I've gotten to the point in my life where I simply cannot handle excess noise and distraction. Don't get me wrong, I like a little diversion every once and a while, but I've suddenly found myself not only flooded, but drowning.
I've been complaining recently about how I never seem to have enough time each day; that I can't find enough hours to be able to do the things I need to do. I find very few moments where I can steal enough mental silence to be able to sit down and focus on being productive. On being an artist. On simply creating.
So who's fault is it? Who's keeping stealing my time away from me? It's my fault. I'm letting it happen.
It started a week or so ago. Facebook stopped e-mailing me notifications. I never know when there's a response to something I do unless I'm actively sitting on facebook. Every morning I would wake up with over 30 e-mails from facebook in my inbox. I would receive more than a hundred more during the course of the day. Yes it only takes me a minute to send out a response... but that's still a minute times 100. That adds up to over two hours a day in which I'm doing nothing more than continuing diversionary conversation being shoved at me.
Once those e-mails stopped, I noticed I had a little more free time. I came to realize that my morning routine had stopped being just a routine. It was an addiction. While repetition was indeed comforting, it created a sort of crutch. Wake up, brew coffee, shower, "quick e-mail check".... suddenly it's in the middle of the afternoon and I haven't done a thing.
In order to grow, we must be willing to challenge our comfort levels.
So the morning e-mail routine ended. I was getting back my life, one minute at a time. Once I realized this what was murdering me minute by minute, I stepped back and made assessments of what else was stealing my time.
Everytime I caught myself not being productive I took my hands off the keyboard, slide my chair back and say, "is this really the most judicious use of my time?"
I erased accounts. Barring that, I had accounts erased for me.
More and more of my personal time was being rescued from mediocrity. I was starting to enjoy it. It was becoming a game. If it did not improve the quality of my life, if it did not help me to learn or grow as an artist or a person, it was to be cut out of my world.
I cast my baleful eye at Myspace. I realized I hadn't even checked it in 2 months. So I killed it. No loss there.
Then I turned to Facebook. 680 friends. Six hundred and eighty goddamned "friends". Can I possibly have that many friends? Am I really that friendly? That likable? That amicable?
I looked at my news feed. I looked at my "who's online" list. I realized something.
Not only was Facebook stealing my time, but it was also constantly angering me. Each day, usual a few times each day, something would come up on my feed that didn't just irritate me. It fucking pissed me off. I kept thinking to myself. Are my friends this stupid? Are they really my friend if they're able to piss me off this much?
No. Wrong. These are not my friends.
So the culling began. 680. Time for wholesale slaughter.
Someone from high school who would've never been caught dead calling me a friend 15 years ago? -delete-
Some random hippy from circuit I would kill if I caught on my couch? -delete-
Some girl who's as much an alt-model as I am a plumber because I flush a toilet once a day? -delete-
From Yorktown? -delete-
Status updates in all caps? -DELETE-
So-And-So liked 28 groups today? -delete-
What's-Her-Nuts can't believe THE SECRET DIRTY MESSAGE IN TOY STORY 3?!?!!? -delete-
Can't stop raving about reality TV? -delete-
Total survivors as of this writing? 450.
Every day I look at facebook, I pay much closer attention to my newsfeed. Instead of getting pissed at people for being stupid, I just remove them from my life. Like my dear friend damnitnicole
once said, "losing friends? i don't call it 'losing the garbage' when i take out the trash".
So yeah... for every rattling can erased, I am less distracted, less irritated, less weighted down.
As the noise is turned down, the music becomes clearer. Thank god. Cuz I'm sick of the headaches.*And by losing a friend, I mean "convincing me to erase you from my social network."