Sunday, November 13, 2016

Social media break

So amidst the horror show that was Tuesday night's US election I came to a conclusion. And not just that I need to stop following American politics as a cheap and amusing spectator sport. It's that I need to take a break from social media. A long, long break.

Basically social media on Tuesday night gave me a panic attack since it was nothing but people I follow screaming in horror as the results were coming in and predicting the Apocalypse. One or two people saying that is easy enough to absorb. Literally hundreds of people freaking out on my various timelines at the same time is a bit harder. I did not sleep a wink on Tuesday night, and not because I was up late watching election results. I actually stopped a little after 11 after I could see which way the wind was blowing and unable to absorb any more hysteria.

I woke up the next morning and the world hadn't ended (stay tuned!) and realised I needed to make a change. I've quipped for ages that at any given time I'm five minutes away from quitting all my social media. That was always partially due to the level of restraint I had to engage in when using it. Given my employer has of humour about putting your foot in it, and given the level of competence and thorough willingness to misconstrue information of people out there, using it can be a frustrating and bland experience.

I say this know my level of privilege is extremely high. I'm a middle aged heterosexual white male from a christian (currently agnostic) background.

So when I started freaking out from using Twitter/Facebook, I realised maybe a break is needed. Not sure how long it will be. I'm hoping I don't cave in a few weeks. I might have to in the new year briefly if I still end up travelling to the US. We'll see.

But already I can feel the difference. It's been a little over 72 hours since I announced on both Twitter/Facebook that I was taking a break (I'm hoping this isn't automatically posting to Facebook. It used it, but who knows) and it's....odd.

I can already feel a void. It's not a secret that these things can be time wasters, but even I'm surprised how much extra time I have that needs to be filled up. I finished rereading "Espedair Street" by Iain Banks and I'm about 100 pages into "Caliban's War" by James Corey. And a couple of graphic novels for flavour.

And then the damnedest thing happened tonight....I felt like writing. Been awhile since that happened. I've had ideas, but never could find the time or energy to sit down and write them. Tonight, I did.

This isn't a grand literary epic, of course. But it's a start.

We'll see how this all plays out. I have the sneaking feeling the next four years are going to make the Bush II presidency look like Camelot, but if it's made me take a step back from spending so much time on social media and more time reading, writing and talking with my wife, then who knows, maybe some good has come out of Tuesday night after all....

Last Five
1. Leather (live) - Tori Amos*
2. Wind your neck in - Lily Allen
3. Charlie Brown - Coldplay
4. Name - Goo Goo Dolls
5. Dorothy Dandridge eyes - Janelle Monae