Filling the days differently

This week I’m doing what my friend Jay Allen calls “Social Media Detox”, staying off of Facebook, Twitter, and (hardest for me) GoodReads.

I don’t know about you, but I find that if I’m not careful, social media can eat away much of my day. It’s easy and instantly gratifying and superficially more enjoyable than work of any kind. It’s like eating Cheetos: my mouth wants more, even if I’m not really hungry. Er. Not that I have ever spent an entire day eating Cheetos. It’s an analogy, though I confess I’m having trouble figuring out which part of social media equates to cheesy orange fingers.

My point is, I’m bad at just having a little. I’m bad at getting myself to metaphorically eat my veggies and exercise and brush my teeth when the alternative is Endless Metaphorical Cheetos.

Everything else is less passive and more difficult. I’m like a turtle sometimes; I draw my head in away from the world. Social media enables that in a particularly devious manner, giving me the illusion of engaging with the world. Look at all these people! I’m interacting with them! And yet I’m not. When I contrast how easy it is to engage with people on Facebook versus engaging with the humans right in front of me – or with my dirty kitchen, or my art – I see these things are not equivalent at all.

I need to be in the world. I LIKE to be in the world, I like difficult things, but sometimes I need to take some time and remind myself why.


5 Comments on “Filling the days differently”

  1. Laura (the sister) says:

    I think that good media and art makes us WANT to be in the world more. At least, while I was reading your book I didn’t want to do anything else. I’d be talking to my sweetie, or walking to work, or cleaning the kitchen, and thinking, “I wish I were reading right now…!” But then, when I finished it, it was like a little rocket launch, and it made me want to be in the world more. It reminded me of how great it is to have love, to have purpose, to feel okay about myself.

  2. Laura (the sister) says:

    Not sure I was super clear above so I want to try that again. What I mean is, we can judge the goodness of media and art by whether it draws us into the kind of passive escapism you describe, or whether it nurtures us for a while before launching us into the world in new, better ways. I think.

    • LOL. Ok, that’s actually what I THOUGHT you meant, but I didn’t want to put words in your mouth. :) And I think you have an interesting point. I think of art as a Big Conversation. Certainly good art makes me want to go out and make more art. It does make me think about the world too, and my interactions with it. So yeah, I think you’ve got a case, Ms. Philospher.


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