devolution

“What are you doing right now and how does it make you feel” – some human

I can’t recall who put that little nugget in my head, but it lives on my office whiteboard as “Go Mau Go” motivation and ethical compass. A month ago, I would find myself on Facebook and Reddit, scrolling infinitely, and it made me feel…icky. As if I spent the last hour holding up a checkout isle line reading the National Enquirer. In fact, all forms of excessive social media make me feel this way. So I went cold turkey on all social media for a “Month Without…” project. Projects intended to make, break, or modify habits. To carve out space in time allowing me to create more than I consume.. Oh…you didn’t even notice that I was gone? That’s simultaneously good news and awkward.

This post isn’t intended to expound on the benefits of social media fasting. It’s. Been. Done. In fact, I find it upsetting that we consume these great tales of low bar self control as if the writers are pioneers doing the impossible. What I wanted to do is track my thought processing in the abundance of time I’ve reclaimed for myself. Below are a few thought spewings I reflected heavily on this month.

  • My fingers type “Facebook” and “Reddit” unconsciously. It’s a muscle memory “um”, a brain fart that stinks up my time whenever I’m being challenged mentally. A dopamine burst that takes the challenge away, not by addressing it, but by ignoring it. Much like drugs or alcohol addition. I knew there was problem when I would be on Facebook and I would think “Facebook is boring, I wonder what’s on Facebook”. This is going to be hard.
  • This isn’t hard at all.
  • I wonder what my SF friends are up to. Out of sight is out of mind and the foley of social media is that frequent posters unfairly take up mind space. Take social media away and you quickly clear out the noise and remember who you actually want to stay connected to.
  • Mildly interesting: Having deleted Facebook from my phone, my battery life is slightly up.
  • Fuck this is hard.
  • The socially accepted third person short biography format needs to die. Mauricio knows that you’re being anything but objective. Mauricio believes you should take his “about me” sidebar with a grain of salt.
  • I quit quitting soft drinks, but I quit diet coke for regular coke. Quit your lecturing.
  • Cooking is like jazz. You need to build a foundation of rules and standards before you can improvise on them. I.e. You need to learn the rules before you can break them. Do until you’re no longer consciously doing. This is why my creme fraiche scrambled eggs and toast will make you weep with all sensory encompassing joy.
  • The bacon packaging industry needs a disruption. Can’t open it, can’t keep it closed once open.
  • Not all Uber drivers deserve a 5 star rating. Sometimes 5 stars aren’t enough. Above all, I’d rather not rate anything or anyone on any medium.
  • The world is neither fair nor just. It just is. The sooner you realize this the better you’ll be at responding to all of life’s perceived gifts and debts.
  • We’ve got too many social contradictions, it’s amazing we’re able to function at all in life. Take a good hard look at your truths and desires and make sure they align with how you’re actually living. If the amount of cognitive dissonance in this thought experiment doesn’t scare the shit out of you initially, you’re probably not being honest with yourself.
  • As you fall deeper into a sense of presence sans social media, you realize that the world isn’t suddenly more interesting. It didn’t change. YOU are suddenly more interesting and the world is responding in kind.
  • Our modern sense of masculinity is severely broken. It needed breaking. But gentlemen, it’s time to put the pieces back together.
  • The Mens Fashion Boards on Pinterest are usually titled some variation of “Clothes I wish my boyfriend would wear”. Don’t be fooled men. That’s code for “Feminized male models with man buns wearing cutes clothes I would totally rock if I were a dude.”
  • Getting in shape is the best “clothing accessory” You’ll ever gift yourself. There is no shame or shallowness in this. Asked why people desire physical beauty, Aristotle said, “No one that is not blind could ask that question”. Socrates wrote, “No man has the right to be an amateur in the matter of physical training. It is a shame for a man to grow old without seeing the beauty and strength of which his body is capable.” Mauricio wrote, “Hey man, how many sets do you have left?”.
  • Flattery will get you everywhere. And anything. It helps if you mean it though.
  • If there’s anything I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s that all of my personal growth and learning has happened on the edge of discomfort. Learn to embrace comfort with discomfort and, at best, all your wildest dreams come true. At worst, you become a slightly better, more genuine version of yourself.
  • Facebook and twitter, you’re not welcome back onto my phone. Instagram, you may stay, but you’re on probation.

One Comment

  1. Great post, Mau. It’s inspiring me to try something similar.
    I also wholeheartedly agree: bacon packaging is the worst. Ridiculous.

    btw, i LOVE that the user has the option to choose how to read and interact with your site with the sidebar, images, etc.

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