Fred Mercy

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10:33am: Having a lot of time to sit and think isn't something that you often get, especially in our fast-paced society where time equals money, and money is everything. So I guess I'm rich.

But anyway, these days I try to streamline my life, and get rid of things that are... while definitely interesting and entertaining from the first instant, are also sucking my precious time into their vortex. I'm of course talking about social media again, about YouTube and reddit and others. Big surprise!

How do I go about doing that? First of all, I think about what I want to do with my time, with my life. It's super tough for me because I don't know 100% yet, I'm a bit aimless, and this is why it's so easy for those “infinite content” websites to hog all of my free time. Back when I was a teen, I thought it was super cool of me not to watch TV anymore, and actually seek content online, things I truly want to know about. And nowadays I'm using the web like I'd be watching TV: letting myself drift on a handful of channels, gobbling up the content, jumping from one to the other every minute...

For sure the internet is great when you have an interest, a passion, or something to build and you seek out a community, and wikis or other knowledge repositories. These days I'm not too focused on anything particular so I'm trying to shake all that complacency off of me, and concentrate on what's important to me.

Meditation sure helps; there seems to be some sort of trend that started around mindfulness, and I think it's great. But it's even easier than that, really: just sit there, do nothing, and look a bit aimlessly at your surroundings, and you let yourself think about your problems, and then let the flow of your thoughts take you wherever. To me, simply doing this feels good, it feels like it's reparative, and constructive.

And therein lies the problem, I think: YouTube, Instagram, reddit, and really, any "feed-like" website providing heaps of content will just keep you so busy, so entertained, so satisfied with so much new shiny tidbits, that you'll forget how to be bored, and how it's actually a great thing to be bored.

Being bored is amazing. It's starting from zero, and it forces you to consider what it is you truly want to do next.

I remember being a kid and going to visit my grandmother in the countryside, and there was no internet, no computer, no videogames. I would feel a bit bored for a minute, but then I'd find something to do: draw, read magazines, do collages, and other less creative things of course, but usually it's the creative things that were the most gratifying.

It's a bit difficult to force yourself into this low-stimulus state, and willingly manufacture a situation where there's a dearth of entertaining activities. Even now I choose to type this inane blog entry instead of producing real work, just because it's more fun and it passes the time.

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last updated: 2021-03-24 @ 11:45pm

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