Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 19

Dear Autumn,

It’s the 19th of the month which means it has now been 4 days since I got social media back into my life (I will admit that I logged into Tweetdeck once a day just to schedule some blog related tweets, but only ever said the top 2 tweets and resisted the urge to scroll down), so of course I am going to talk about what life was like last week without it.

For one, it was actually quite easy to not log on to the sites on my laptop. I blocked them and so every time that I tried I got told off (thank you Block Site) but I only tried Instagram twice, and Twitter 4 times and two of those was only because I didn’t realise that the linked I had clicked on was going to direct me to Twitter. I didn’t even try Tumblr once.

On my phone it was a slightly different story. I deleted the apps off of there and I didn’t truly register just how often I default to clicking on the top row of apps that I have on my phone (Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr) until they were no longer there. It meant that I used my phone a lot less. Except for the day where I got really obsessed with a ‘crab grab’ expedition on Two Dots. I checked Buzzfeed a few times, did my brain training exercises for the day and pretty much just left it alone unless I was replying to texts. I used it so little that I didn’t even have to put my phone on charge for 48 hours and quite happily left the house without it.  A part of me did feel like I was missing out on some things, but I got over that pretty quickly.

What did, and didn’t surprise me, was how little I knew about what was going on in the world in terms of news. I found it out the old fashioned way. Via news websites and late night talk show videos (mainly Seth Meyers and A Closer Look if we’re being really honest). I had no real idea of what was going on in politics, both US and UK. I was watching the very rapid decline of Weinstein each morning when I just caught up on things news wise (via The Guardian, and I’m gonna be brutally honest Buzzfeed. They were where I got my news from) so that I wasn’t totally ignorant. But it didn’t happen on a minute by minute basis.

To be honest with you it felt a lot better. Kind of just unloading all the news on yourself at one point during the day and then digesting it and leaving it the hell alone felt a lot less draining. It meant that I didn’t click on hashtags and inevitably come across something that was just so wrong  my brain didn’t know how to compute it or understand how someone can walk around really believing that level of bullshit. It meant that I had a clearer head overall.

It kind of felt like it did when I just deleted Facebook altogether and felt all the better for it on a wider scale. However I have obviously since returned to these ones because they are not full of people that I cannot fucking stand but actually know on some level and so cannot remove them from my life.

There was also a part of me as the week drew to a close that was just sort itching to get back to being connected to the world via social media. I think I partially just wanted to sort out the aesthetic of my main screen on my phone which was all out of whack without the apps being there and I also wanted to just know that they were there again. Just to know that they were an option to open in moments of boredom. In the end though when the week was over I only felt the need to re-download Instagram and Twitter and then I didn’t even look at them properly until the mid afternoon. And then I did spend my journey home scrolling away and I went on a bit of a retweet thing, but I was just flushing it out of my system.

The week away from it did really highlight just how much time I spend on there and it also really turned a gear in my head that meant that I spent all that time doing something productive instead. It eliminated a lot of the ‘wasted’ time that I spent on there because for the most part of was focused on something else and drawn away by the need to just check in on whatever app I felt like at the time.

So, yeah that was my take from the week.

Love,

 

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Letters to Autumn, My Life

Letters to Autumn 8

Dear Autumn,

I’ve been thinking about this for a while now, but I feel like it’s time to go on a little social media detox.

I have for sure said this before, because I had intended to do it when I went to Greece (which was now two months ago and that in itself sounds horrifying) but then I ended up with fairly good wifi and using data wasn’t extortionate for the first time ever and it just sort of didn’t end up happening, because when you end up with a lot of down time, scrolling through Instagram and sharing a shit ton of memes with a person who is sat right next to you doing the exact same thing is how you pass the time when you’re not reading, or sitting in silence. Or sleeping.

So it didn’t happen.

But that itch to just step back away from it all is still there. I just need to not feel like I am being overwhelmed by everything because for the most part it feels like every time I open up any form of social media I am just being inundated with news that is rarely anything but awful (because yeah for the most part I find out all my news on Twitter…). And it’s weird because it doesn’t feel like it should be that hard, but for some reason it is.

Don’t get me wrong I can spend time away from it, but then when I return to it after a few hours away because I was busy or sleeping, I find myself just continually scrolling back until I am caught up with where I last was. And then I’ve lost a whole chunk of time kind of doing nothing.

There was also a period of time where my brain would just think in ways it could tweet or captions for pictures that didn’t actually exist. Admittedly it was at a pretty shitty time mentally for me and so it felt like my brain was compensating and being like ‘post frothy, pointless stuff that hides the problem’. But it was still there. It still happened like that. It was still the way that my brain operated and thought to resolve the problem rather than tackle the bloody issue head on. (That’s not for now though.)

And I need that to not be the case.

Which should be easy. I mean there was a time when I didn’t even have social media. I remember that time. It wasn’t like I was always on it. I didn’t even create my own Facebook account, a friend at the time did it for me because they thought it was ridiculous that I didn’t have it. People still think that it’s ridiculous that I am no longer on it. It’s weird.

But on that note, I have removed myself from social media in some way before. I’ve felt compelled to return to Facebook only once, and I resisted that urge and now for the most part I don’t miss it. It was a toxic element of my life and I feel better for it not being a part of my life anymore. And it should work the same way for everything else.

Not that they are toxic to me or anything, but in that it shouldn’t be that bloody hard to step away from it all and not spend so much time glued to my phone

I’m going away this week and I think one that I need to get the hell of London because I’m starting to feel worn down by it all and two that I need to not travel all that time only to spend it scrolling endlessly through three different sites. I have things to plan and write and read and I want to not be distracted.

So they’re coming off my phone for a week. I’m blocking them on my Chrome. I’m just having a little digital detox. This blog is gonna be as connected as I get.

And it feels like I shouldn’t need to say that I’m doing it, but I feel like I need to just so that I can call myself out on this whole thing. It’s a bit weird, I know.

Love,

 

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