In the wake of the attacks on Paris, I’m struck with grief and heartbreak. The response on social media has been enormous and because of that I feel the need to mourn this loss away from my friends and family online. I cannot log in without seeing hate. Friends are arguing, others post islamophobic pictures, and members of my family are posting statuses about the need for mass bombings. I cannot stand to look at the psychological trauma the west is facing now. I need space.
This page isn’t heavily viewed and I feel that I can express myself here. The hatred is making me nauseous and I need to process this alone. I plan on practicing tonglen later for those suffering from this tragedy. My heart goes out to them and I wish them ease for their losses.
Taking a break won’t be bad either. Yesterday I watched a TEDtalk about a man who quit the internet for a year. While I won’t go to that extreme, I liked how he talked about his experiences. He spoke of going through boredom for the first time in ages. I cannot remember the last time I felt true boredom; where I had nothing to do. The internet gives us access to unlimited information and entertainment.
When I feel the slightest bit bored, I turn to Facebook. It’s an impulse now. When I open Google Chrome on my computer, my hands automatically begin typing the URL. When I get tired of clicking through articles that friends have posted, as if by reflex, I reload the page. When I’ve exhausted the new posts within the last four hours, I go to YouTube, SnapChat, Twitter, and finally Tumblr. By the time that I’ve cycled through those sites, I can go back to Facebook and expect a few more new posts.
It sounds dramatic or perhaps different from your experience of social media. These are just the ways that social media has become a habit. Reflex is the most accurate word. Whenever I begin to feel bored, I reflexively load Facebook. I want to nip it in the bud by cutting it completely out. For how long, I’m not sure. My account will remain active only to allow Spotify to login.
With the time that I’ve already started spending away from Facebook, I’ve managed to read through “Walk Like a Buddha” by Lodro Rinzler. I’ve started David Foster Wallace’s posthumous novel “The Pale King”. It’ll take time to get through but I’m eager to gain a greater understanding of DFW. I’ve also ordered his book “Infinite Jest” as well as Mathew B. Crawford’s second book “The World Beyond Your Head”. Both look excellent.
One of my favorite artists, Joel Robison, is releasing a book next month titled “Create Your Self”. Terribly excited for that. Hopefully Maximilian Uriarte will open the pre-orders for his graphic novel “The White Donkey”soon, which is released in December as well. These few months feel book crazy and I’m excited to get away and read. Maybe I’ll start writing reviews or something of books that I enjoy.
Anyways, this post is getting long enough. I’m gonna go finish laundry, put some fresh sheets on, and open The Pale King back up. While I don’t anticipate buying any books for a month or so, I’m always looking for recommendations. Especially in the LGBT, memoir, or Buddhist genre. I’m a weird one. Have a good start to the week and I’ll be in touch.