A Life Without Distraction

A few weeks ago, I killed off all of my social media except for Instagram. The only reason I’m not killing off Instagram is because I use it as a repository for pictures and I use this repository to create a year-end book that I send to my mom every Christmas using Social Print Studio. The biggest reason for killing all of my social media is because I’m tired of the distraction. I’m tired of people’s opinions, me censoring myself, and their fake friendship that is really no better than acquaintance. I’ve also begun to have less tolerance for people and/or organizations acting out—whether that acting out takes the form of blocking a highway in protest or being outraged over the ridiculous. I just don’t care about folks and their snowflake crocodile tears. Social media did nothing but bring this bullshit front and center into my life on a daily basis.

If I sound bitter and isolationist, don’t worry. I’m not moving to an off-grid remote cabin in the woods to write out a manifesto anytime soon. Though the idea of living in a remote area with a fat internet connection does sound a little like heaven to me. After years and years on social media, I’ve come to the realization there is nothing interesting going on with social media. It’s just a collection of people I don’t really give a shit about who are oversharing, trolling, lurking, and/or stalking. One day, maybe a year or so ago, I found myself continuously unfollowing folks on Facebook because I couldn’t stand their shit showing up on my virtual wall. My annoyance would spur me on to post counter arguments and get me thoroughly roiled… but to what end? Was this good for me? Was me being pissed off all the time even healthy?

The simple reality is that social media was making me miserable. There is so much to do in the world: work out, read, movies, learn something new, enjoy the outdoors, travel, etc. Social media was consuming too much of my time. I thought and probably convinced myself that it was only eating up idle moments, but the truth is that my “idle” time was becoming larger and it went from being idle time to large swaths of wasted time. For fuck’s sake, I would have probably been better off if I spent that wasted time playing video games. At least then I would have enjoyed myself.

My grandparents died not too long ago. Both of them were around 80 years old when they passed. I doubt that I’ll live much longer than they did. So let’s do the math…

50 years old (my current age, rounded) / 80 = 0.625 * 100 = 62.5%

I’ve spent almost 63% of my life. Let’s think about that for a moment and add into the mix that I have rheumatoid arthritis. Even though I stay active with resistance training, yoga practice, and low impact cardiovascular workouts, there is still a very good chance that RA will adversely impact my mobility sometime in the next decade or so. I’ve been pretty good with my meds and preventive measures since being diagnosed in 2006, but I’m feeling as though there are diminishing returns. If science doesn’t come up with a cure sometime in the next decade, my ability to enjoy a mobile and somewhat carefree life might be cut short. That means the 63% might be a generous estimate.

All of this means I need to stop wasting my life on bullshit stuff like social media and avoid things and people who annoy me. I need to live a life less distracted. I’m not independently wealthy, so I still have to work; but I plan on spending my time doing what I want to do and how I want to do it. No more distractions and no more worrying about anything. I just want to enjoy, experience, and learn as much as possible in the next decade or so. No more distractions and constraints, real or virtual.