I R Back
or "DAMN I needed that break!!!"
or "Cro who?"
Quick RecapI had to read two articles for my English class: "Is Google Making Us Stupid?" by Nicholas Carr (Atlantic, Jul/Aug2008, Vol. 302 Issue 1) and "Meet Your iBrain" by Gary Small and Gigi Vorgan (Scientific American, Oct/Nov2008, Vol. 19 Issue 5). I realized I was experiencing the exact same negative side effects of too much internet use that I was reading about in the articles. I was experiencing what Small called "techno-brain burnout". I was stressed out, depressed and feeling unable to cope for absolutely no reason whatsoever. My financial situation could be better but things were going well and life was generally getting better. However, my outlook on life was gloomy and I was excessively negative for absolutely no reason. I was having a hard time coping with even the slightest setback.
So, I decided to step away from social media for a second. All social media apps were removed from my phone and social media links were removed from my toolbar. Over the last two weeks it is funny how often my fingers instinctively started to type "twitter" into the tool bar.
I won't lie, some days were pretty rough. Here and there I felt antsy and hated feeling like I was completely out of the loop. It wasn't easy. Sometimes I was pretty much like:
What I did while I was "away"It was shocking. Not looking at Twitter compulsively gave me A LOT of extra time (especially after I got all caught up on my coursework). While on this self-imposed exile from social media a lot of things that had been put on the back burner got done. I finished several books that had been sitting around half-read for quite a while. I cleaned up my room something I had been talking about doing for over a year. While cleaning my room I stumbled across another loose-end with my Mom's estate that needed to be tied up. I also completed a five day water-only fast* that I had been meaning to do for some time.
Besides schoolwork and reading I also watched some YouTube videos. I stumbled across the Inspire Nation channel after looking for any videos with Mitch Horowitz. I had just finished Mitch's book Occult America: White House Seances, Ouija Circles, Masons, and the Secret Mystic History of Our Nation before my brief respite from social media.
In reference to this particular video, I started working on the three experiments mentioned at about 39:16: Stronger Every Day (Practice of the Coué method created by Émile Coué where you repeat the mantra "Every day in every way, I'm getting better and better", or "Day by day, in every way, I'm getting better and better", 20 times in the morning when waking and 20 times while drifting off to sleep), The 3-step Miracle, and the Definite Chief Aim (which Mitch also turned into a book, The Miracle of a Definite Chief Aim. It is one of the books I read during my break- I still need to go back and do all of the exercises).
Basically I've really gotten into New Thought and some other stuff that I never thought I would be interested in. So, I'm one of those weirdos now.
30 Day Plant Based Challenge?I'm pretty much over 30, 60 or 90 day challenges. I don't think I'm going to do any more of them unless something really catches my eye. I'm all for doing experiments and trying new ways to be the best I can be, but I'm over the whole "challenge" format.
That doesn't mean I'm giving up on the plant-based challenge. In fact I'm taking it one step further and am drawing a line in the sand. On Tuesday, the 24th, I decided to go 100% plant-based from then on. I have too many good reasons to do it and the reasons not to do it (for me, at least) are...well, weak. If you've followed this blog at all, obviously this is a personal decision. I'm not big on pointing my finger and looking down on other people...well, MOST other people (tee-hee). It's just something I need to do.
Note: I will do my best to order plant-based food when eating out but if I accidentally order something with an animal product I won't freak out and I am not going to waste it. I will just try to be more careful and aware of what I'm eating next time. I say this because I love trying new Japanese dishes (well, East Asian cuisine in general) and bonito (slipjack tuna), as the central ingredient in most dashi stock, is ubiquitous in Japanese cuisine. I am almost certain I will be eating foods that used bonito in the cooking process at some point. I will do my best to avoid it.
In ConclusionOverall, the break was great. If you're feeling stressed and burned out for no real reason I'd suggest looking at your social media usage. You might be in need of a break from the Tweeters, Book of faces, and Instantgrahams too.
* Quick note: Five days is the absolute upper limit of doing a water-only fast without medical supervision. I felt great during the fast (well, the first day was pretty crappy) but I would never go past five days without a professional monitoring me! You shouldn't either.
Positive Thoughts + Potatoes