inner reflection

The internet blackhole

Do you ever feel slightly suspicious of people who constantly need to be surrounded by others? While there’s nothing wrong with being sociable, I’ve always felt it’s important to be comfortable with your own thoughts. Whether through scheduled meditation or an unexpected few moments throughout the day, there’s something about those simple times of quiet that bring about the greatest moments of self reflection.

It was during one of these moments, full disclosure I was washing the dishes at the time, that I came to ponder something that had been gnawing at the back of my mind for the last couple weeks. While browsing through social media I came across some academic achievements of my peers, and almost instantly felt despondent. How had they accomplished so much while at the same time staying at the top of their class in a rigorous program? I thought back to where my spare time had gone in the past week, the answer was a simple one: the internet. Somehow time seems to speed up when your aimlessly browsing the internet. You’ll stumble onto a wikipedia page and somehow you’ve been clicking around page after page for the last hour.

My time waster of choice is youtube. On any given day there are hundreds if not thousands of new videos uploaded to the site; you are guaranteed to find a genre that peaks your interest. An almost ironic youtube vice as of late has been watching declutter videos. Even writing it out it sounds utterly ridiculous, why am I watching someone talk about what they’re getting rid of?! Clearly the item in question isn’t very good if it’s going in the bin and yet I diligently keep watching.

I don’t even want to try and count the amount of hours I’ve spent on the site but in all honesty it probably totals the time it takes to learn a new language. In a site filled with endless genres of content, instead of watching videos on a TEDtalk, philosophical questions (who would have known that this would be the focus of Russell Brand’s youtube channel), anatomy or scientific innovations what was I watching instead? Videos of someone doing some spring cleaning. That being said there isn’t any use in crying over spilt milk, that time has already been wasted. While I’m not one to make New Year’s resolutions, this is a habit I want need to change. Instead of spending hours thoughtlessly listening to vloggers discuss something I’ll forget again 10 minutes later; I want to take that time and put it into something more mentally stimulating or instead devote that time to honing my passions.

Its easy to fall into an internet black hole. But I’ve come to the point where it’s finally time for me to climb out.

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Change?

Anyone can change.

It’s never too late.

These are phrases we hear over and over again meant to be words of motivation or encouragement. While it can be easy to change physical aspects of ourselves, such as a new hair colour or new wardrobe, inner reflection – a change from within requires a greater mental effort.

A strange aftereffect throughout this minimalism journey is that I feel I’ve learned a lot about myself. I know that sounds cheesy and cliche, but mentally I feel like i’m in a different place than where I was a year – even a few months ago. While I’ve always been pretty decisive with my decision making (a very un-Libra like trait) I feel as though I’ve almost solidified my own personal likes and dislikes. This isn’t to say that every inner reflection has been a positive one. I’ve also become aware of some very unattractive personality traits; what’s worse is when thinking back to past situations, I can see that they have existed for quite a while. Though awareness is the first step to bring about change, doubt may be my downfall. As much as I want to immediately eliminate these unpleasant traits, that nagging question remains ever present in the back of my mind…Is it too late? Will I be able to change?