These are truly crazy times. In 2020 a lot of crises, horror stories, gloomy scenarios and stress in general have hit us. Mental stress, less physical. I personally spent parts of this year in my home office and I still work from there. The work hasn’t become less, but by eliminating the commute to work, making the organization with the family more flexible and some tasks of my work have changed at the moment, I have gained new freedom and can fill it more efficiently. Physically, I can cope with all this well. But 2020 is a heavy burden on the mind. Normally I am always a positive, optimistic person. I try to keep it that way, but this year it’s simply difficult. The worries about my own health, about that of my family and the people around me, keeping up with current corona conditions, the threatening consequences for the economy and jobs, the uncertainty about when I will see my older family members again and whether it will work out for Christmas, the permanently difficult news, always interrupted by real horror stories and gloomy future scenarios, etc. The list could certainly be continued for a long time and everyone has their own perspective. As a film fan one can think for a long time about the catastrophic situation of the cultural industry, about closed cinemas and a possibly permanent change in the film landscape. Of course, streaming providers profit and in part we benefit from this. Bad things often turn into good things, new opportunities arise. Nevertheless, at the moment there is a lot of uncertainty and things are not looking rosy.
These are times when you have to take care of yourself. I notice that myself, although I never had problems with my constitution. There are many ways to help yourself and make life a little easier. Self care is a popular topic at the moment. I don’t understand self care as a way to treat yourself and let the endorphins bubble up for a while. I understand it in such a way that one listens to oneself and observes attentively, where one can or must do something good. It concerns fundamental impulses in the life, which help one to be in harmony with onself. Many books have been written on the subject and others can explain it all more competently, I just inform myself. But I think it makes sense to question yourself and to see where you can start to improve your own well-being. I have my family, that is an important anchor. Beyond that, I also have my interests and I know that artistic activity is fun, gives me a sense of achievement and has a balancing function. Painting has a balancing effect, I can relax well. It is important to maintain this in a meaningful measure, because in everyday life this can also be neglected.
Recently I wrote about the topic of time. Partly this article is aleady obsolete. I wrote that I squeeze my media consumption in here and there, mostly on the side. In the last few days I have come to the conclusion that this is not good behavior. Doing so I give everything only divided attention. Above all I no longer have any mental rest periods. Maybe I should just try not to listen to anything while painting, not to have a series running on the side. Just silence and concentration. On the other hand there is the worry of missing something. I have to learn to accept this.
This is exactly one of the important insights in relation to social media, especially Facebook. Each of us has his or her own opinion about Facebook. My Facebook usage has been very passive for years now. With my private profile I have hardly been there for a long time. I have a second profile, a hobby profile. This is used daily, with this one I am in various hobby groups and exchange more or less active with others. For this blog I have my own Facebook page, which I initially maintained just like Instagram. The Facebook page was the twin in the beginning, although a little less noticed. Since a couple of weeks it has decreased, I haven’t posted my last pictures, sometimes I even forgot about it. I have almost no interaction on Facebook. Almost all followers follow the Instragram profile. On Facebook nobody gets any added value, but for me it’s additional work. I will therefore restructure the site a bit and use it as a contact point or presence, but I will not post any more updates and will not put in any more work.
However, the personal Facebook consumption occupies me much more. Yes, it is an addiction, still. Since the topic of self care has been on my screen, I have been observing myself more closely. A lot has been written about my generation. We all know that we are completely at the mercy of all digital consumption. But often I find myself taking my cell phone, unlocking it as if I wanted to do something, then automatically opening Instagram, opening my mail, opening something, just looking, scrolling a bit and putting the phone away. A pointless process. No one has contacted me, there is nothing important to see. But I wasted a few minutes and sometimes I sat next to my son. Sure, I get messages, comments, e-mails. But they appear as push messages on the screen. Nevertheless, I look often enough just like that. That is addictive behavior. The hand reaches for the cell phone, there’s nothing to do, yet you do something. It’s simply rehearsed. That is now being broken through, I don’t want that anymore. The cell phone gets a permanent place at home and no longer wanders around the house in your pocket. I hear calls, messages can also wait. I don’t have to read news all the time.
Facebook actually only serves me as an information channel. That can be handled differently. With my private environment I absolutely don’t act on Facebook anymore. Nobody posts anything there anymore, nobody uses the Messenger anymore. Facebook is a pure news aggregator, which gives me more of the same and shows me things that I’m not interested in. I just don’t want to use this time guzzler anymore, Instagram is bad enough. It’s a pity, though, that most of the forums suffer because of the Facebook groups – if they are still running at all. In my perception, a lot of interaction has migrated to Facebook and only little happens in the forums. Can this be reversed? Would that make sense at all? Difficult.
The bottom line is that I want to reduce my media consumption, organize it better and live more consciously. That is just one step for now. We’ll see how it goes on. Everyone has their own experience and opinion on this topic. I would be very interested in yours. Write it to me in the comments or by mail please.