In a field where social media is king, it’s hard not to get groggy. The science is depressing. People who tend to use Facebook the most tend to have insecure and narcissistic personalities . It’s so easy to get sucked in and be confined to a world where you begin to judge people based on their following and influence.
Ever since my first journalism internship in ’08 — my mind has slowly reprogrammed itself to see the world from a media marketer’s viewpoint. I, admittedly, sometimes think in hashtags. Whenever a friend says something off-hand and hilarious, I’m tempted to capture it and share it. I can’t help it. I start my meals taking dozens of photographs of the food, sometimes going as far as to standing on the chair while my friends roll their eyes in sarcastic amusement. (I need the shot!) Strangers, on the other hand, are often bewildered. But by now, my close group of friends know it’s become a part of who I am and a part of the career I’ve chosen.
I daydream a lot of disconnecting. I try to do so as much as I can on Sundays, but it’s difficult especially since all the programs I use are aptly built into my phone. I often daydream of picking up and going to a land far away, not unlike the places I visited during my avid traveling sprees post-high school and throughout college. Places like Dunhuang, where people lived in shacks and traveled by camel. Or perhaps somewhere in Western Europe, like Barcelona, where people seemed to eat tapas all evening long. Somewhere where the familiarity of American culture is absent, where it feels different and the differences make me feel alive and unique.
Unfortunately that’s not my reality. At least, not the reality I have chosen for this particular stage of my life.
I take what I can get. Moments of getaway time are so precious to me, but I’ve realized that having social media channels open really hinders the quality of my vacations. I also suspect it has subtly taken a toll on how I connect with people face-to-face.
In a couple of minutes, I’m heading up to Monterey County for a stay at Hotel Abrego and then a one-night excursion up at Holman Ranch.
As a gift to myself, I’m shutting down all social media channels. No idle Facebook browsing, so long Twitter timeline. I’m hoping this temporary shutdown will help me restore the sense of wonder I get whenever I go to a new country and really help me focus on the present. I’m hoping it will really give me a break from the mental exhaustion that comes from feeling the need to be updated, connected, and (sadly) validated all the time.
This sounds pathetic to (what I’m assuming) a vast majority of people out there. I know, it’s only three and a half days. That’s nothing. But for me, it’s a much overdue detox.
You can expect updates from me later.