I have a well-documented history of gorging on things, long past their point of value.
I also have a habit of quitting things cold turkey, which has served me well in areas of my life.
Fortunately, I’ve never hit the crack rock (or the “quan” for that matter).
I’m currently treating news and social media like a trip to the store. I am going straight to the aisle, getting what I need and immediately proceeding to the checkout. If America has gone fact free, why can’t I?
Admittedly, Facebook has been on my s#!# list for a moment, but it’s not the only social media offender. I was really just there to see if my high school friends developed gross moles or growths on their faces.
There, I said it and I am a horrible person.
At some point along the way, Facebook became this thing I felt I HAD to do everyday, not something I WANTED to do. I don’t know when it came so ubiquitous in my day-to-day life, or when I began mindlessly scrolling daily. It was even connected to my music and dating apps, reminding me of hookups I’d like to forget with its “People you may know” feature.
Albert Einstein once said, “Energy cannot be created or destroyed, it can only be changed from one form to another.”
As the comments on message boards became more hateful and divisive, I couldn’t look away. Eventually, I had to acknowledge the anxiety it was filling me with, and that the “topics” and “trends” people casually discussed (police brutality, civil rights, etc.) were actually things that impacted my day-to-day life.
I have come to expect over sharing, snark and outright lies from my exes, not my pastimes.
I didn’t want to be one of those folks who announce it and returns a week later (I see you, Lent giver-uppers — Is that a word?), so quietly and without fan fare, I closed my Facebook account for the first time ever.
Using the food analogy, I didn’t want to be a part of anything that was not feeding me (and if you have followed me in the last couple of years, you know that I really, really mean that).
In the last year, I over-consumed polls, political news shows and opinion pieces.
Now, I feel a need to get focused. To be real. To be within reach.
We have all of these devices to connect us and yet no one is saying anything, or getting past the noise.
Either this is temporary or it’s my first step to becoming Howard Hughes. This time next year I’ll be completely off the grid and pissing in jars while wearing unkempt clothes and sporting untrimmed nails.
I struggled with how to write this without sounding holier than thou. I’m saying nothing profound, just things you may already know, but I say this in the hopes that you know that you are not alone.
How will you know? Apparently, if you “don’t do it for the ‘gram,” no one ever will, I suppose.
Meanwhile, I’ve given thought to what this could mean for my productivity.
- Maybe I will get out of bed 15 minutes earlier instead of scrolling seconds after I wake up from the comfort of my bed.
- Maybe I’ll finally finish my book.
- Maybe I’ll finally take up mediation, or even yoga. I really am tired coming up with excuses of why I look like Katie Holmes next to Tom Cruise slouch.
- Maybe I’ll finally learn how to read. (Come to think of it, that would’ve made Facebook a lot more bearable in the last year).
- Maybe I’ll finally move out of Chicago. Before this election, did you know that ALL* black people live there? Our lives are hell.
- Maybe I’ll call my parents more (They approve this message).
As the fog lifts, I’ve been thinking of all the possibilities.
Be mindful of what you are consuming and allowing to influence you. So much of life is out of our control, but we are capable of controlling our well-being, our sanity and our peace of mind.
For the time being, I will be spending a little more time in the real world sharing love, sending positivity and last, but not least fighting like hell.
Care to join me?
* Just making sure you are paying attention. Get a real news source.