Bus 22. (c) Cat Charissage, 2015 a.r.r.
I had an image today: I saw myself as an old woman in the middle of a noisy open market, like a farmer’s market. I felt a lot of affection for everyone there, but I also couldn’t hear myself think. So I lovingly turned, walked away, and walked into the forest where I had a tiny cottage a la Baba Yaga. I looked forward to getting back to the quiet, to listen to the angels singing.
I’m spending more time offline theses days, and REALLY appreciating that. I didn’t realise how much I needed it until I’ve been listening to the silence. Of course I’m still on the computer more than I’d like, but am slowly overcoming my FOMO (fear of missing out). Actually, fear of missing out is only a small part of it for me — I’m interesting in a lot of things, and want to learn a lot more about those things. And, of course, there is so much to be found of people’s writings and blogs and online courses. . .
Fortunately, Facebook doesn’t tempt me too much. While FB is a useful tool to find people, and for me to let people know when I’ve added a new blog post, I can’t possibly keep up with my feed, so I don’t even try. (Reminder: if you’re one of my FB friends, please don’t assume that I know about whatever it is that you’ve been talking about in your FB posts. I DO, though, respond to all personal messages.)
What does tempt me is all the googling of my interests, finding the serendipitous articles that keep me clicking on the next article or video. Following authors’ blogs is a strong temptation. Two or four is reasonable, but not 28. Shall I even mention Pinterest? (No, I do not go there!!) I can keep instagram down to a dull roar, even though I’m deeply interested in images. Yet I’m mostly interested in how people come up with their symbolism and how they make meaning in their art, so instagram often doesn’t have enough for me.
Those of you who have been reading my posts know that I’ve been in this process of limiting my online time for a long time now, sometimes less successfully than at other times. What has helped me put the computer world into perspective and right priority are a few questions I’ve been asking myself after a session online. Perhaps they might be helpful to you, too:
“So, did reading that teach me anything new?”
“Did I really enjoy myself?”
“Can I even remember what I did yesterday online?”
“How much of all this has me interacting with real people in an intellectual or spiritual or friendship or serving way?”
“Am I doing anything good for anyone else by being online/reading this/commenting on this?”
“Do I understand anything more deeply as a result of reading/watching this?”
“Would this time perhaps have been better used in reading this author’s books where she has developed her ideas more deeply than here in this article?”
As a result of these questions, I’m realising that at least for right now, I know what I want and need to know for what I want to learn and to do next.
May you find peace and balance in your relationship with all that clamors around you. May you hear the angels (as well as the mermaids) singing. Happy new moon!
With much love and blessing,