Week Long Social Hiatus

Last week I took a break from social media.

I don’t know why I never have before. It was nice, and I wasn’t as tempted to check as much as I thought I would be. I didn’t miss anything noteworthy, either. A week isn’t a long time, but it was long enough for me to break my dependence on my phone.

This technology is crazy. I really enjoyed the purge. Yet when I opened one of my social apps up again, which I wasn’t even in a rush to do, all the anxieties and the urges to refresh and get new content that felt so distant during my time away came flooding back immediately.

I’ve put some barriers on my usage before.

Throughout high school, I had a strict policy that if it didn’t happen on my page, it didn’t happen. But I eventually gave into scrolling my timeline and news feed and whatever because I felt like I was being too self-centered.

I turned off all push notifications over a year ago. It was a huge help, but over time the addictive nature of my personality found some other way to obsess and constantly refresh the page when I opened my apps.

Aimless scrolling and obsessive refreshing. I hate it. It’s like checking the fridge every twenty minutes knowing damn-well there’s nothing in there you want. And the past week was the wake up call I needed to actively fight against this crap. I felt so much better not worrying about anything going on that wasn’t directly in front of me. I want to continue being more present in my own life. Y’all don’t need to know half the stuff I usually post about my life online. And I definitely don’t need to know who’s watching, liking, or commenting all the time when I do post content.

So I’ve decided to change three things.

1.) I’m leaving my phone across my room when I sleep so social media isn’t the first thing I engage with when I wake up.

2.) I’m not going to look at who’s viewed my stories on IG and Snapchat, or scroll through who liked my posts. I’ll only concern myself with comments and real engagement.

3.) I’m limiting myself to checking my notifications and scrolling a little bit three times a day for no longer than 30 minutes.

I’m not saying all of this to be profound or anything. I’m not doing anything new or noteworthy. But I think we could all use a sociality check. Sociality, get it? Cause it’s not IRL? Does that work for everyone, or should I stop? I don’t know, but we’re rocking with it for now. By that I mean we should all take a look at our relationship with this technology every so often. If your habits on social media aren’t making you happy, reevaluate how you use it. And there’s no cut and dry answer. A healthier relationship with my socials was taking better control of my time and not letting it run me. It’s difficult, because old habits die hard and I’ve been droning out looking at screens for I guess a decade now.

The psychological effects of this stuff are serious business. The developers of these advancements don’t use them or let their children use them. That’s scary. We’re just guinea pigs, and there’s nothing in the history of humanity that can help us anticipate what’s to come. And what has come so far has been children committing suicide and mental illness skyrocketing with new media-based diseases being coined every year. I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t know what’s being done or what could be done for the mass public to practice better habits around social technology. So until then, the responsibility rests with individuals. And this individual is trying, at the very least. This is a topic that really interests me. I went to and am going back to school for Emergent Media Studies and Production. If you’ve made changes in how you navigate the web and the socials, let me know and let’s exchange notes and stories.

December 1st

When people ask me what I do, it’s sad that writer has grown more and more distant from my identity in the past few years.

I’ve been stuck. I have been so stuck. Writing is such an extension of yourself. To put your mind garble into words and publish it takes a good amount of knowing yourself. A sureness in what you’re saying. Well, I’m starting to realize that I’m not sure if I know what my point is anymore. I’ve lost that sureness within myself.

And how unfortunate. You can’t just get it back. I can’t read over my past writings and hit a resurgence. That’s a version of me stuck in time. We don’t relate anymore. I can’t borrow old confidence. I have to find new confidence in who I am now. But like…where?

I’ve come a long way as far as character development over the past few years. I used to be very closed off from people, the world, and my own emotions. And today has become one of those times where I’m reminded of a big catalyst of that development for me. Today, December 1st, marks the day one of my best friends died two years ago. He meant more to me than I completely understood until I lost him. And without that friendship, I’m not sure when I would have shed my defenses. It’s possible I’d be that same hurting, boarded-up-heart to this day.

I like the person I’ve come into. I wouldn’t wish to go back to who I was before. But, this is where I find my thoughts at odds. Lost in between 1.) being proud of the progress I’ve made in love, managing and expressing emotions, sympathizing and empathizing with others, and 2.) setting myself up to be constantly hurt and disappointed because the world functions on another selfish, inconsiderate, and hostile axis. I feel like I was happier being an asshole. People didn’t take my kindness for weakness. There was little to no risk of losing people and things because I poured very little of myself into anything. I considered friends more like human resources for whatever worth I gave them, and they were dispensable. I was comfortable. I was in control, but it was so empty.

Now here I am in all my personal growth from that emptiness, trying to love unconditionally in a cancel culture. To put it simply, I’m facing some serious discouragement and defeat right now. I posted about it before, how 2018 felt hopeless and miserable because the progress I was making was more loss and clearing my life of things that weren’t good for me, and fewer gains. I felt 2019 was a big turn around. I thought I was finally seeing my future coming into place and I was getting excited to step into it. Now I’m hitting some changes that have killed that excitement and left me in the same small, crushed, and questioning state I was in two years ago.

My friend Mateo was such a dynamic individual, I struggle a little sometimes thinking y’know, I wish we traded fates because he would’ve done so much more with this time than I have.

I know that’s no way to think. I’m trying to not let that be the stopping point in my streams of consciousness. So what is next?

I first heard this song on an airplane heading from Morocco to France for a layover before heading home. Anderson .Paak wrote it as a tribute to Mac Miller, who’s death occured within the same year I was mouring Mateo’s death. The moment just stuck with me as I was looking out of the window from the sky and hearing the lyrics,

I’m workin’ on a world premiere
And I could see the world from here
They ask me where I’m going from here
Shit, anywhere long as the runway is clear

It was so fitting. I had it on repeat for the whole flight. And I’ve gotta realign my mind to think like that, I’m working on a world premiere. And I’m rebuilding that confidence to share it, even when I’m shaky on the delivery.