Howdy, y’all. Thanks for sticking with me, despite my occasional flaky behavior.
Somehow, I didn’t get a blog post written last week. Although I’d have bet money that I wrote one and posted it. But I can’t find it in my files or on the website. Maybe I dreamt I had?
I’ve had a LOT of truly bizarre dreams and nightmares since the COVID-19 shelter-at-home started. And hell, I’ve dreamt about work and writing before all this occurred, so it’s not a completely unheard-of idea.
Anyway, here I am. Back again.
This week’s title is descriptive of my ongoing love/hate relationship with social media, clickbait headlines, and the general raging firestorm of pandemic/political stupidity/racially biased clusterfuckery that we’re living in.
I have plenty of anecdotal evidence telling me that I need to stop checking Facebook and Twitter. Each time I break my self-imposed social-media fast, I end up wasting valuable writing time. And I leave each session either 1) angry, 2) depressed, or 3) both. And those emotions do NOT help me buckle down and draft or revise anything.
I know this. I’m a rational adult who has some ability to be self-reflective about my own strengths and weaknesses. I’ve also read plenty of articles that outline the research mental-health experts and sociologists have done.
But you already know that I can’t resist its siren call. And I really think that’s the best analogy for it. The sirens.
As a refresher for all the non-nerds in the crowd, the sirens were beautiful women whose songs lured sailors to their deaths in the epic Greek poems. Tell me that isn’t exactly what social media has become.
But instead of our literal deaths, we’re just slowly killing our brain cells. Remember those old “this is your brain on drugs” commercials? Substitute “social media” for “drugs” and that’s how I feel after I log on. But I keep doing it, even as I berate myself for succumbing to the lure of the shiny object.
I know I’m not alone in that behavior. I have some tools on my laptop and cell phone that are supposed to block social media websites and keep me focused. The problem is that I fail to use them as often as I should.
I’ve taken all social-media apps off my cell phone and tablet. But I haven’t deleted my browsers, and that makes it easy to reconnect.
Rather than continuing to beat myself up, I’m trying to reframe how I think about this issue. It’s a cliché to say that today is a new chance to do better, but it’s also true.
S0, I’m making a commitment here that I will not check social media at all today. Ideally, I won’t check it at all this weekend. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves, eh?
What are your best suggestions for getting your creative work done? How do you keep from self-sabotaging (whether your downfall is social media or some other activity)? What are your tips or tricks to get through the tasks you want and/or need to accomplish?
Please let me know. I’d love to hear your ideas.
(Photo by Jaquie Notte on Unsplash)