As many of you might have noticed, from the 10th of May to the 10th of June, I decided to do an experiment: can Denny survive without social media? Will I go crazy? Is it an addiction? What impact does social media have in my life? I took my time to write about it, as so many points came to my mind and not sure if I will be able to cover them all, but the findings are epic and not sure if you will really have the time to read it all, although I think it is worth put it out there.
First of all, let me state some facts: since when I was 10, I was glued in front of a computer screen. I’ve annoyed my parents to pay an programming/IT school so I could attend the classes to learn how to develop softwares, as I wanted to be Bill Gates. I wanted to have the market share of Microsoft, with the design of Apple and the domain of the chip world like Intel at that time. I wanted to be the richest one so I could help the children and build a sustainable city where everybody had everything they needed. So basically computing was part of my life. Being glued on a screen, my first online friends, and also my first two boyfriends. That was how I met the world. The computer understood me, it was easy to deal with a machine rather than humans. 1+1 most of the times equals 2 in a machine, while in humans they 1+1 is never 2.
Then for the people who met me lately, they always think I could not survive without the use of my mobile, checking emails, update facebook, instagram, twitter, linkedin, snapchat, foursquare, grindr, gaydar etc etc etc.
So I have to quote one of the best ever realistic sarcastic quote about modern life, from T2 Trainspotting:
“Choose… designer lingerie, in the vain hope of kicking some life back into a dead relationship. Choose handbags, choose high-heeled shoes, cashmere and silk, to make yourself feel what passes for happy. Choose an iPhone made in China by a woman who jumped out of a window and stick it in the pocket of your jacket fresh from a South-Asian Firetrap. Choose Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram and a thousand others ways to spew your bile across people you’ve never met. Choose updating your profile, tell the world what you had for breakfast and hope that someone, somewhere cares. Choose looking up old flames, desperate to believe that you don’t look as bad as they do. Choose live-blogging, from your first wank ’til your last breath; human interaction reduced to nothing more than data. Choose ten things you never knew about celebrities who’ve had surgery. Choose screaming about abortion. Choose rape jokes, slut-shaming, revenge porn and an endless tide of depressing misogyny. Choose 9/11 never happened, and if it did, it was the Jews. Choose a zero-hour contract and a two-hour journey to work. And choose the same for your kids, only worse, and maybe tell yourself that it’s better that they never happened. And then sit back and smother the pain with an unknown dose of an unknown drug made in somebody’s fucking kitchen. Choose unfulfilled promise and wishing you’d done it all differently. Choose never learning from your own mistakes. Choose watching history repeat itself. Choose the slow reconciliation towards what you can get, rather than what you always hoped for. Settle for less and keep a brave face on it. Choose disappointment and choose losing the ones you love, then as they fall from view, a piece of you dies with them until you can see that one day in the future, piece by piece, they will all be gone and there’ll be nothing left of you to call alive or dead. Choose your future. Choose life.”
And then why have I quote that?
During the 30 days that I decided not to use social media, I had the time of my life. Before I felt I was failing in society, but not being able to be everything for everyone. I felt without breath: I can’t answer all the messages in the same day; I can’t be everywhere everyone wants me to be; I dont have time to justify not being able to do something that someone expect me to do on a unrealistic approach; I can’t check emails every 2 hours as I might be watching a movie that last 3 hours or I might be sleeping, or I might want to look at the face of the person in front of me and admire every single moment with him.
I prioritise the wrong needs on the last two years, and instead of prioritising what I wanted, I probably prioritised what society wanted me to be, or to become, or to fulfil, or my views of what that might be.
When I took time for myself, I realised I had lost the person who I loved because I had to cancel two brunches with him to be in somewhere to cover for someone. I realised that i had lost holidays which I wanted to have gone to. I realised that I havent spent much time with my friends as I was too busy updating social media, checking emails, overthinking about the big picture instead of living to admire the subtle elements and components of life in general.
So I decide to spend time with myself. To go for a walk, to do whatever I want to do. To be happy.
So why “clicky finger”? Most of you might know I’ve been working in restaurants for the last good few years. One of the things that annoys most servers is when a customer click their fingers in order to get attention. That, for me, never bothered me. It’s a different culture in Brazil altogether, so it doesnt impact me at all. But then I realised that the needy social media users annoy the hell out of me. The one that send you a message at 9am and if you don’t reply by 8:59am of the previous day, they start their paranoia “?” “?????” “?”, “you’ve been online and not answered my message?”, “you went out and not invited me?”, “you haven’t tagged me on that post? do you not love me anymore?” . You know the pearls.
So the conclusion is: I am fed up of giving a f*ck about your needs, and from now on, I am prioritising mine. Because when I was prioritising yours, I felt I was failing in fulfilling my role in the society, while the truth was: I was forgetting who I actually am. And if you have a problem with that, as I usually say: you have the problem, not me.
P.S: and even on the 4 weeks I was out of social media, and 8 weeks I did not go out a single day, certain people still accused me of being out and about. One suggestion: go and live your life, rather than trying to live mine. Point your fingers to your own nose.