I’m late with this entry. Fourteen days was two days ago, but the farther I move from computer screens and phone screens the harder it is to come back. I’ve enjoying the quiet, learning how to think again, and how to observe. I went to the doctor for my physical and didn’t know what to do in the waiting room. How should I spend an uncertain, but small, amount of time without scrolling or texting or clicking? How many of these mini-breaks, do I get a day and how can I use them if I’m not looking for something exciting on my phone to fill it?
I’ve started carrying a journal with me and writing in when I only have a short amount of time. I put a book in my purse, although I haven’t brought it out yet. I’m never anywhere long enough to justify looking for the last page I was reading. As soon as I find it, I’m called away. I’ve started looking at everyone else who is looking at their phones. Occasionally a child or someone older will catch my eye. There is a warmth and joy in that moment when we recognize someone else who isn’t looking down and tuning the world out. I made faces at a small child in the waiting room. I crossed my eyes and stuck my tongue out. I puffed my cheeks out then tried to look very serious. The little girl giggled and tugged at her mother who ignored her. It must be so lonely to be a child growing up in a world where people only look at you when you’re misbehaving. Who is left to play peek-A-boo?
One day, I cheated and went online to get a fix of scandal. The Jussie Smollett drama is unfolding. Is it real? Is it a hoax? Who would do something like that? And what will happen? The situation started before I went offline and it felt like I had stopped reading a book before the final chapter. Reading his story took me to a story about Kamala Harris and then a story about Kathy Griffin, then a video of Saturday Night Live and before I knew it I was deep in a social media black hole of clickbait. It was a setback. Every day is a new day.
Nearly every morning I write in my journal and it’s always the same thing. I write out my priorities in no particular order in narrative format, then slowly circle in on what to focus on. It’s always the same but always necessary. No matter what I decided yesterday, I have to decide again today, through the same process. I couldn’t login to Spotify and it turned out my login, including my premium subscription, is not accessible when my Facebook page is deactivated because I used my facebook account to create my spotify account. I had to search for a way to change my login. It was a pain but I did it. I wonder what else uses my social media login information. When I opened Facebook to login to my Spotify account so I could change my login settings I was tempted to scroll. The updates were lackluster. The same old people are doing the same old things, saying the same old things, posting the same old things. Don’t they know they are living reruns or their own selves yesterday, last week, last year? I didn’t miss it. I wanted to sneak away quickly.
I’m still glad to be offline. I still wish I’d done it sooner.
PS. Oh yeah, my website is collecting cobwebs. Apparently no one reads links unless they are posted on Facebook or in a Tweet. This is a problem I will have to solve another day.