FOMO

A couple of days ago I did the unthinkable. I deleted a social media account.

You will probably know that I recently deleted my Facebook pages for this blog and The Pukeko Patch. I thought that was a pretty decent first step in my self-styled “slow retreat” from the increasingly unpleasant world that this section of the internet has become. But I wasn’t feeling the same bravery around my own personal social media accounts. There was a lingering sensation of FOMO.

If there was ever an acronym that should be considered an onomatopoeia word, then FOMO is it. I’m sure it’s the scratchy little sound that comes unbidden from the back of your throat as your finger wavers side to side over your keyboard just before the final plunge to hit “DELETE”.
The fight between your thinking brain and your fear of being ‘an outsider’ concludes with a little whimpering sound….

FOmo……

And then the deed is done. In the press of a button it’s over.

Well, in fairness, I have thirty days to recant and all will be well in my little corner of the Twittersphere but I have no intention to do so. In a remarkable turn of events I was able to ditch the social media platform I probably spent the most time on, Twitter, with very little trauma and only the tiniest, scratchy FOmo… sound.
For me the hard #SMexit will be the deletion of Facebook.
Yes, I did just make up a hashtag for this process.

So what prompted this act of unwarranted bravery?
Well, an episode of Alan Alda’s Clear+Vivid podcast is the culprit.
I’ve been dipping in to it on occasion and enjoying it. On last week’s show Alan was interviewing Jaron Lanier who is a founding father of the realm of virtual reality, and sounds quite the character in addition to that.

As part of their conversation they spoke about Lanier’s new book, “Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now“.
Here’s a link to his webpage relating to it. The cover of the book succinctly sums up the ten arguments. I found most, if not all, of them are accurate in my experience.
It was while listening to that conversation and weighing up some of their comments with my own observations that I came to the conclusion that it was time to gain back some of my life.
– Infinite scroll anyone?!?
And some of my hope for humanity.
– No more reading comments from bots or real, but vitriolic, people with no empathy can only improve my mental health!

My next challenge is to do the same with Facebook. I have some ideas about how I’m going to go about it, so I’m ever hopeful that I will vanquish the biggest of my SMexit foes. I just need to work up a bit more courage and do it.

Wish me luck!


More reading / watching: How we need to remake the internet

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Obligation Vacation

I was listening to episode 71 of the Happier in Hollywood podcast today and they beautifully described the situation I find myself in this past week.

It turns out that I’m on an Obligation Vacation.

To be fair, I rather think I’m in the midst of it’s darker cousin, the Obligation Rebellion.

It’s been a long year in the Oh Waily household and there are still three months to go! Unfortunately I seem to have finally found that point where tiredness, personal expectations, external obligations and reality have all collided and resulted in a mass gathering of tweety birds circling my head.

Truth be told I’m kind of like the human equivalent of Wile E. Coyote at the moment; lots of grand plans that have ended in me hitting the dust.  Repeatedly. And it isn’t pretty.

Unlike Wile E., who displays persistent-to-the-point-of-painful-optimism, I have the ability to tell when reality is saying enough is enough and the time has come to stop ordering things from Acme Corporation.  

For me that time arrived this past week when my brain finally decided, all on it’s subconscious own, to take me on a surprise Obligation Vacation.  I had no idea where we were going and that such a detour might even have a name, until tonight; but I like it.  It suggests a positive outlook and a healthy response to maintaining a balance between obligations and your own sanity.  And it’s definitely more upbeat than Obligation Rebellion which is, truthfully, what overcame me.

For close on a week now I have looked at my rather huge list of obligations and other people’s expectations and have thought, “Nah. Not today. I think I will stare at that blank wall for a while.” 

My rebellious, wall watching holiday has absolutely nothing to do with those folk patiently waiting for me to email, phone, organise or otherwise contribute.  It has everything to do with my tightrope walking act of balancing everyone’s needs, especially my own.  Just like Wile E. Coyote I started out looking and feeling like I’ve got it all under control and then…

Lickety-Splat!

Here I am, on my impromptu rebellion vacation.

And it’s a bittersweet one.  I dislike seeming to be disorganised, rude, uncooperative or otherwise “just not getting the job done”.  It goes strongly against the grain. But, oh the freedom from doing the drudgery !!  I could almost slip in to not Adulting as a full time gig, if it were not for the fact that I am often the only adult in the house.

And that raises the issue of the end of my Obligation Vacation.  There has been another adult in the house during my rebellious vacation – in case you were concerned – but that is soon to change again for a few weeks.  I suspect that my sly and cunning subconscious took the opportunity of another adult being around to sneak in a much needed rest.
Well done Brain, well done.  But next time a bit of warning would be good, or pre-planning at the very least.  I’m not big on unwelcome surprises, as you really ought to know.

That leaves me with the question of how to work Obligation Vacations in to my life rather than have my brain spring them upon me.  It’s one that I will have to take time to ponder.  For now I will remain, mostly, on Vacation. 

At least until Mr Oh Waily’s next trip away.


Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for.  Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.
― Maya Angelou

Obliger

BTB

I mentioned my new-found love of Podcasts at the end of last month, with one of my favourites being Happier with Gretchen Rubin and her sister Elizabeth Craft.
I’m currently a week behind, and am now eager to head to bed to listen to last Wednesday’s episode.

Why? Because it is about me.

Well, not me specifically, but me in the sense of Ms Rubin’s Four Tendencies Framework.  I’m really curious to hear what the ladies have to say in this episode, because it was so obvious which of the four general types of people I was going to fall in to.

I’m the ultimate Obliger.  Most of the time.  Sometimes I don’t even meet outer expectations! <gasp>

So it is with some interest I am planning on listening to the advice and suggestions about maximising this tendency’s good points and minimising it’s down side.  Anything to stop me having to berate myself for having no willpower when it’s something for me!!  Then I’ll head off to read the full deal in her new book Better than Before which I purchased as a Kindle book a couple of months ago.

If you’re curious about the Four Tendencies there is a test you can take, but it is most likely that you will recognise yourself from the descriptions first anyway.  If you do take the test, come back and let me know which category you fall in to – and don’t forget to listen to the podcast about your type.

As for me, it’s time to go listen and then work out some accountability systems to get those internal expectations met and those habit changes firmly in place!

Happy listening !