Analog Thoughts

I had started keeping a journal, and I was discovering that I didn’t need school in order to experience the misery of appearances. I could manufacture excruciating embarrassment in the privacy of my bedroom, simply by reading what I’d written in the journal the day before

– Jonathan Franzen

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At the beginning of this year I started carrying a cliche Moleskine notebook with me almost everywhere, and trying my best to write at least a sentence in it every day. Some days I would churn out pages worth of thoughts (usually when I was agitated), while other times I would maybe put two sentences total on a page before forgetting about it for the day. Most of the entries were somehow tied to work, if not always because I wrote at work when I couldn’t talk to someone else or distance myself from things that bothered me because I had several hours left to go on my shift.  When you can’t discus something and you can’t escape it the only way really to stay sane it seems is to express your thoughts in a way others wont notice; in my case it tends to be writing because its something people simply don’t do anymore.

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Socially Lazy

So I find myself sitting here on the couch at 1030 PM New Years Eve, no drink in my hand, no laughter in my ears or friends surrounding me; only thing going on right now would be the gears in my head.  Shortly after the election I decided to delete my social media accounts, now that its been roughly 2 months since then I figured it was time to revisit this decision and think about it.

One of the first things that comes to mind regarding my departure from social media (not like I was some paragon or other such nonsense) is that I just dont care anymore, I’m lazy.  I don’t care enough to even bother contacting people that I used to regularly interact with via Facebook even though they are only a few clicks away in my cell phone’s contacts  Where as it used to be effortless to initiate contact with others because I could see things they were doing via their activity feeds now I have to come up with something to say and I find that its becoming harder and harder to come up with anything that I think even matters to myself let alone others.  Instead of texting that friend from X place I just say to myself “they don’t care that I just did Y or Z”  This makes me wonder how much the people I interacted with on facebook cared before I left; its easy to click like and make it appear as if you give a shit when its just a few pixels on the screen.

Going out used to be a thing that was common, but ever since then I’ve started looking at the associations I keep and noticing things that somehow I never noticed before; probably because I was nose deep in my phone keeping up with the latest facebook posts or tweeting nonsense.  Some would say this is a good thing, however I have noticed that now I am far more critical of those who I surround myself with to the point that flaws which formerly were minor now are glaring and deal breaking.  This drives me to avoid outings with friends and generally shy away from them; now I will go out to the stores or to eat by myself and exclude people when I can’t muster up the fortitude to deal with them.  This coupled with the fact that as of September 19th I quit smoking means I have a shorter fuse than previously, so much so that now I take St Johns’ Wort daily in an effort to help curb the urge to scream profanities at people when they push the wrong buttons with passive-agressive bullshit or childish tantrums.

Expanding on the mental aspect I have noticed that I generally have a far more drastic reaction to outside stimulus; news stories will make my pulse quicken, I break out in a sweat when something stressful happens, etc.  This also is another thing that can be partially attributed to quitting smoking but the fact remains that now I am more exposed to information that has some kind of value since I don’t waste time on facebook and twitter.  There is nowhere to hide like before, I can’t just mindlessly scroll through peoples’ wall posts to distract myself from some current event, I have to either avoid the news completely (hard to do when CNN is on the tv 24×7 at work) or face the fact that things are happening in the world that will piss me off and there is little I can do to change it, I must instead learn to cope with it where as before I had convenient distractions aplenty.

Fortunately its a new year in a couple of hours depending on your time zone, everyone likes to make these resolutions that they wont keep to (kinda like the UN) but I can say that I’m being the change I want to see without such bullshit.  Over 100 days without a single cigarette, two months without any social media what so ever and I’ve managed to get a promotion at work; this is the change!

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