Reviewing my 12-Month Social Media Exodus.
Well, it’s been 12 months since I started my Social Media Exodus and now it’s time to review the year that was.
Okay, so starting off, 2023 was World Youth Day year for me. You may have seen some posts here and there on the blog and archived on the website, and possibly also on Facebook (sarcasm).
Speaking of the aforementioned social media platform, I think it’s safe to say that (apart from WYD) I haven’t been signed into it any more than strictly necessary. Nowadays it functions, for me personally, as more of an alert-slash-events manager and reference tool for finding people and past events.
Since WYD I have been using Messenger far more than I thought I ever would in my whole life.
It’s certainly been a change of pace having a social life.
Twitter is all but officially mothballed, waiting for a reason (if any) to actively post on it again.
Even though most Catholic parish Youth Ministries appear to have highly active profiles, I still don’t ever see myself returning to Instagram. Certainly not under my own name in any case.
As for YouTube… oh, dear. Apart from proactively uploading two videos from WYD Lisbon featuring the lead vocals of Fr Samuel French I’ve been passively over-consuming other people’s YouTube videos.
My anxieties over travel, packing, and WYD preparations absolutely did not help cut down on my ‘Watch time’ as I had hoped to rein in 12 months earlier. Being stuck in a maelstrom of choice-paralysis over what small new camera to buy to take over with me to Europe for the pilgrimage didn’t cut down wasted hours either. And in any case, I ended up taking more photos with my smartphone than I did with the camera I bought to stop me over-using said same smartphone. Live and learn, eh? I have bought a Peak Design camera strap that should help aid in using the camera more in future.
And speaking of the future, I am all too aware of my current (ahem!) “habit” of bookmarking videos and website articles about various different foods, religious sites, and locations of interest across both East and Southeast Asia in the possibility of preparation(!) for 2027 World Youth Day. People are not kidding when they talk about the WYD / Travel-bug.
As an aside, I still don’t think that I’d ever be able to learn, let alone read, Hangul / Hangeul, the Korean alphabet. I’ve accepted that a) I don’t have to know everything and b) that I’m going to be especially reliant on those who can and have persevered to learn Korean.
Returning to YouTube specifically, I did come across the DF Tube Chrome Extension that has been of some great help in cutting down more video-related rabbit holes than I would have without it.
Its main attraction (for me) was the ability to turn off the righthand video suggestion box whilst watching a YouTube video. Admittedly it makes things lopsided visually, but it does mean that I have fewer distractions from the video in front of me. Sadly, DF Tube can’t do anything about my procrastination. That’s all on me.
So, to sum up. I have been relatively withdrawn from my social media profiles – discounting blogging about the WYD pilgrimage. I have gained a social life that is aided by messaging applications which come with their own problems – the applications, not the social life.
My personal struggles with self-discipline and YouTube over-consumption remain. In part I know that some of this is due to a lack of projects and regular routine. Pray for me.
Putting my focus on posting blogs and standardizing parts of this website has helped me feel less pressured than I would have been if I was still only posting on Facebook or Twitter. As well as not having as much comparison-itis with the edited and project lives of other people on social media. This doesn’t mean that I still don’t struggle with comparison, it’s just not as severe as it has been in the past.
In closing I think that I will continue as I have done so these past 12 months and with God’s help get a better grip over my YouTube-surfing and other self-defeating habits.
Until next time.
25 Jan 2024
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