School of Life (Digital Detox Day 19)

This post is a bit late but I wanted to live my day out first before I wrote it. I woke up this morning in a jumbled mess because of the whole phone thing; I hated that it was a thing that I even cared about, and I hated myself because I spent my time on it when I don't even know why it matters. I was in so much agony that I decided to exercise -- a run on a local trail.

When I was surrounded by the calls of birds and scurrying of squirrels in the surrounding grass, I realized, that I have been straying further away with the point of my blog with every recent post -- "Low Tech" life, NOT buying a new smartphone, NOT seeking compromise with the most miniscule things that still manage to tempt me. And then, I thought, that I am a SLAVE to technology, not an addict. I used to think a slave of society was inherent in the obvious image of someone in a lot of debt after an opulent purchase, such as a mansion or sports car. But I, an enemy of the whole concept, am also a slave, no better or worse off.

Because if I see myself as a digital addict, it reinforces the idea that it's an individual problem. But no, I am part of a collective problem. I'm taking back the stupid phone. I don't care if it's faster or takes better pictures - why do I wanna do that shit anyway? Why do I care if my phone is upgraded, especially when I'm trying to spend less time on screens? It's as if this devil overcame me, the devil of comformity and groupthink. Every time when I am in some sort of technie environment I can't help but to conform. I can't help but to exclaim with nostalgic joy about video games or entertainment when I'm around people my age, because that's what people talk about! It is impossible to get away from. But that doesn't mean I should throw in the towel, it just means I need to actively resist, and fight the good fight.

It all started with that reset day...I was probably onto something before then but my flow was interrupted by the idea of "tinkering" as if I can't tinker in real life. Why do I limit myself to tinkering with some meaningless technology? And I still do care about digital privacy, but honestly, what need do I have for that now? In the middle of the detox? My brain found some justification for giving in, for changing the rules of the detox. It started with a succession of days with low moods, the Vyvanse that suddenly perked me up, and then the conclusion came about that, "oh, I have potential with technology, it's a big part of me, blah blah blah"

I refuse to shift extremes, as I periodically seem to do, but I've got to reframe the situation, and not think in terms of "potential" or ego. I'm not doing the digital detox to have a better life, and I'm removing any expectation that I will. I haven't even completed the detox. I haven't even completed 20 days, and I already got myself to reconsider the terms. But compared to the rest of my life, the 20 or so years, I have not once considered so deeply the consequences of living a life so dense with technology.

And it's more than technology. This is more than a DIGITAL detox. This is a societal attitude detox. I'm not going to see myself as a worker, or a student, or any sort of role that can be fit in a box. I'm not going to see my time as clockable hours, as money, or as a waste if it's not "productive." Basically, I'm throwing the standard definition of productivity out of the window. My time was productive if I spent it in joy. Or some other emotion that is outside my daily spectrum, even negative emotion. If I lived, then it was a productive day.

All the conflicting ideas I get...those aren't really from me. They're societal pressures imposed and ingrained in my brain from decades of conditioning. It isn't until I see parts of wild nature that I seem to forget about it all. It suddenly doesn't matter as much. The only things that keep me coming back is my depressed lizard brain and the intrusion of opposing ideas from others. My depressed lizard brain I'm working on. The SAM-e, I think, is helping. And the warmer weather too, and getting outside and all that. Opposing ideas are inavoidable. But that's why I need to build a solid foundation for myself. This is important!! A small fraction in my life spent not whisking it away on technology could prove to be more substantial than anything I've ever done, for my well-being and essentially for a stability of self.

So with that, this will be the last weekend I spend with this laptop. I have a family computer. I have the library a mile away. I have school labs computers. I have notebooks to take notes with. I need to get rid of this thing on my desk, this thing with its peripheral keyboard and mouse that take up the whole space. This desk ought to be devoted to writing letters, or in my journal, or reading a good book. I'm going to wipe it, and then sell it... or maybe give it away for free. The thing is a beaut, but I can't handle having it right now. Plus, I have my crappy, slow smartphone to feed my inner demons with its podcasts and Duolingo (I'm considering writing my blog posts on it too). It's in greyscale, and the battery and camera are god awful and I can't see myself getting addicted to the thing, especially since I don't have social media or play games, which are the top two drains of one's time spent on smartphones.

And honestly, I can see myself becoming even more of a slacker by getting rid of my laptop. Because I need to occupy a different physical space than the comfort of my room to work on things, I can already envision me not doing them. And to that, I say, that's okay. C's get degrees. I'm no longer doing this to become more 'studious' -- not to be corny, but I'd rather get A's in the school of life! (whatever that means, anyway)


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