I’ve actually been thinking about doing this for a while now. Detoxing from social media. In the past I’ve always called these little jaunts away from social media “fasts” or “breaks,” but I’ve never used the word detox. This time, though, it fits–and fits well.

It’s sad to say this, really, but it’s true: social media has and is contributing to much of the ANTI-social behavior that we witness in our culture right now. We all know the symptoms, and we can certainly deduce the cause. There is a sense of impunity offered through the anonymity (real or imagined) of the virtual world. We say things to and about people that we would never say to their faces, or even about them to other people’s faces. There is no accountability when we are the only person in the room. So, it becomes much easier to dehumanize people we do not particularly like, or with whom we have a disagreement of some sort. A popular term presently floating around for this is “otherizing.” When we otherize people, civility, courteousness, compassion, and grace are not necessary. People deserve those things. “Others” don’t. Social media makes otherizing too easy; it is making us anti-social; and the environment it is helping to create is, quite literally, TOXIC!

Good grief, I hate bringing up politics, but I’m going to just briefly…

I admit when I’m wrong and when I do bad things. Back before the election, I fell into the trap of all-politics-all-the-time on social media. I posted almost every story I came across that supported my particular politics and point of view. My Facebook “wall” was a gigantic mass of political poison, and I truly thought I was doing good. My Twitter feed was nothing but politics, and I joined in
just about every Tweetstorm that started. I said horrible, hateful, terrible things to and about people–things I would “never say to their faces, or even about them to other people’s faces.” Then it hit. Trouble sleeping. Staying up all night refreshing Twitter and Facebook to see if anything new had happened. A nearly constant feeling of anger and sometimes outright rage at people I didn’t even know and would likely never know.

I was being poisoned!

When I finally took a step back, a deep breath, and an honest look at my own actions I was disgusted with myself. Social media had made me/is making me a morbidly anti-social person. I knew then that I needed to do something to stop it, but it’s taken me this long to take the step to do it.

For the next 30 days (at least), I will not be active on social media. I have deleted the apps from my phone, and I have installed extensions on my web browsers that make logging in more tedious than it should ever be–and totally prevent it during my waking hours. Granted, extensions can be removed and apps can be reinstalled, but I’m less likely to do either of those things than I would be to just “take a peek” at Facebook or Twitter. I’m still posting to Instagram because, of all my social media outlets, that is by far the most tame…that’s probably cheating, but hey, at least I didn’t totally say “No, no, no!” I can’t figure out Snapchat anyway, so that will be no problem. My blog will continue to post to Twitter and to my Facebook page automatically, but I’ve allowed myself that since I’m not physically doing it. (Maybe that’s cheating, maybe not.)

This is going to be tough for me. My problems with anxiety make getting out and doing things with people difficult at times. But, my hope is that this detox will service two purposes:

1) Get rid of the anti-social poison that social media injects.

2) Force me to get up, get out, and get busy living a life with other real human beings.

I’m not going to challenge you to do this with me or anything. Those challenges always annoy me when other people do them. But, what I will do is encourage you to do what I did a few months ago…

Take a step back.

Take a deep breath.

Take an honest look at who you are on social media.

Then ask yourself…

Does my social media persona match the person I want to be? Does it match the person I think I am?

If the answer is yes, great! You’re among the rare few who manage to keep it that way. If the answer is, no, then perhaps you want to consider taking some time away from it, detoxing, and getting a fresh start?

It’s just a thought, really. It’s what I’m doing, but I know it’s not for everyone. Either way–whether you join me or not–I hope you’ll keep reading here, and if you find something that I’ve written enjoyable, inspiring, infuriating, or are otherwise moved by it, please share, Share, SHARE!


The pictures below have absolutely nothing to do with social media, but they are sights from the first day of Spring at my house….which I saw today….because I went outside and looked!



Anxiety–Destroyer of Lives, Part 3: Things People Say That I Wish They Didn’t Say

For the last two weeks, I’ve been writing about my experiences with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD), Panic Disorder, and panic attacks. On week 1, I shared with you a brief outline of the progression of these disorders over the course of my life, and last week, I wrote about the things I think people need to know about those of us who suffer from them. It’s important that I clarify again the point that, while each person’s experiences with these disorders is different, we do share many experiences, feelings and thoughts. That is why I feel comfortable speaking broadly on the topic and speaking “for” all of us as a whole. Of course, I always welcome input from readers who agree or disagree.

This weeks’ post has been a little tougher to write. Why? Because this week I’m writing about the things that people say to and about those of us who suffer with GAD and panic attacks that I wish people didn’t say to and about us. Frankly, there are too many to include in one post. The tough part about this week has been narrowing those things down to a manageable number–five seems to be the magical one in this case. So, without further ado, here are…

Five Things People Say To People Who Suffer With GAD and Panic Attacks That I Wish They Didn’t Say

“You’re okay.” or…”You’re going to be okay.” or…”Everything is okay.”

Actually, no. We’re not okay. Everything is not okay. And, when we’re in the middle of a panic attack or an anxious day, it’s next to impossible for us to believe that we’re going to be okay. We know that you think you’re saying something that will help, and honestly, we want it to be true. But, remember that by nature, our panic attacks and anxieties are not rational. During the throes of one, thinking rationally is virtually impossible. Our bodies are flooded with adrenaline in the most massive “fight or flight” response you could ever imagine. Think of it this way: when someone is having a panic attack, their body is reacting in the most primal way it can. It is reacting in the way that has kept the human species alive over hundreds of thousands of years in the face of other animals far stronger than we, and cataclysmic events that rendered other species extinct. It is as if we are being chased by an animal capable of devouring us and shredding our bodies limb from limb. If we don’t run far and fast, we will die. Only…there is no REAL danger present at that moment. We know that in our rational minds, but our bodies cannot respond accordingly. It is frightening…no, it is terrifying. We just don’t feel like we will be okay.

“Just relax.”

If only! Most people who suffer with GAD, panic attacks, and panic disorder find relaxation to be, at best, difficult to attain. We would love to lie on a sun-drenched beach, eyes closed, listening to the waves roll ashore; forgetting all the cares of the world for at least a little while. But, as we lie there, we worry. We worry about skin cancer from sun exposure. We worry about the kids playing in the ocean whose parents don’t seem to be paying close attention. We worry that while we lie there and relax, something back home is going dreadfully, terribly wrong and we’re not there to stop it (as if we could). Believe it or not, sometimes just the act of TRYING to relax makes us more anxious than we already were. Speaking personally, the more still and quiet I am, the more time I have to think; and thinking is rarely relaxing. As much as we want to, and as much as we know we should, most of us who suffer with GAD and panic attacks simply cannot “just relax.”

“Take some deep breaths.”

I don’t know about you, but I breathe constantly. Okay, that was a little sarcastic, but you get my point. Yes, taking deep breaths does work to slow the heart rate, lower the blood pressure, and to some extent, calm the nerves. But, just like the act of trying to relax, focusing on breathing makes some of us (myself included) even more nervous and anxious than we already are; and being reminded to breathe deeply makes it that much worse. We are breathing, and we are taking as many deep breaths as possible, as often as possible. Give us time. Our breathing will slow, even if you don’t remind us that it needs to.

“Pray about it.” or…”God doesn’t give us anything we can’t bear.”

I have many well-meaning brothers and sisters in Christ who have said these things to me so many times. If you only knew how many times I’ve prayed about it. If you only knew how many times I’ve asked God to deliver me from this panic, anxiety, worry, and fear. I dare say that I’ve prayed about this more than I’ve prayed about anything else in my entire life. As far as God not giving us anything more than we are able to bear: respectfully, that is a terrible misconstruction and misinterpretation of that particular passage of Scripture. What the Bible actually says is:

“No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV

This has nothing to do with the situations and circumstances in life that befall us. What Paul refers to in this passage specifically deals with righteous living; with not being able to withstand the temptations that come to us–those which are common to us all. Generalized Anxiety Disorder and panic attacks are not temptations. They are very real conditions which affect millions of people–Christians and non-Christians alike.

“You’re not trying to get better.”

This one really gets to me. How do you know I’m not trying? Furthermore, if you think I’m not trying, what exactly would “trying” look like to you? The problem with GAD and panic attacks, just like the problem with many illnesses and disorders, is that not all treatments work for everyone. Some treatments work better than others. Some treatments don’t work at all, and some treatments work a little, but not a lot. For some of us, trying is what we’ve been doing the entire time we’ve been suffering, and we still haven’t found what works best. There are even some of us who have tried everything known to help without any results at all. “Trying to get better” looks different for all of us, and to folks who don’t suffer, our best efforts might not looks like any effort at all. But, we really are trying. I don’t know anyone with either GAD, panic attacks, or both who WANTS to continue having them.

I’m not a big believer in policing the things that people say and I am a big believer in free speech and the free exchange of ideas. But, I would caution folks to be careful in choosing their words when talking to people who suffer with GAD and panic attacks. Sometimes even the most innocent words hurt the most because they call into question our ability to control our own lives even more than we already question it ourselves. All I ask, all any of us ask, is that you just be there for us; to support us, to comfort us. Sometimes–most of the time, actually–no words are required for that.

Coming up:

Anxiety–Destroyer of Lives, Part 4: Where do we go from here?

Life in Narrative #3: She’s Moving (An Update), And I Feel Like a Bad Neighbor

A few weeks ago, I wrote a short narrative about an encounter I had with one of my neighbors during my morning walk. I described the somewhat comforting effect that our very brief conversation had on me; helping me to realize that in the midst of the chaos that is our modern world, there are still folks who get together with old friends to socialize, to play games, to nourish their souls with the company of people for whom they care, and vice versa. This morning, I was dismayed to learn that my neighbor, the kind older lady who wears pastel-colored pant suits and goes to play Bridge with friends each week, is moving away.

I noticed a small Penske moving truck parked in front of that building a couple of days ago. I didn’t think much about it at the time and figured that the young married couple, the most “out of  place” in our little community, were moving into a bigger place. Perhaps they’d finally saved enough to buy their first home. Perhaps they are expecting a baby and need more room. In a group of neighbors made up of mostly older women and me, they seemed the most likely to leave first. But, this morning, as I left to go grab some breakfast, I discovered that boxes, bins, and furniture were being moved out of … and that’s the funny part; I don’t even know her name. We’ve spoken dozens of times–mostly “hi’s” and “how are you’s”–and in all of those brief, but genuinely friendly encounters, I never bothered to properly introduce myself. Why?

At present, I have 260 “friends” on Facebook. I have 35 “followers” on my new, no-politics Twitter. 173 people follow me on Instagram, and almost 1,000 people follow this blog by some method or another. But, of all of those people, I regularly interact personally (not online) with maybe 10 of them, but I know more about the lives of those hundreds of people than I knew about my neighbor who has lived less than 100 feet away for the last three-and-a-half years. That makes me sad, and it makes me wonder how it all happened. (Just kidding. I actually know how it happened, but it makes for a better story this way.)

I’m about to embark on a social media detox for (at least) thirty days. No Facebook. No Twitter. No Instagram. I will keep writing in my blog because it’s not technically social media–there’s no interaction unless someone comments on a post, which rarely happens. One of my goals in this detox is breaking the habit of relying on the electronic virtual world for human interaction. During the detox I’m going to do my best to actually go places where other live human beings are and speak to them face-to-face. Hopefully, some stagnated friendships will be revitalized and renewed. Maybe some new friendships will be made.

What does that have to do with my neighbor? Well, nothing really. She’s gone now, and it’s not likely that I will ever get the chance to know anything more about her than that once a week she dons a pastel-colored pant suit, climbs in her little SUV, and goes to play Bridge with friends. Where is she going? Maybe her children and grandchildren decided it was time to move her closer to them so that they could help take care of her. Maybe she decided on her own to downsize into a smaller place that was easier to take care of. Maybe she’s going to live in an assisted living facility where there are professionals who can help her when she needs it. What will happen to her Bridge game? Will she still go once a week to play, or will she be too far away and will that part of her life be drawing to a close? Maybe she’ll find a new Bridge group to play with, and once a week they will set up the folding card table, cover it with a white linen tablecloth, and will drink coffee, eat cookies or finger sandwiches, and play Bridge and talk about their lives. Maybe, but I won’t really ever know.

I wish I knew her name, and that I’d taken the time to get to know her well enough that, on the day she moved away, I felt comfortable walking the short distance between our two apartments to bid her farewell. But, I didn’t, because I was “busy” and in a hurry to get back to the hundreds of people I interact with daily … electronically, virtually, knowing vast amounts about the parts of their lives that they choose to reveal, and allowing them to know the same about me.

And, at the end of the day, we “sign out” of each others lives until we’re ready to sign in and be friends again.

Anxiety–Destroyer of Lives, Part 2: The Things You Need to Know About GAD & Panic Attacks

Last week, I posted Anxiety–Destroyer of Lives, Part 1: My Long & Complicated Relationship With Panic. In it, I gave a brief description of how and when I began experiencing the crippling effects of Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks. If you have not yet read part 1, reading it before you read this post might help with context.

What is Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)?

The Mayo Clinic defines GAD as “. . .excessive, ongoing anxiety and worry that interfere with day-to-day activities.” People may develop “generalized anxiety disorder as a child or an adult. Generalized anxiety disorder has symptoms that are similar to panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other types of anxiety, but they are all different conditions.”

Symptoms of GAD include:

Persistent worrying or obsession about small or large concerns that’s out of proportion to the impact of the event
Inability to set aside or let go of a worry
Inability to relax, restlessness, and feeling keyed up or on edge
Difficulty concentrating, or the feeling that your mind “goes blank”
Worrying about excessively worrying
Distress about making decisions for fear of making the wrong decision
Carrying every option in a situation all the way out to its possible negative conclusion
Difficulty handling uncertainty or indecisiveness
Muscle tension or muscle aches
Trembling, feeling twitchy
Being easily startled
Trouble sleeping
Nausea, diarrhea or irritable bowel syndrome

Symptoms in children and teens can manifest differently than adults and may include:

Performance at school or sporting events suffering
Difficulty being on time (punctuality)
Fear of earthquakes, nuclear war or other catastrophic events
Feeling overly anxious to fit in
Being a perfectionist
Tendency to redo tasks because they aren’t perfect the first time
Spending excessive time doing homework
Lacking confidence
Striving for approval
Requiring a lot of reassurance about performance

What are Panic Attacks?

The Mayo Clinic defines a panic attack as ” a sudden episode of intense fear that triggers severe physical reactions when there is no real danger or apparent cause. Panic attacks can be very frightening. When panic attacks occur, you might think you’re losing control, having a heart attack or even dying.” Further, they note that “Many people have just one or two panic attacks in their lifetimes, and the problem goes away, perhaps when a stressful situation ends. But if you’ve had recurrent, unexpected panic attacks and spent long periods in constant fear of another attack, you may have a condition called panic disorder. . .Although panic attacks themselves aren’t life-threatening, they can be frightening and significantly affect your quality of life.”

Panic attack symptoms vary widely from person to person, but they almost always come on suddenly and without warning, even at times when there does not seem to be anything that would trigger a panic attack. Many people, myself included, have been awakened in the middle of the night from a sound sleep having a panic attack. While symptoms are not the same from one person to the next, they can include:

Sense of impending doom or danger
Fear of loss of control or death
Rapid, pounding heart rate
Trembling or shaking
Shortness of breath or tightness in your throat
Hot flashes
Abdominal cramping
Chest pain
Dizziness, light-headedness or faintness
Numbness or tingling sensation
Feeling of unreality or detachment

I have experienced all of those symptoms over the years. Most of the time, my panic attacks have multiple symptoms at a time. They are incredibly frightening, embarrassing, and create a sense of helplessness and hopelessness that someone who doesn’t experience them simply cannot understand. They are exhausting, and after they end, I feel as though I could sleep for days. But, the worst part about panic attacks and panic disorder is the fear that they will happen again. That is why I, and so many other people who suffer from them, avoid situations where they might occur. That leads to isolation, loneliness, and depression. As I said in part 1, relationships with family, friends, significant others, and co-workers can be dramatically impacted by these conditions.

But, the symptoms of GAD, panic attacks (panic disorder) are not the only things you need to know. There are several more that those of us who suffer want those of you who don’t to know–not about the conditions, but about US!

We Are Not Crazy
People who suffer from GAD and panic attacks are not insane. In fact, on the whole, we are among the most sane, intelligent, and creative people you’ll ever meet. Leann Rimes, Johnny Depp, Kate Moss, Emma Stone, Joey Votto, Kim Basinger, Scarlett Johansson, and Adele are just a few of the people known to suffer from GAD, panic attacks, or both. Some psychologists and psychiatrists who’ve studied his writings believe that Abraham Lincoln also likely suffered from GAD. (from While GAD and panic disorder are classified as mental/emotional in nature, the people who suffer from them are most certainly not mentally disturbed or insane. You don’t need to be afraid of us.

We Don’t Have A Switch To Turn It Off
Oh, that there were a switch that would allow us to turn off the worry, the fear, the panic, the racing thoughts–I don’t know that there is a price we wouldn’t be willing to pay. Unfortunately, that switch doesn’t exist. As much as we want to (as much as YOU may want us to), and as hard as we try, we can’t just turn it off. Many people with GAD and panic disorder have suffered with it since childhood; and while there may be times when we are perfectly fine, we always know that the panic could hit at any time. There are effective treatments for GAD and panic disorder which help many people who suffer with them, but they are just treatments, not cures. We will most likely always “have it.”

We Probably Can’t Tell You What We Are Afraid Of
I have a fairly sizeable list of phobias: heights, closed spaces, large crowds, etc. But, ask me during a panic attack what it is that I’m afraid of at that moment, and I probably won’t be able to tell you. The vast majority of my panic attacks are not triggered by any of the phobias I have. I can’t tell you what most of them are triggered by, and most of the people who I’ve talked to who suffer like me say the same thing. We can’t tell you what we are afraid of during a panic attack. All we know is that the fear is very real.

We Need You To Be Our Friend Even Though We Can’t Always Be Yours
This is, maybe, the hardest truth about GAD and panic attacks that I know of. Those of us who suffer need people around who care about us. We need people around who know what we’re going through and who still love us anyway. We need people around us who will continue to be our friends even though we are not always very good at being yours. This flies in the face of everything we’re ever told about friendships. You know–they’re a “two-way street.” That is true. Unfortunately for those of us who suffer from these disorders, we’re not always able to travel down the other side. We know we need to. We know we should. But, just at that moment, we can’t make the trip.

We Haven’t “Given Up” On Life
One of the things that I dread most when I talk to people about GAD and panic attacks are the looks of pity on people’s faces. You know the look–furrowed brow, eyebrows raised, head tilted to the side, weepy eyes. It’s a look that suggests the thought: “Oh, you poor, hopeless thing. You’ve given up on having a happy life.” But, we haven’t. Most sufferers of GAD and panic attacks may have some level of depression accompanying the disorders, but we don’t often just give up and go to bed. Even during the times when I’ve been housebound, I’ve been busy about trying to get better. It may just be that my “busy” doesn’t look the same as yours. But, trust me, I (we) haven’t given up.

Lastly, and the most important thing we want you to know…

If you know someone who you think may be experiencing Generalized Anxiety Disorder and/or panic attacks, please talk to them. Let them know that there is help available and that they don’t have to suffer alone. This is especially important for little kids who might be suffering. The earlier GAD and panic attacks are caught, the easier they seem to be to treat. Please don’t let someone you know suffer alone. There is hope and there is help.

If you think you may know someone who suffers from Generalized Anxiety Disorder and/or Panic Attacks/Panic Disorder, check out the resources available through the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA).

And, don’t forget to be a friend!
Coming up:

Anxiety–Destroyer of Lives, Part 3: The Things People Say That I wish People Didn’t Say
Anxiety–Destroyer of Lives, Part 4: Let’s Get Serious About This

A little wit. A little wisdom. And a little whatever. (March 8, 2017)

A little wit

Good Luck Mr. Gorsky…(from Short Funny Stories)
On July 20, 1969, as commander of the Apollo 11 Lunar Module, Neil Armstrong was the first person to set foot on the moon. His first words after stepping on the moon, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind,” were televised to Earth and heard by millions. But just before he re-entered the lander, he made the enigmatic remark: “Good luck, Mr. Gorsky.” Many people at NASA thought it was a casual remark concerning some rival Soviet Cosmonaut. However, upon checking, there was no Gorsky in either the Russian or American space programs. Over the years many people questioned Armstrong as to what the “Good luck, Mr.Gorsky” statement meant, but Armstrong always just smiled.

On July 5, 1995, in Tampa Bay, Florida, while answering questions following a speech, a reporter brought up the 26 year old question to Armstrong. This time he finally responded. Mr. Gorsky had died and so Neil Armstrong felt he could answer the question.

In 1938, when he was a kid in a small mid-west town, he was playing baseball with a friend in the backyard. His friend hit a fly ball, which landed in his neighbor’s yard by the bedroom windows.

His neighbors were Mr. and Mrs. Gorsky. As he leaned down to pick up the ball, young Armstrong heard Mrs. Gorsky shouting at Mr. Gorsky. “Sex! You want sex?! You’ll get sex when the kid next door walks on the moon!”

A True story.

A little wisdom

“In nature, there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.” —Robert Greene Ingersoll, 1833-1899 (Read more about him.)

A little whatever

In celebration of International Womens Day

Raymonde de Laroche, born Elise Raymonde Deroche, was a French pilot and the first woman in the world to receive an aeroplane pilot’s licence. Born on 22 August 1882 in Paris, Elise Raymonde Deroche was the daughter of a plumber. She had a fondness for sports as a child, as well as for motorcycles and automobiles when she was older. As a young woman she became an actress and used the stage name “Raymonde de Laroche”. Inspired by Wilbur Wright’s 1908 demonstrations of powered flight in Paris and being personally acquainted with several aviators, including artist-turned-aviator Léon Delagrange, who was reputed to be the father of her son André, de Laroche determined to take up flying for herself. (from Wikipedia)

A little wit. A little wisdom. And a little whatever. (March 7, 2017)

A little wit

The bird is the word…(from Short Funny Stories)

A woman had a parrot that she took with her everywhere she went. She would even take the parrot to the club with her when she went dancing and drinking on Saturday nights. Whenever the woman went onto the dance floor, the parrot would yell, “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don’t need no water-let it burn! Burn, baby, burn!”

The crowd on the dance floor would always cheer and holler in appreciation when the parrot would yell. This would make the parrot yell even more and of course make the crowd go wild. This would go on all night long, every time the parrot went out.

One Sunday morning the woman took the parrot to church and into the choir stand with her. And when the choir started to sing, the parrot yelled, “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fire, we don’t need no water-let it burn! Burn, baby, burn!”

She embarrassingly corrected the parrot, “No, you don’t say that here!”

The parrot looked around and asked, “Why not? These are the same people from the club last night!”

A little wisdom

“Big ideas are so hard to recognize, so fragile, so easy to kill. Don’t forget that, all of you who don’t have them.” –John Elliott, Jr., 1937-2005 

A little whatever

On March 7, 2010, Kathryn Bigelow became the first female director to win an Academy Award. She won the Best Director Oscar for the 2009 hit, The Hurt Locker. The movie also won the Best Picture award the same year.

A little wit. A little wisdom. And a little whatever. (March 6, 2017)

A little wit

You gotta do the math (Rated PG-13)…(from Short Funny Stories)
A math professor sent the following fax to his wife:

Dear Wife:

quadraticequations2You must realize that you are 54-years-old, and I have certain needs which you are no longer able to satisfy. I am otherwise happy with you as my wife, and I sincerely hope you will not be hurt or offended to learn that by the time you receive this letter, I will be at the Grand Hotel with my 18-year-old teaching assistant. I’ll be home before midnight. Your Husband

When he arrived at the hotel, there was a faxed letter waiting for him that read as follows:

Dear Husband: You, too, are 54-years-old and by the time you receive this letter, I will be at the Breakwater Hotel with the 18-year-old pool boy. Being the brilliant mathematician that you are, you can easily appreciate the fact that 18 goes into 54 a lot more times than 54 goes into 18.
Don’t wait up.

ray-bradburyA little wisdom

“There are worse crimes than burning books. One of them is not reading them.” —Ray Bradbury, 1920-2012 (Read more about him.)

rosenbergA little whatever

On March 6, 1951, the trial of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg began. The couple was accused of spying on the United States for the Soviet Union, passing on top-secret information about military technology. The Rosenbergs were convicted after a brief trial and were sentenced to death on April 5, 1951. Over the next two years, they vigorously protested their innocence, and many people believed they were the victims of wrongful conviction. President Eisenhower refused their request for clemency, and on June 19, 1953, both were put to death by electric chair. Neither of the two ever admitted any wrongdoing.