Let me start this first entry since forever with a rant: I have a love-hate relationship with Instagram. I mean, who doesn’t? It’s a black hole that ensnares and devours that which is free yet priceless — time. Case in point: I was sidetracked a good ten minutes from writing this all because I caught the glow of a notification on my phone’s screen in my peripheral vision. Facebook, one could say is no different and arguably the worse of the two. Its toxic landscape of fake news and vile people notwithstanding, it stands solid as the easiest way to keep in touch with family and friends back home. It helps that I mindlessly scroll through my feed with eyes half-closed anyway; the bulk of it does not register. With Instagram though, it’s always a 50-50 thing. One day I find the images inspiring, the next I cannot stand it. The perfectness, the posturing, the over-curating — it makes it hard to believe that the genuineness of the image has not been filtered out. I’m not preaching here; I too love them filters. So let’s altogether recognize it for what it is; it’s life captured in the best light from the best angle and photoshopped for good measure. I understand that everyone puts their best foot forward on social media, but the effect here is staggering. There seems to be no room for ugly on this platform. Precisely because it’s mostly images that are rarely given context, the viewer is left to fill the gaps in the story, or else, take everything at beautiful, perfectly manicured, veneered face value. “How to be you po?” we all subconsciously ask.
Last month, I took some time off Instagram. I wanted to channel my attention to more worthwhile endeavours. While it did help to cleanse the palate, I failed at my primary objective — I ended up spending my newfound extra idle time on Facebook.
Clearly my mind has to be engaged otherwise it will continue to wander. I know that if there is one thing that can capture my attention more than images, it is words. I’ve thus made it a point to actually read the paperback I almost always carry with me to work. To take it a notch further, I’ve decided to write again. Discounting a hiatus in the Himalayas or an interruption-free week away on the islands of El Nido, I can think of no better way to purge the mind of distractions (aside from working “in the zone”).
My twenty-four year old self started this blog six years ago as a way to document and express. At that time, I worked on weekends, and hustling 6-7 days a week to meet clients on my days off would not be uncommon. Busy, yes, but that was the primary reason why I wanted to do more and experience more of life. I woke up at dawn to be in the pool for 7am swimming lessons, and I’d rush to the studio for pole dance classes after office hours. On weekends that I didn’t work, I took six-hour bus rides to escape the city a couple of times and get surfing lessons. And even if I wasn’t particularly good nor consistent at writing, I still made time for this.
So what’s my excuse now?