for the dinner table or water cooler. Today, social media provides us with the opportunity to bash, criticize or even extol the virtues of anything we believe regardless of the topic. 

As for my number of FB friends, I haven’t really encouraged our blog readers throughout the world to “friend” me on Facebook. There’s no particular reason why not. All of you are welcome to friend me.

As seen from our veranda to the steep grounds below.

If you’d like to “friend” me, please click here, since there are others with the same or similar names.  I’ll happily accept friend requests.

On average, I spend no more than 10 to 15 minutes a day on Facebook, mainly “speaking” to family and friends in the “chat” module or “liking” a variety of posts I find interesting, mostly revolving around travel, nature, and wildlife in an attempt to stay somewhat neutral in this venue.

Believe me, for those who personally know me, I’m highly opinionated on certain topics but, I’ve chosen to temper those opinions since we began traveling the world, especially in the written word. 

Dense vegetation surrounds us providing us with a sense of living in a rainforest.

While on cruises, we often find ourselves with others who are equally opinionated, providing all of us with an appropriate arena in which to express our myriad views without recrimination that may result from posting such opinions on social media.

As for Twitter, we are truly invisible. I have a Twitter account but never use it. Tom doesn’t have an account.  Writing, posting, and searching for photo ops each day occupies enough time that constantly staying in tune with Twitter is not on my radar. Plus, without a phone contract and the high cost of data, it makes no sense to incur additional expenses reading and posting on Twitter.

Plus, I can’t imagine what I could possibly say in a tweet that would garner enough interest or attention when the majority of our time is spent simply “living” and enjoying our surroundings as is the case for many retirees. 

Pineapples growing on the ground of this resort.

We’re not bored in our day to day lives, but others maybe if we tweeted. It’s not as if we’re at a club and have spotted a celebrity or, for that matter, that we’re “persons of interest” with a vast array of snippets each day.  Perhaps, on travels days and when we’re engaged in a variety of activities a tweet would be worth posting.

It’s hard enough to post worthwhile items on Facebook, let alone be bogged down by other forms of communication. We certainly appreciate and understand the enthusiasm others may experience in tweeting and in text messaging, another area in which we don’t participate much.

Again, without a phone contract and the outrageous cost for text messages using a phone SIM card, we see how easily texting could result in an added expense we don’t deem necessary. At no cost (other than data when online), we can private message on Facebook, and for a minimal cost, we’re able to Skype with our family and friends, regardless of where we may be.

View from the highway to Savusavu.

Without a doubt, traveling the world wouldn’t have appealed to us without the availability of the Internet and, with the use of social media, which to some degree, enables us to stay in touch.

It’s especially fun to connect with our readers in a more personal manner via Facebook if you so choose. Hope to see you there soon!

Today, we’re off to the village! Have a blissful day!

Photo from one year ago today, November 12, 2014:

Beautiful colors at dusk at the lava rock breakwaters in Maui, Hawaii. For more photos, please click here.