©2022 Michael Raven
For some reason, these past few weeks, I’ve started obsessing about untethering myself. I’m sure it is evident in the themes I’ve been writing about with increased frequency.
I stare at my phone and wonder what it really brings to me as I shitscroll. That’s not to say everything is dreck, but goodness gracious, a good chunk of it is utter and total junk food for the mind and eyes. If I reduced my Twitter feed, for example, to the people I really enjoyed reading and feel add value to my life, I would be down to less than fifteen minutes a day of time spent on Twitter. Instagram? Aside from a few folks who message me through it, I would spend an average less than two minutes on it a day (honestly… almost zero aside from the rare, infrequent messages). Facebook has already gone off my radar because of some snark that wore me out — it wasn’t meant to be hurtful, but it was, and that was that, so screw it. I check on occasion in case there is a message, but I never review my feed.
And I ask myself: What would happen if I just got rid of social media, only checked personal email once or twice a day, limited my WordPress involvement to something other than having it on in the background, turned off all news feeds, and maybe even turned off my phone for a good chunk of the day. How would my brain chemistry change?
Aside: I can’t do anything about my work environment, but I’ll tell you that I would sing hallelujah loudly from the top of the mount if we got rid of the instant messaging atrocity called fucking M$Teams. Everyone seems to think I should have it installed on my phone and I’ll be damned before anyone forces me to make myself that available to their fricking workplace whims. If you need me that bad outside my normal working hours, you can call me…
Sometimes I think that all of this interconnectivity is a sickness. It all seems like fantasy that has gotten out of hand: from politics to sexual innuendo to emotional triggers to bullying to hate to… it all seems inflated and, as I step back and try to give it the 10k-foot cold eye, I realize that almost none of it is real. Even the “NEWS”. And yet, many of us have this weird visceral reaction, often anger or some other negative emotion, to this pure fantasy world we’ve created with electrons.
It makes me anxious just to think about it, and I’m not usually one who is prone to anxiety attacks.
Even really cool stuff like writing feels like an exercise in tapping into that Pavlov/dopamine treat bowl and, sitting back, one has to ask just how sullied the experience is and how many of the metrics are real measures of anything when everyone’s looking to score some of the good stuff and they figure if they dole it out, it will multiply and return. And… it does to some extent. Except when someone has more. Then, regardless of the dosage of dopamine you receive on an hourly basis, it seems a bit sour around the edges because we often feel we need more of the good stuff.
Look: Jessica has more hits than you and she totally just shitposts while you put thought and energy into what you wrote. Gods, why do people not see your genius, and dish it out to that virtual tart?
Yeah, I think too much. But seriously… what would happen if? You? Tuned? Off? And dropped? Out?
Some questions may never be answered.