Going Offline (To Eat Pasta, Probably)

Alright, let's talk about the internet. I love the internet. It's a great, vast space full of endless information, plenty of adorable blinking pixel art, all the cute animal pictures you could ever want, and many weird and unexpected discoveries. Good stuff. However, I find myself distracted, aimless, bothered, and refreshing feeds in a desperate, automatic frenzy embedded deep in my muscle memory far more often than I'd care to admit.

My current desktop - beautiful, isn't it?

I've spent years using social media to escape from any moments of boredom, loneliness, and dissatisfaction that might be creeping around. And don't get me wrong, it can be a great respite from stretches of reality that aren't the greatest for whatever reason. I've made friends, swapped sarcasm, and found heaps of inspiration in these places. I really do love them, but I wonder how I might benefit from just being a bit more cautious about my use of them.

I certainly get distracted from things I need to do, put off other stuff I'd really enjoy, and sometimes find myself feeling left out or disconnected in some way because of how I've been using the internet. As much as I might enjoy browsing some cool illustrations of dragons or watching videos about YouTube culture and creativity, sometimes it can be so nice to go and spend some time in reality instead.

I try to take comfort as much as possible in the things that surround me IRL - I like a good meal, a walk in the park, and even a quick trip to Asda can be very jubilant. I want to be present and alert in my life and make more of a conscious choice to use social media and do other things online. I don't think it should be this default thing I do all the time, opening my laptop as soon as I wake up and gobbling up opinions and updates like a conveyor belt of Mars bars. Because, y'know, I can't really eat more than half a Mars bar in one go without feeling a bit sick.

My plan for now is to try only going on social media to post something, and maybe to respond to any messages, since that's someone actually talking to me rather than me just passively taking in posts sent out to lots of people at once. I think that's the thing, actually - passivity. It's easy to get sucked into scrolling down and reading people's thoughts. It's like having a conversation, except you don't have to do or say anything. You're just there, scrolling and looking.

I'm not sure exactly what I'm going to do. I'm really just thinking out loud writing this post, but it's something I've been thinking about a lot. I enjoy putting lots of energy, attention, and time into the internet, and social media particularly, but I want to make sure I'm still creating stuff, enjoying myself, and being present in my own life. I want to be invigorated and purposeful in how I use the internet, just like I want to be in every possible aspect of life.

Today I woke up and read a chapter of the book I'm reading (Miranda Hart's 'Is It Just Me?'), and it was a very nice time, thank you.

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