SLOW DOWN TIME

in my life

Two weeks has already passed since I ended my longest hiatus (40 days) from social media. Now that I’m back on the regular rounds of status, 3 x 3 grid, and more or less 140 characters to express my thoughts, I found myself thinking back to the time when I shut it off.

During the first week of my absence, people and fried were wondering, Why did you disconnect? Are you deactivated? Why the need?

Well, because I was fed up. I was overwhelmed with all these things that a screen can present for hours without an end. The internet became a labyrinth that I didn’t know how to get out off. It was eating me up, and I was already beginning to feel lost. On the deeper side of things, I found myself questioning my own posts; do the things I post online still reflect a real version of me? Is there still authenticity?

I might just be a bad case of being an over thinker, but still it bothered me.

It’s not that I’m putting a fake life for people to see, it’s just that my posts were starting to go through so many filters. I was glued to my phone most of the time, I look at a spot and think if it is instagrammable enough, I have conversations with people that only left me thinking if it will get likes if I post it. Being online 24/7 was a clear sign that I needed to be away from all these hullaballoos. So I did.

The first few weeks were difficult. There were times that I found myself wanting so much to log in, just because…I want to (hahaha). On the 21st day, I was starting to rationalize that it was enough. But then, giving up on that day would defeat the purpose of why I even started. I haven’t fully reclaimed my identity yet, so I ended up extending it to a maximum of 40 days.

Time began to slow down. I realized that when we free ourselves form the distractions of social media, there is actually more hours that we can focus on doing what is essential to us. Inspiration abound in every corner, and action can finally take its place. Before, I was intimidated and jealous of the artistic creations that are being posted on Instagram, it made me think that I’ll never be good as them; not knowing that endless scrolling robbed me of time to practice my craft. I was pressured to pursue stuff, just because I was blinded by what others are having, or what others have achieved. Social media can spark an endless game of comparison.

That’s why, being away did me good. It gave me time to reconnect with people, to talk with them with intention, to value real-time relationships not bounded in likes or comments only. It was also a time of allowing God to open my heart once again. I let my soul breathe out of its constricted space (more of this later). I’m writing this not out of boastfulness to say that I manages to live without these icons on my phone for a while, but instead this is a reminder that real life happens outside of our screens.

The real challenge for me now is to keep this lifestyle as I go back to these socializing world. There’s the need to find balance of staying offline when needed. To know that not every moment needs to be captured and shared – you just have to live it.

P.S. This article by Hannah Brencher and blog post by Rhonda Mason is very much on point as well.

#NOFILTER

in my life

What if this hashtag is applied in my life and the way I portray myself in social media? I wonder how my posts would look like without any filter at all; These thoughts played in my mind a few weeks ago. I’m pretty sure that the answers to those questions wouldn’t look anywhere near like a perfectly set meal, or an artistically designed coffee, nor a colorful typography.

Life without filter is somewhere between the good, the bad, and the messy parts of our day to day lives. It’s a picture of struggling with the snooze button every morning, or trying to get a good spot on the jeepney to and from work (commuters know that this scene looks straight out from the World War Z movie at times), or even eating at the nearby carinderia to save some money. In this day of Instagram worthy pictures the challenge to be authentic is real.

Maybe this is just the over thinker in me writing and typing these words, more or less to serve as a reminder that my petty problems are nowhere near what other people are experiencing outside the world wide web. Something to make me realize that I should not be obsessed in getting the perfect angle but to appreciate every waking moment of this life, even if things aren’t always brought to perfection. That the photos I post, the words that I write, the art that I create, or the review of the books and things I have seen be of use to create a connection to other people. Not out of vain to gain the much coveted attention, but out of the sincerity of the heart to share something worthwhile.

The photo above is my everyday view from the office. It’s not a grand skyline nor a pleasing patch of green grass, yet it did not fail to show me that life is made of this – the good and bad times. There may be struggles when buildings are still under construction, but this is how we lay down our foundations: by going through different processes, and accepting the fact that we are a continuous work in progress. Situations may seem as messy as the flow of thoughts in this blog post, still understanding is gained when the time is right. In the end, everything will finally makes sense.

NO MORE SUGARCOATING

blogging, in my life

There are moments in my life that makes blogging superficial. Parents fighting, family conflict, failures, and my never-ending-shortcomings. In my previous “home” in the world wide web, I often wonder if I’m being real. I often find myself thinking if I’m being true enough to the words that I write. I know that I can’t divulge every little detail of my life in this small space, but still I want to be authentic. There’s a desire within me to write more honestly than before.

It was one of the reasons why I stopped blogging for a while. I felt like I was posting stuff just for the sake of posting. I didn’t care about the content anymore, as long as it looks alive and active. There were bandwagons of entries that looked appealing to a lot of people of which I joined; Who wouldn’t love the likes, reblogs, and followers that one can gain? Even if I hate to say this, but for a while I was blinded by the promise of being famous and recognized by the online community. As what I have said countless times before, maybe it’s because of my desperation to become a writer that I need a few nods to prove that I can be one. So, I took blogging seriously but forgot the essence of it along the way.

It took a lot of thinking if I should start another blog, or even transfer to another blogging site. I was attached to my Tumblr because I met some bloggers there who eventually became my friends. It was also a record of my college life. But it was a necessary move on my part, because this would push me to express my thoughts seamlessly. To create something original and what truly interests me. To forgo the norm and tell stories, no matter if they came out of pain or happiness.

I don’t want to add more “noise” in the online world. I want this blog to be an avenue to share my story to people, even if my life is far from perfect. Hopefully, I’ll meet like-minded people as I present the pieces of my life, and maybe meet persons who are going through the same season as me. It’s time to go beyond the surface.