Saturday, October 1, 2016

Yes, THAT Topic Again -- Social Media vs Me

Before I begin I just want to wish y'all a happy St. Therese of Lisieux feast day! Yes, it's late but it's still October 1st in Los Angeles. ;)

I'm sitting cross-legged on my bed, listening to MuteMath's self-titled album which has been a permanent fixture on my CD player (seriously, I didn't have an mp3 player until I was 23) -- and then iPod touch -- since I first purchased it a decade ago. This album reminds of the Fall of 2006 (into Winter 2007) when my reversion truly took hold. Late September 2006. I can't believe it's been a decade! Sometimes it doesn't feel like it's been that long yet it does in some ways. I've learned a lot in the past decade but I know there's still so much more that I need to learn. So many great memories of that time, many of which inspired some of the things that I wrote about in the first Will and Lina novel.

No, I'm not going to sit here and take a trip down memory... though I'm very tempted to because early 2005 through mid-2007 were arguably my favorite years thus far. No, I'm going to resist that urge and, instead, I'm going to write whatever pops into my mind. This could be slightly dangerous but sometimes I just like to write to see what's on my mind. Here it goes...

Tonight I was reflecting on how much I stink at trying to limit my time on social media. Horrendous. It was a sort of (but not really) resolution earlier this year. I may need to go to a social media addicts group meeting or something. I go through periods in which I'm really good at it and then something happens and it throws me off. That something is usually an illness that forces me back on social media because it's where I can get things off my chest. Bottling up what I'm thinking is bad business for me -- it's what triggers some anxiety attacks when I do too much of it -- but I also overshare a lot. Sure, you can argue that I share a lot but I'm very careful about what I share so you only get a teeny tiny view of my offline life, but I've been thinking that I need to make yet another attempt to cut back on that.

I get bored so I tweet. I don't have another human being to interact with for most of my day so I check social media or text a friend. Sometimes I'll get wrapped up in coursework, a movie, a book, or some other activity but my fallback is always social media. It's not even a FOMO issue since, honestly, I don't really check Twitter that much. I tweet and/or reply to a tweet. I read the 15 or so tweets at the top of my timeline and then I move on. It's not a bad cycle but it's also a waste of my time.

No, I didn't say that interacting with friends is a waste of my time. I say it's a waste of time because I eventually end up falling into the vicious black hole cycle of clicking through links... or Instagram pictures that lead to other pictures... or YouTube videos that lead to more videos. I actually caught myself saying "well, what can I search now?" after going through my usual round and finding things quiet. When I couldn't figure out what else I could do, I simply shut down my laptop... a bit disappointed. I've, at least, disciplined myself to avoid certain websites and previous habits that would've kept me online longer but the fact that I was disappointed that I couldn't find another thing to distract me was a bad sign. Houston, we have a problem.

I would love to say that the books I checked out from the library last month are being read but they're not. I had to renew them because the due date was looming and I haven't made a big dent in them. I've been going through some anxiety and health issues so I'm constantly looking for distractions. It's not bad to distract myself during these times -- it helps me from getting a full-blown panic attack or helps me be able to nip the symptoms in the bud -- but I keep distracting myself beyond the anxiety attacks that want to pop up. Procrastination / senioritis is real. I think I'm filling my world with too much noise because I don't want the inside noise (the worries, the stress, etc) to win. Does that make sense?

I'm going to try to cut the outside noise again. It's not going to be comfortable for me since I've once again gotten used to the noise but it's necessary. My concentration is shot and I can't blame feeling tired or even my health; I'm simply too overloaded with noise. It's probably not going to last long (it never does) but I'm going to do this as many times as necessary. Habits take 8 weeks to stick so I'll keep starting over every time I fail.

I can do it. I've been able to do it before, even for weeks at a time. I've done my research and my plans have worked in the past. I've decided to add an hour of "Emmy" time per day. This means that for an hour I have the option of playing my guitar and singing, reading a non-academic book, writing in my journal (yes, I have one offline), or spending an hour in adoration if I can make the drive to one of the parishes that have daily adoration. There are more things I can do but you get the gist. The only thing I cannot do in my "Emmy" hour is have a screen in front of me. No screens, not even the Kindle screen.

I've been communicating with friends offline more often lately which ought to help curve the social media usage. The fact that the temperatures will begin to get cooler will also help me get outdoors more, even if that simply means an hour (or two) at the local library for some peace and quiet. I may even go study at my alma mater since I feel so at peace on campus. Our homecoming weekend is coming up and we alumni are greatly encouraged to visit that entire week for festivities so I have an excuse. I know, I'm surprised by that last statement, too. lol.

Alright, well, my Emmy hour for the day is coming up so I should skedaddle. That's such a fun word  -- skedaddle -- that I'm going to try to use more often. No, not procrastinating; just an amusing thought since I'm pretty much writing what I'm thinking, right?

I hope y'all are having a lovely weekend thus far. :D

As always, thanks for reading and God bless! :D


Anonymous said...

Love the idea of this plan, and your posts from Lent about your social media reduction then - my experiences are quite similar, and I'm also currently in the process of trying to work out a way to get more true "me" time, absorb less noise, and waste less time.

Emmy Cecilia said...

It's so hard to do, especially when you're used to being active on social media for so long, but not impossible. You'll have to let me know how it goes for you! :)

bobbi said...

I sometimes struggle with the same thing and it's not always easy to break the habit! I pray we both make progress. 😃

Emmy Cecilia said...

There has to be a patron saint for those of us addicted to social media. lol. I'll also be praying for both of us. :D