2022 reflection

27/12/22

hello everyone....i hope all is well :) i do very much enjoy this time year as it is the perfect excuse to do lots of reflection. i thought id type up this blog entry so you can find up what youre favourite terminally online patient is thinking

ive made a lot of progress this year in trying to tackle my negative digital habits, and a large part of this has been confronting why i have ended up with such habits and addictions. of course it would be easy to pin all the blame on the personalised AI and algorithms and ease of access and societal normalisation of these habits, but i think at a point ive had to realise there are things deeper going on internally which have fueled mine in particular.

every month ive had it on my to-do list to rewrite the digital wellbeing page and im just finding it very difficult to do this thanks to this realisation. i wrote it in sept/oct 2021 as i was in the very beginnings of uprooting my negative digital habits, and so what i had written was very surface level, and as the year has gone on my opinions and observations and such have continued to grow more complex and fluid to where im not sure i could write something now without it changing in another year - hence my favouring of this blog post format. i do think its necessary to have that surface level starting point especially if it happens to be someones first foray into the topic, and thats what i do want the page to be, so i suppose im just trying to find the best way to get that across again.

having such a starting point like that where i could take immediate actions like deleting social media apps and accounts, switching my phone to a dumbphone etc, focusing more on physical media or things etc allowed me to clear up the thick layer of smog id built up over myself, but it has now laid bare things like insecurities and behavioural issues and all sorts of things ive discovered that id so heavily repressed with my digital habits. i think this has been a hard thing for me to try and acknowledge because i probably thought blocking a few websites would eventually fix all my problems, but instead its revealed to me ive still a lot to work on and deal with in relation to myself and i think this is what would catch people out in general. because it is hard to try and deal with things that are internal.

ive had a lot of drastic life changes recently which arent about to slow down anytime soon and its been a fight to keep my head above water and not let myself drown in old habits my brain finds comfortable, like my digital habits, among other coping mechanisms. i dont think itll come across as much of a surprise that this will be a big area of focus for me in the new year (in fact, from today, because why wait) by really dragging my attention to my projects and things in my life that need attention there. i want to read more into addiction and how people fight other kinds of addictions and see what processes i can try and adopt into this. i feel like my understanding so far with fighting digital addictions is like this:

my wonderful friend d who is also an artist recently recommended me "the artists way" by julia cameron, which is basically therapy but for the artist. im finding a lot of the tasks and methods in this book are transferable to help me in this next step in fighting my digital habits. i started writing these blogs when i decided to try and leave social media so i could save my relationship with my artwork and next year my art is something i really want to give my full attention. the first week involves confronting a lot of monsters involved in creating insecurity in my art, and i dont know if more abstract concepts are allowed but i certainly found that the internet/social media was a big monster for me...

i feel ive made a lot of progress and changes have happened which have made me very happy through my persistence and the many books ive read and conversations ive had. it probably sounds crazy but this is the first year i felt ive actually experienced since i was a child. i felt as though i truly have taken things every day at a time, and i processed time moving alone, watching the world change around me with the seasons and not being in a strange state of anxiety. my relationships have become so much stronger and valuable and ive achieved a lot of other things careerwise and personally. its not to say that ALL of this is due to my change in digital habits, of course - i am interested in self-improvement and positivity in general, i work a lot on my mindset and things like gratitude which without these things i think i wouldve had a much tougher time. this is something i intend to write a lot more about in the future in the context of digital habits.

a small practical action ive been trying to do is in my journal alongside my todo list write a sentence or two with "digital intentions". i sometimes write it on a small bit of paper to put on my computer screen, so when i sit down at it i can read it. for example, it might read:

in the morning, i will watch a workout video and then check the weather for today. ill check my emails and messages before getting ready for work. when i come home, ill check my messages again. ill complete this short list of tasks to be done on the computer, then work on my sewing project. before bed ill check my messages and the weather for tomorrow.

i find this useful as it reminds me to treat the computer like a tool, and gives me more of a direction in using it instead of falling into a mindless scrolling trap.

another thing id love to write about is the way in which my consumption of media has changed. ive always been a bit obsessive over a small handful of things instead of whats popular but being online drove my obsessiveness to level 100 as i could learn everything i wanted about my interests at lightning speed. it got a lot worse when it came to "fandom" on social media, however (girlies, iykyk). i think because of the weird human trend element that was happening, instead of some nerdy fansite for some old manga no one gives a fuck about. similar to fashion trends for example i found myself chasing certain media trends. ill use pokemon as an example, a long-term nerdy interest of mine. on social media youve got a small window of time to be interested in something. two pokemon games came out this year. in previous years, i wouldve got the game on release (or earlier, if i could) looking up the elite 4 in advance so i could tailor my team to beat them and the game itself as fast as i could so i could understand all the memes and art and in jokes as it was happening and maybe milk some of the hype myself with my own shitty fanart. bleak. with legends arceus which came out in january, i didnt finish it until early may, i knew next to nothing about even the mechanics of the game, or new characters and pokemon and i thoroughly enjoyed being able to play it at my own pace and in my own bubble. its nice to not be distracted by all this random shit i dont actually care about and indulge in the few things i do like. the new game i was gifted by a friend, i didnt intend on playing it for a while and ive not really touched it. (im not sure where i was going with this ramble but yanno)

i digress - as for my plans specifically for the ☆new year, new less terminally online me, ☆ i thought id share some of the things i intend on doing. perhaps sharing it online will hold me a little bit more accountable.

i hope this all made some kind of sense, and that i am not coming off like a broken record! i am hoping to make much progress in 2023 and i will update with my findings as i go. as i mentioned, i want to focus on my art this year. ive teased it many times, but i want to convey a story and i think i will do it this year. so please keep your eyes peeled... i hope everyone has a lovely new year. :o)

for fun, here are some favourites of the year:


favourite song: this is very hard...i really enjoyed 4am - grimes, fine night - goreshit, dont break my heart - the weeknd, exploding with power - dani gore, ready to fly - sub focus.....but i think im most drawn to thered better be a mirror ball - arctic monkeys
favourite video: yes its filmed in 1988 but i love it so much deeelite1988
favourite game: pokemon legends arceus. what an exciting twist on pokemon, as a living dex fan and sinnoh girl i was especially excited
favourite place i went: in the summer i spent a lot of my days in this nature walk near my house. its troublesome to get to in the winter, but when it was extremely frosty i could access it as the mud was frozen
favourite memory: im not sure if i have a specific one, but i am grateful for all the time spent with my friends and family this year
favourite lesson: i learnt well the power of being patient and trusting the process. these things help me to appreciate the road to a goal, and keeps me away from favouring instant gratification because the happiness that comes from my long term goal will be so much richer and fulfilling.

digital wellbeing