SO, the challenge: Social Media Fast. I don’t consider myself an addict of social media; although, like most I am sure I spend way too much time looking at things that I will likely forget within minutes of experiencing them. I DO NOT want to know how much time I’ve spent looking at memes, recipes that I’ll never cook (although after last challenge I realize that random recipes may actually have a chance), tweets about spring training, or personal meltdowns of people I wish I stopped knowing after high school. Videos of Capybaras though, they are never a waste of time, I mean look at this thing.
However on Day 1 of Social Medial fast week, I found myself stoked at the opportunity to fill up my car with gas. As I was standing there filling up my car, it popped on, all on it own, and so I cannot be held responsible for breaking the rules. The mindless fluff that perpetrates GSTV (Gas Station TV) was a welcome social media methadone to help me get through day one. I know this sounds like addict talk, but trust me, I’m not an addict, fuck, that sounds like addict talk too, maybe I have a problem? No, I’m fine, it was just day one…a little social media withdrawal is expected right? It wasn’t like I decided to mainline snap chat or something; Gas Station TV is barely even social media. I’ll be fine.
Here is the goal…despite my day one jitters, I wouldn’t consider myself a social media junkie, but personally I have not been the most ambitious version of myself lately. I’ve been kind of lazy and unmotivated, choosing to stare at various size screens rather than make any useful contributions to humanity or even myself, so this week the screens are off, unless work related or needed to maintain typical responsibilities. I mean I have to check email and pay bills and order things I don’t really need on on-line. But all push notifications are off, Netflix is also off, yahoo news is gone, twitter, instagram, Facebook, snap chat, YouTube, Google plus, reddit, vine, MySpace, LinkedIn, Flickr, tumblr, pinterest, foursquare, gaia, AOL-IM, Friendster, Hi5, booboo8skoot, and chipclip are all out of sight and out of mind (only two of those are made up, four I never heard of, eleven I’ve never used, and the rest will just have to go on without me).
I had to evaluate a colleague’s class, and so I grabbed a chair in the back corner of the room and tried to remain inconspicuous so that most students would not even notice I was there. Class was going fine, until Fucking Trevor comes in and sits right beside me. From the second he sat down until the moment class was let out Fucking Trevor was on his cell phone…checking twitter, snap chap, and clash of the clans mostly. My colleague prepared an amazing lecture, and Fucking Trevor (I’m pretty sure his name isn’t even Trevor, let alone Fucking Trevor, but he looked like a Trevor, and he was a fuck, so as far as I’m concerned fuck him, Fucking Trevor it is) just plays on his phone for an hour and a half. Seriously Fucking Trevor, you can’t pay attention to a single second of this lecture, good to know. When I see Fucking Trevor working at a gas station in 5 years as I’m filling up while watching GSTV, I’ll be sure to ping-bit him with a rolling dip-trot so that everyone knows what a turd he is. You did this to yourself Fucking Trevor you did this to yourself! (I have no idea what “ping-bit him with a rolling dip-trot” is, but I can’t predict what technology will be like in five years, so I am just trying to stay ahead of the curve #ping-bit #dip-trot) Where was I? Oh right, I was confessing to actually trying to look at Fucking Trevor’s phone when I should have been evaluating this class. Fucking T. I can do better than this!
In all honesty I have been on a roll…(minus GSTV and looking over Fucking Trevor’s fucking shoulder) I have read 3 papers, and started reading two books, I have been taking Pepper on several walks a day, and have talked to family members on the telephone ON THE TELEPHONE. I’ve felt more like myself the last few days, and I really like the feeling of pulling away from something that while not totally useless, has been counter-productive.
5AM…KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK!!! That is me being woken up at five in the morning by a loud knocking at my door…WTF!? I went to see what the heck was going on, maybe a bus caught on fire in front of my house, maybe someone was going to kill me, those were the only real options I could think of as I rolled out of bed, but both were wrong. Instead it was three of my family members who decided to take a 24 hour road trip to come and visit me unannounced.
Me: What the heck (I used “heck” as it was an uncle and his two sons and one of them is still a kid)
Them: Did we wake you?
Me: I’m going to murder all three of you. What are you doing here, why didn’t you call?
Them: We’ve been snapping our trip out here, we assumed you saw it.
Me: Starring blankly, thinking ‘it’s social media fast week, who doesn’t call?’
Them: We’ve been driving all night, we are going to crash.
Me: Okay, just pull into the garage, and leave the car running.
So, they went to bed and I went to school, I have been trying to catch up on sleep since they got her, but it turned out to be a great week, and a perfect distraction from all devices electronic.
Day 5, 6, 7
We were pretty much active all day everyday until they left just a couple of hours ago… I mean after the shock of them showing up, it was a really fun vacation. We played games, went to a baseball game, went out to dinners, went rock climbing, played soccer, played mini-golf, played basketball, and straight up pickle. I have no idea the last time I played pickle. Like I mentioned I have been in a funk recently, I have learned there is no better cure for funk than pickle. As much as I was not excited to see them show up, I was really sad to watch them go. They made my social media fast almost unnoticeable. Family!!!
The Take: This challenge couldn’t have come at a better time. I feel invigorated! I am back to reading books, and writing speeches, I feel more like myself, less like a shit sponge. I kind of feel bad for Fucking Trevor, and I hope he gets the chance to play pickle before he ends up working at Shell. And while I see the good that social media has done worldwide, I also know like anything it can be a crutch. While I may not be as pessimistic as @officialBmax who writes: “Social Media destroying the world, we all being stupid and silly because of it, me included. God help us All ” I do think that taking a break from “being stupid and silly” is refreshing, and I am happy for the stellar week of fasting!!!