Thursday, October 14, 2010

Online "Spring" Cleaning and Catholic New Media

If you're following me on Twitter then you saw my "tweet" about going through my list of nearly 500 people and trying to "clean" it so that I would only be following those I actually communicated with or those whose posts I follow regardless. At this point, I have less than 300, which is huge for me. I am not done yet and would like my list to be closer to the 200 mark. Part of the reason for this is that I felt bombarded with information that seemed superficial. Twitter, which I originally joined to keep in touch with friends who weren't on Facebook or who were too busy to email long messages, has become more and more impersonal. The data overload was making me feel disconnected from people, not to mention I was missing a lot of important information some of my closest friends were posting because they were buried in between posts that I wasn't interested in. It's been a long time coming and I'm glad I finally got the bulk of it done.

I'm current going through some major online "spring" cleaning. Taking a cue from Dan and Dustin, I've decided to make my life online just a little easier. They've bravely deleted their Facebook account but I think I would have a hard time doing that since I keep in touch with family and friends when I'm too busy to email. I am, however, going to delete a lot of information and photos that are unnecessary. We have so much information overload every time we get online, and much of the time it's information that is irrelevant or damaging to us as Catholics, and I'm tired of it. As my free time has now become precious due to the insane amount of homework the professors have assigned to us this semester, I need to have my priorities in order and I want to keep my friendships intact and the only way this can happen is with the "spring" cleaning.

I was able to step back and see how much time I was wasting online when I could be doing other productive things. Since the semester started mid/late August, I've spent more time playing games, taking quizzes, looking at sites like eOnline... and none of it was contributing to making me a better person. On the contrary, it's sites like eonline (which I like to read for movie news) that were actually hurting me. Is it really necessary to read who's being cast in what movie, what these so-called celebrities were doing on their off-time, and spoilers to shows I don't even watch? Not at all! Slowly I realized that I would often skim stories of celebrities that were gossip... and I hate gossip! I have a "no gossip policy" that I enforce: I don't gossip about people and don't like to listen to gossip, even if it's about me. It somehow didn't click that by my skimming these articles I was partaking in what I didn't like. *facepalm* Those were the first things I cut out when I started my "spring" cleaning (and since I'd only recently started reading them it hadn't become a bad habit.) The games were easier to cut out because I only like playing the games that take a couple of minutes to finish (i.e. puzzles). I still occasionally do quizzes on Blogpost but it's because it only takes a couple of seconds and I can do them after I am done with what's more important.

I've begun substituting a lot of what I browsed online with what has been dubbed "Catholic New Media." I've been keeping up with it since I returned to the Faith 4 years ago but I'd sort of put all the podcasts I once listened to (i.e. The Break with Fr. Roderick) on hold once I went back to school. Not only that, I haven't been keeping up with the numerous blogs and websites that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. I'd gone into full on academic mode and had shut out anything that wasn't school related. Well, everything except the sites I previously mentioned. It was a BIG mistake to this. I missed a lot of great articles and blog posts that would've helped me, both spiritually and mentally. In light of everything that's happened at school, in my classes with my professors, I think it's important that I begin to use the vast online resources we Catholics have. I've gotten to the point where I know how to handle my classes and professors so I am having a lot more free time and I'm also stressing out less. Now that I've gotten the courage to speak up and defend our faith (in the majority of my classes), I have time to do research and to fully immerse myself in what is true so that I can combat whatever heresies my professors unleashed on us. There have been times I've felt I haven't been able to defend something properly and that's both infuriating and sad. (side note: I still can't defend anything in one class because the professor won't allow us but at least there's a growing support group amongst us conservatives.) I don't know whether it's my utter detestation of what we're "learning" at my school or Our Lady answering my petitions during the 54 day Rosary (I'm on day 34)... or a combination of the two things... but I'm definitely making some major changes in my online life (as well as my personal life).

Before I end this post, I was wondering if y'all can help me out on something. As I've previously mentioned, I started this blog to give y'all an insight on the life of a Catholic revert. I'm still learning (there's so much I have to learn and so much I will not get a chance to get to despite how long I may live) so that is why I keep posting. Since I have a huge mountain (school) I'm slowly climbing, I was wondering if it would be too repetitive for me to write about what's going on with that. Of course not a day goes by that at least one heretical utterance is said at that school but I've been thinking about writing about my progress at that school once a week, like on Fridays. I want to try to not complain about what's going on (although, the complaints are not actual complaints; I write them because of my amusement by what's "taught") but maybe just write about my progress with what's going on and how I'm handling my time there. I just wanted to see what y'all thought because I don't want to become repetitive with what I write. :) I hope that, if I do these weekly updates, it'll be a positive contribution to the evangelization we Catholics are doing online.

I actually want to get some "spring" cleaning done in my "offline" life (y'all should see my poor desk) so I will end this post here. I hope to post some back posts tomorrow and this weekend since I have a 4-day break from school.

As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.


Anonymous said...

Interesting. I may consider this There are more than a few people/groups that I follow where I wonder why I follow them and I sometimes think that my life would be far less complicated if I used a much finer filter with what I read online with twitter, facebook and a dozen other sources.

I did delete my facebook for a while. School was such a demand that I killed it for a couple of months.

At a point where I am really trying to sort out what the rest of my life is going to look like from here on out, as far as outside influences are concerned, less is more.

Much to consider in this post...

Emmy Cecilia said...

I can't delete FB at the moment. I may in the future but not right now. I tried it once and it was hard to keep in touch with everyone.

Hope I didn't complicate things for you. lol.

Anonymous said...

No, where I sit, it would take a master knot tie-r and an insane bee keeper to complicate things on my end. :) It is good to consider my influences. As far as twitter, I let an awful lot of people into my house via that little application who would never make it through the front door of my house.
Standards are good to have, and I have let mine slip.

On a separate note; I really hate 5 am.

Roger said...

Have you tried using the Lists feature on Twitter? I've got you in my "Catholic" category.

Emmy Cecilia said...

Even with the lists I felt overwhelmed. I made lists when they first came out but I just had too many people. Now that I'm under 300, it's much easier.

Miih said...

Hello Emmy Cecilia.
well i confess you i don't know how to start this...
let's try! i'm a young woman, as you, and i'm a roman catholic too. but i live in Brazil.
i know it sounds crazy what i'm gonna ask you, but i want this so much!
i'm in a group of catholic teenagers in my city and it's growing very fast. we have our meetings and we have some things to study in those meetings. tomorrow we'll study about the catholic religion all around the world.
i don't know if you're the right person to ask that, but i want to talk about some things with you and tell my mates here.
it's simple, and you can trust me, it's totally safe!
follow me on twitter so we can talk! :D (@mibeckel)
well, thank you anyway. and sorry about my english :/

Emmy Cecilia said...

I don't get what you want to ask me, Miih. I don't know how I could help or even if I could help. I need more details.