Snooze all … for 30 days

I’ve been thinking of hard times lately. Not necessarily the hard times that come from outside causes, but the ones we bring on ourselves. How we ignore what needs to be done. Or complain about it, just all “woe is me’ bemoaning our plight. Or pretending it’s all fine, just part of the plan.

We all have hard times — have had them, are having them, will have them. Complaining about it serves no purpose; all that really does is perpetuate the negativity without solving a thing. We can rant, vent, boil, and steam, but why? Does it actually make us feel better to get it out, to rally others to our point of view by talking, or posting about it? Maybe you get “likes,” a few comments in agreement or solidarity, but you don’t get solutions — or resolution. Oh it might feel good, you can feel validated and heard — but are you? What useful thing has been accomplished?

So much of social media has been a drag for so long. In my recent efforts to reduce social media’s allure, and to better defend myself against it’s siren song, I have been making abundant use of the snooze feature. Social media desperately wants attention. Not just attention, but your continued attention. “Snooze all from … for 30 days.” I’ve used it on random people or pages in the past. You know the ones. You’re not sure you want to delete a page because sometimes you really like one of their posts, so you snooze them to see if, 30 days later, when they pop back up, did you even miss them? Or sometimes a friend has been posting incessantly stuck on a topic you are rather tired of; Postarrhea, I call that. A snooze gives you a break.

This week though, I am ruthlessly Snoozing so many pages and people. Anything that is not furthering my immediate goals. Anything negative, repetitive, or contrary. Is the page funny, useful? Are these memes worth the time to scroll past?

Why did I even follow some of them in the first place? Sure, much of it was pandemic boredom. I wanted news from sources around the world — to see wider perspectives. News from India, Africa, South America, Europe. Or striking images like those on Everyday Africa, or Iran in Photos — things regular television never shows. I followed many artists to fill a need for beauty and hope during the depths of the pandemic.

Now my cleaned up “feed” is just people I care about. Real people. I wanted a break from attention sucking entities. Because it’s not just attention they take, it’s time. And time is something I no longer want to give away. As one friend often says, “Time is a non-renewable resource,” we can’t get it back.

Keeping Facebook off my phone has been one New Year’s Resolution that I have kept. When I take a look these days, it’s intentional. I have to use my laptop. That in itself, reduced my usage, but with all that I’ve now snoozed, I spend significantly less time. No more mindless scrolling.

This all started a few weeks ago, when I had been pondering how to jump-start a particular, long standing project. In a discussion with friends, I’d said, “What I really want is to “Snooze all, for EVERYTHING, and just work on my one project until I get it done.” Like a pause button on life. Uh, we just had a pandemic, and isolation, couldn’t I have done it then? Well, yeah, but I didn’t. I got into other more hands-on projects, tangible, visible things, rather than the more cerebral, harder goals. A pause button didn’t work so well for Adam Sandler in the movie, Click either. Oh he got a lot done, but at a cost. Many people did amazing things over the course of the shutdown. I wasn’t one of them. And now I want to do the hard things. I have world class procrastination abilities, but at some point, it’s time to pay the piper.

Luckily, in addition to my procrastination superpowers, I have persistence. Decades ago, I discovered the Calvin Coolidge quote, “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not: nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not: the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” I took it to heart and often reread it.

Despite the sometimes dire pitfalls of procrastination, I don’t give up. I can’t. Eventually I get back to projects set aside, goals not yet achieved, dreams not yet pursued. It’s time. It’s time to get around to it. Eventually is now.


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