There are roughly 48 hours left in the month of November, and having given up a few of my baser electronic pleasures for this particular page of the calendar, I figured it was worth commenting on the effort as my temporary technopurgatory draws to a close.
To be clear, I gave up three things:
1. Downloading and listening to podcasts.
2. Doing any non-automated twitter.
3. Posting instagram (that was tied to “promoting” my creative work.)
Numbers 2 and 3 were meant to give me a break from drawing and posting my comic and since I was neither drawing nor posting on the blog, both came along fairly easily.
The podcast thing was meant to give me a break from at least one gushing fountain of unfiltered opinion about foreign politics, and to read or listen to some literature instead.
So, where am I?
1. I’ve currently listened to about 60% of a really good (if really long) book. A fifty hour epic novel of ancient Japan called Shogun by James Clavell landed on my audiobook reading list and while the first couple hours had me questioning my selection I’ve actually spent most of November immersed in the fictionalized history of samurai stories. I don’t know how authentic or historically accurate the novel is, but it’s a ripping fish out of water tale that has captured my interest in learning more about this period of history.
2. I read some more Vonnegut. I’m working my way through his library, and squeezed in pushing through Breakfast of Champions which is probably one of those “this is so weird, crazy, and racist that it’s none of those things because” kinda books. I’m still sorting out how I feel about it, but I think I peeled a few layers off that loco-onion and maybe I’ll have more to write in a few days.
3. I redesigned this blog. But if you’re a regular reader and you’ve been regularly reading, you probably already know that.
4. I posted a lot of YouTube videos. There are a couple reasons for this, including but not limited to that (a) I got a new camera that I want to use and (b) my account is soooooooo close to being monetize-ready that I’m actually just posting a load of content (good content, but not necessarily content I’d post in a different reality) to speed up that process.
5. I played a lot of video games. I don’t know for certain that this is considered a benefit to having sequestered a few categories of social media from my life, but I’m making a note of it if only because it may just be me quenching my addictions through a slightly different channel.
6. I’ve been sampling Amazon Music. It arrived in Canada a couple weeks ago as a “no additional cost” feature on my Prime account, so it’s given my ears something to do while the podcasting is no part of my daily routine.
On Friday morning, December 1, I’m going to queue up a few of the podcasts I’ve legitimately been hankering for this past month. Some comedy. Some film commentary. Maybe a little news and politics because, I mean, well, I’ve been reading it elsewhere so I’m not going to be surprised or anything.
I’ve got a new comic scheduled for the next day. I’ll be back in the land of the twit-heads and dumping images into Instagram a few minutes later, I’m sure.
Did I learn anything? I don’t want to give the effort so much weight as to suggest it was a transformative spiritual experience or anything. It was just me avoiding the digital candy in my life, after all. But like anything I never hurts to take a step back from the creatures that seem to be consuming your life and make sure that you can still back slowly away and lock the cage door if needed.