Just wanted to touch on a topic that might be a relevant issue to many at present, especially since the release of Netflix’s The Social Dilemma…
The fattest elephant in the room of the modern age.
I began using social media sometime between 2007 and 2009, first flirting with Big Tom and myspace and then when a friend of mine kicked off a facebook account for me, so I could help promote HELM, at the time.
I gotta say, I’ve been at war with social media since I first laid eyes, hands and soul on it. It’s stench was so ripe to me from the beginning. I had flash paranoia of the effect that this rubbish would have on the human condition immediately – but hey, progress is progress, right? So we slide on in.
Fast forward 10+ years and I detest it more than ever. My predictions and paranoia were 100% accurate and I’m deeply concerned about where we are as people right now. The diabolical impact this shit has had on our minds is almost irreparable and the future of my daughter’s generation and where they will end up socially in 20-30 years is all too alarming. But hey, 20-30 years from now..? Who know’s, at this rate, we could be a world full of mindless humanoids and test tube babies with huge heads by then. Ha.
What I want to address with this blog is just some basic discipline and awareness. Because I guess, like it or not, it’s now part of our daily routine and on a good day, it also doubles as a very useful tool in the arsenal of progress within the modern era.
Funny thing. For the first time in approximately 20 years, I went and bought myself a new wrist watch about 2 months ago. I did this for a few reasons. And it’s working.
I realised that generally speaking, as a self employed bloke, one of the primary reasons I use my phone is to tell the time. The sun just doesn’t cut it when you need to be punctual haha.
So, I decided to work out a daily roster. Through which my phone kinda stays off for extended periods through out the day. A forced detachment from something I really don’t need filling my headspace – if you will.
There’s the music, I take calls, make calls, send texts, receive texts, can check emails if I wish etc… These are the only practical uses of that wretched ufo that hangs off my hip, that I can account for, to be honest. The rest of it? Well, if you were raised in my era, you know how unnecessary the rest of the shit is. I mean, you can use it, but do you really NEED it? Fuck no.
I will say, since the day I was exposed to smart phone tech, I have never once enabled the notifications option on my phone, for any app, outside of sms. I made that decision immediately as I could see the damage it would do mentally and socially. Ain’t having a bar of that.
So yeah. Back to the new little roster… below is a little breakdown of how I play it out through the week. Come the weekend, I’m a little more relaxed and the very odd day through the week when I know I’ve just got too much on that I have to be present for, I’ll go and grab my phone out of the car.
It looks something like this but:
Fortunately for me, due to a Tradie life of 30 years, my body clock forces me to rise within the same 5 minute time slot, every goddamn day without fail so an alarm hasn’t been a necessity for a long time.
Before bed: Phone stays downstairs on charge. Wifi modem gets turned off at the wall. I sleep.
Morning: Wake up. Pint of water. Cold shower. Dressed. Breakfast. Physical movement.
Phone on. Wifi on.
That’s approximately 45 minutes – 1 hour of living like a normal fucking human before I look at a screen. Crazy.
Check emails / messenger / text. Organise work schedule with employee’s / clients. Check socials. In that order. As soon as I’ve seen enough, updated what I need etc., I’m done. Phone goes off or away.
If I have work to do that requires a device, I set myself up comfortably, use my laptop and be as productive as possible, as quickly as possible.
Life goes on. Work / Play etc.
Lunchtime: Sit down. Eat. Drink. Socialise with the people around me.
Phone on. Do all the same checks I did in the morning with as much as the same discipline as I can to reduce the wasted time spent.
Life goes on. Work / Play etc.
Afternoon: I’m a bit naughty here but because of the nature of my job(s), when I get in the car there’s generally a huge bunch of missed calls and texts from clients and m8’s. So, I deal with the texts before I leave then I throw the phone on speaker and sort out what I need to by call while I’m on the highway. Or, I’ll just wait till I get home. Depends how naughty I feel.
Night: My arvo’s and nights are always busy between work, training, music, personal life etc., so the phone generally stays on but its either in the car, in my training bag or away from my body somewhere. Turning it off is still preferred if I can think of it.
I eat in or out depending on the schedule – with the phone off or away from me, and, when I am finally home, clean up and smash my ass into the couch, I either play some music, work on my laptop and minimise my phone usage as much as possible or just watch a movie or show.
Rinse and repeat.
So yeah, it all goes something like that. There’s variables. Times of weakness. General human shitness. All that. But generally speaking, it’s definitely working. My mind is relaxing and I feel like the device and the talons within it, such as our dreaded social media, have almost no hold over my day anymore.
Be concerned about the way you’re interacting with people. The way you’re connecting – or not connecting.
The way you fall in love. The way you deal with problems. How you’re socialising.
Where you get your information. The opinions you form.
The way you represent who you are.
Be aware if you’re part of a generation who has grown up with this as the norm, It ain’t the fucking norm. It’s ultra destructive to every fabric of our being. You have to know this.
The deluded sense of intelligence you believe you may have just because the facts are so accessible and there was no real need to do academic research or read historical books. Decipher what the true facts are amongst the bullshit. Be VERY aware of all of that.
Respect real art forms. Honour the root of how something you may take for granted became available to you.
Stay connected to nature. Respect and appreciate all aspects of the living.
That screen and all the ghouls in it just ain’t real fuck’n life kids. You are. The ground you’re standing on is. The people and animals in front of you are.
Unfortunately, synthetics don’t die. Only real life does. So this shit will be here long after we’re gone. How do you want to play out your days? As a victim to an insular, control driven ‘pretend’ paradigm where your every move is predetermined? Or via a spontaneous, exciting, flawed reality that yields real results, tangible experience and true rewards?
I dunno about you, but some simple discipline, organisation and awareness is really all it takes and that’s how I’m choosing to commit to my day. I encourage you to do the same or similar. And realistically I guess, this blog could be as much or more about general device usage as it is about social media. I guess it comes down to how and when we decide to use it as a tool or abuse it like a drug.
Remember, don’t do everything that’s there to do just because it’s there to do. Hold back. Be a little bit minimalist.
Gluttony will fuck you like the pig that it is if you don’t.
Peace and strength!