Just some reflections I’ve had for a long, long time related to my technology addiction.
Is it my American-ness or just my me-ness that has me worried about being entertained all the time? The supposed joy of dolce far niente eludes me except for when I’m sunk deep into reading and even that requires flip-flopping between a few different sets of reading material. A print book, a fanfic, an ebook, and an audiobook are usually what I oscillate between. Even when I’m enjoying myself, my ADHD or whatever it is craves stimulation and something to hyperfixate on.
I’ve quit all social media save Goodreads and YouTube and the increasingly-occasional dip into a tumblr burner account when boredom is particularly intense/I’m being locked out of seeing a post I really want to look at. Twitter has not yet bullied me into caring enough to try to fix my locked account long enough to try to use its horrible interface. I’ll check on one of my best friend’s blogs every so often just to make sure she’s still alive, but that’s probably a bad litmus test because she doesn’t post often. Oh, well. Social media is bad for my mental health (along with everyone else’s). I’ve run out of things to search for on YouTube that’s truly different and stimulating and it’s more or less turned into videos rehashing the same topics over and over.
Standing stock-still in the center of my kitchen for minutes and minutes on end searching desperately for entertainment is not an unfamiliar scene. How can I unload my dishwasher unless I’m listening to something vaguely interesting, damn it? Gritting my teeth through a YouTube or Spotify ad because I refuse to pay for premium is another habit. Spotify has gotten wise to turning the volume all the way down and will pause if you try to do it during an ad. Ter-ri-ble. Hell world. I can’t think of a time that I’ve ever consciously chosen to buy something as a result of an ad, but maybe I’ve done so unconsciously after a jingle wormed its way in. Ads for products/companies that I know are actively harmful–looking at you, Dove chocolate–are particularly sneer-worthy. “We’re celebrating women everywhere,” is crooned into my ear, smarmy, or emanates from where I jammed my phone in my back pocket while I wait to be returned to the playlist I’ve curated. Hate. Haaate.
I try to meditate for a few seconds in the shower. Even that proves stressful after a few seconds. It is the ideal place to relax, though. I love the sound of falling water. In the car wash it’s too loud to properly hear my car radio, so I just turn it off and relax for the brief time it takes to go through. Thunderstorms have proved stressful for me this year because I’ve had issues with water building up in my backyard and flooding into my house, but with a repair after many months of hounding my HOA, that might finally be at an end. It’s perfect writing weather.
I’ve convinced myself I need to have something playing aloud every second I’m at home or else I’ll get anxious at the quiet. At the same time, I know for a fact that I can entertain myself. My overactive imagination turns on every time I actually give it the chance to breathe. Retreating into introspection is one of my favorite things to do when I give myself a chance.