My conflicted (though not at all original) relationship with social media

Considering the current…climate (yeah, let’s go with that), I’ve been thinking a lot about social media, much to my disgust. I’ve been a passive and sporadic user of Instagram, Tumblr, Youtube and Facebook for years and have tried my hand on Twitter a couple of times, only to find that the site terrifies me more than anything else.

Here’s the thing, the internet does kind of scare me. I’m so far from a knowledge base of how it all works, but from what I’ve seen, read and heard, the ways we consume, share and critique content is having some frankly gross effects on our public discourse.

/slides on tin foil hat.

Two weeks ago I turned to consider social media on a strictly personal level, realising that the way I used Facebook, in particular, was incredibly mindless and passive. My Facebook experience, often used via the phone app while waiting for a bus, was nothing more than an endless scroll through other peoples drivel, a surplus of news content and freakishly tailored advertisements. Whats more is that I rarely shared anything of my own, as I didn’t see the worth in contributing. Indeed, whenever the topic of Facebook came up in conversation, I’d only have something negative to say about the site. So really, why was I on it?

I deactivated my account in a sort of experiment to test how much I missed using it, arriving at the conclusion that I really don’t. I still have the messenger app, so people can reach me that way if they so desire. Yet, in the absence of my profile, friends have been opting to text me.

The only negative is that I missed out on a more timely event invitation to cousin’s first birthday. At the end of the day though, birthday’s are a much older concept than a facebook event. I will survive.

I’m ignoring and oversimplifying the grand problems of the social internet, I know. Regardless, I’ve decided that I’m only going to use the platforms that I actually enjoy using (groundbreaking). I don’t want social media to be a necessity. I don’t believe it has to be. I enjoy my blog, my Tumblr and the photos of the handful of people I follow on Instagram. I’ll seek out and actively read the news, critically. Really, it shouldn’t need to be any more complicated than that.

As I look back on my history of using social media and consider my past experiences (specifically as a teenager, which is something I may write about in future), I’m forced to confront that most of it came out of expectation rather than me seeking out what I wanted to consume and interact with. To me, that’s a loss of autonomy, but one I can easily reclaim.

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Morning 1/1/18

Eight is one of my favourite numbers. I’m not altogether sure why, but the fact that it is must mean there was once a reason for it. So while the logic, the explanation, is lost, I know it’s somewhere, existing, and I can attach meaning to it, the number eight.

Wanting a year to be good is strange. 2017 was not easy, difficult indeed, but in its complexity, I found parts of me I thought were gone. A “good” year feels dull to request in the wake of such intense experience and personal progress. You’ll forgive me for not being specific. Some truths can only be felt anyway. While I’d like to think my words carry weight and the ability to convey what I feel, much of this still feels new and not yet cemented, or ingrained. I’ve laid firm foundations and started to build. That was 2017.

So 2018, what will this new year bring? At this stage, I only know what is certain, the basics; work and university.

Now I can feel possibility, flounder in excitement for the yet-to-be-decided. The unknown is far more exciting when you feel it from a place of security. Unexpected opportunities presented themselves at the tail end of last year, I can only hope that this weird, terrifying, upward spiral continues.

What 2017 taught me is that it’s all ambiguous. And that’s more than okay.

***

To return to the here and now. Linear time is overrated and not something I fear that much anymore, privileged I am as a 20-something.

I slept in this morning. Woke up feeling too hot for comfort. Threw open my window and breathed in the familiar scent of my neighbourhood; trees, warm bitumen, fading humidity.

What I’m saying is that it’s all good. The number eight will mean everything if I want it too, or nothing at all.

 

Happy new year, everyone! Here’s to another year of incomprehensible rambling and mutilated writing. All the very best. 

Univeristy Woes

Highly relatable and topical post coming at you now my friends.

Okay, so I love university. Learning and researching, reading and writing, the marvellous people I get to meet and know, it’s all wonderful. Really, I’d recommend that anyone wanting to go should. Yet, right now, nearing the end of the semester and academic year, things are getting intense. Major essays are now due and despite the fact that I’m not behind on anything, I am panicking. Continue reading Univeristy Woes

Emotions are very difficult and my thoughts on this are not so profound

I’m taking a brief departure from my usual slosh of poetry, prose and odd diary-like entries to write more plainly and probably less effectively about feelings. Specifically, the process of having them and then turning them into art. Or at least trying to.

Also, just a disclaimer, I’m using the term ‘art’ to describe all ‘creative practice’, not in any way to imply quality or merit to what I do here, just as an encompassing term for making stuff and honing in on creativity. So let’s get down to it. Continue reading Emotions are very difficult and my thoughts on this are not so profound

Late Afternoons

Spring is here. I can feel it seeping into my skin, crawling up my bones, a warm tingle spreading from once cold fingers.

I am a winter person, or autumn, to be more accurate but I’ll deal with extremes. What I mean is that given the choice to live my last day in either excessive heat or cold I’d choose the second. For heat is stifling. Spring means summer is on the way and that reality leaves me conflicted. Eyes looking constantly forward are bound to be disappointed.

So to make a cringe-worthy metaphor, to find positivity, to spring to a spring cliche, I can pluck a small flower of optimism and let words like renew and re-birth cloud my formerly pessimistic vision.

Eyes wide open.

This change of season and late afternoons spent outside in the fading light. The buzz of insects and the rumbling purrs of my cat and the smell of grass and growing humidity lets me breathe a little deeper, a little longer.

Change is in the air.

Exhale hope.

Over a Bridge

Confused, conflicted, what’s another word that begins with C? Alliteration is more effective when it comes in threes.

I’ll ponder that for a moment.

Today felt like a dream. Not a nice dream though, not dreamy, but not a nightmare either. Rather, it was a slow, sluggish daze. Today was hazy and heavy, like that moment when you wake up from a deep sleep, only partially conscious, your head like a cement brick.

I drifted from each class and through each hour. I didn’t notice much. I was terribly unfocused though I managed to go through the motions; contributing to seminars, taking notes, raising a point or two about postmodern literature, etc. But nothing really stuck, nothing landed, solidified in my mind. I felt, in one word, disconnected.

I’m in a fog. And it goes on for as I can see, as far as I can look ahead. Which, albeit, at this stage, is not very far at all. I figure if I was not outwardly present then maybe I was too inward, too internally focused.

Regardless of my ‘haze’, I walked home in the chilly September wind, happy that summer hasn’t made an early appearance just yet. I wrapped myself in a long scarf, looping it around twice before tossing it over my left shoulder. It blew in the wind, flailing behind me as I walked across the bridge, over the Torrens, which, surprisingly, didn’t smell too bad today. Earlier I walked over another bridge where couples, people, people in love had inscribed, initialled, engraved, fastened locks and assumedly, thrown away the key.

Thinking about bridges I should probably get over it.

Perhaps alliteration is overrated.

 

Captive.