Who Cares?

This is a notion which I like to keep with me now, in whatever I am pursuing in my life. Recently, this came to light when there was drama in the YouTube community concerning branding in the beauty community. I am all for ousting people who do the wrong thing, especially any mental or physical abuse. When it comes to the cancel culture of the internet, it is so powerful that it sometimes works too quickly, or too hard in some cases; destroying the careers of people who really had not done anything wrong.

I think nowadays, our society is not willing to have a conversation. With highly inexcusable acts, such as racism, homophobia and sexism to name a few, there is no discussion to be had. But when it comes to the smaller, personal topics between individuals, it seems to be a case of “I am right and you are wrong, but I don’t want to hear what you want to say”.

I understand, people feel extremely threatened when they are found to be wrong, or expose themselves to the possibility of being wrong. But, being wrong is flipping cool. Not only do you get to learn something, but you also learn a little more about yourself in the meantime; what is more valuable than that?

But, the things we seem to care about are the most meaningless. When I used to use Facebook I would complain about what everybody else is doing; judging them for their every move. But one day I stopped myself an asked “Why do I care about this?”. I purposely choose to act the way I act, which means I hold all of the power.

So, the next time you ask a question, or are hesitant about making a decision, don’t care about what everyone else will think. I was going to google “Should I buy a Samsung or iPhone” but then I thought “Who cares?” and I should just buy the one that will make you happy.

With the small things that matter to you, and the some of the large things, focus on YOU. Stop paying attention to everyone else.

I don’t want to be spoiled anymore.

I am aware that I have posted about this before, but with the release of The Falcon and The Winter Soldier, I have begun to release, in so many ways, that I no longer, want to be spoiled for experiences.

When you buy a book, you do not usually look up the ending online before you read the first page. Though some may argue that ” it is all about the experience of writing the book, instead of the actual story”, unfortunately for me honey, I read my books to get lost in a new world.

I think we all pay too much attention to what everybody else is doing, whether that is due to FOMO (fear of missing out) or conditioned sheep-like behaviour to follow what everybody else wants; thinking that is your own want. This may be a tangent, but when I see people on YouTube, basically telling you to change your life to act a certain way, I think to myself “who gives you the right to tell anyone anyway how to live their life other than themselves”. In extreme circumstances, of course it would be stupid not to utilise your influence to spread a positive message, but this constant ordering over others had become negative and annoying.

That is only if you let it become that.

We are all so bothered by what everybody else is doing, that we lose sight of what our actual lives entail. Right now, I am listening to WhiteNoise whilst my dogs look at me; begging to go on a dog walk. Instead of focussing on MY present moment, I focus on the rest of the world, such as how others are reacting to a show on Disney Plus that is just a show, or a prediction on how the series will end. I truly believe now, that going into things blind is one of the most treasured and thrilling attitudes to have. Knowing so much about pop culture community in the past can lead to expectations underwhelmed and predictions of the plot.

In many ways, I believe that individuals should be more selfish with their own personal wants. If everyone is getting the iPhone, but you really like that Samsung, then get the Samsung. You can like what you like; without choosing to care about what everyone else thinks. I understand in many situations across the globe, this can be hard or nearly impossible, but I employ you to stick to your own values as much as you can.

If you don’t, the question is asked of who is living your life; you or others

Anyway, that is my long way of saying that my friend from school? I understand why you watch things blindly, it is so much fun.

Live your life for you, not others.

Today, I forgot my password on my iPhone, so I have to reset it to factory settings. This is sad, but I am not worried at the end of the day.

I am starting to realise that the general public are holding their digital devices at higher value to the people we see in our everyday lives. At the dinner table; phone. At school or college; phone in hand. There is difference between sounding like a “boomer” and being worried for our neighbour.

Your life is yours, you are free to do whatever you want with it; I will not stop you. But, we should all be aware that once our devices have hooked onto us, it is incredibly difficult to resist the instant dopamine hit you get by just looking at it.

I made a post last year in the summer, regarding removing my music and earphones when out in public or on a run. Unfortunately, not only is it safer, but it is pleasant when focussing your peripherals on nature and people.

In public, everyone is doing their own thing, but I still find it nice to just say “Good Morning!” or “Have a nice day!” because it can brighten up another’s day.

In summary, don’t put all of your identity solely being with your phone. You can exist without it, you are not going to die with it, so why treat it like it is alive. Utilise it, appreciate it, but remember it can always absorb your time, life and money away.

P.S.: When you change your password on your phone, remember to write it down!

Giving into temptation

This is an issue i have spoken about before on this blog, but yesterday, I almost dug right back into this pithole of buying, and I wanted to tell you all about it.

So, I was online, looking at some products online. Let me be frank with you, these products were not the typical £8-10 purchases, they were big, up to £900. Technology that I did not require, nor need to improve my life. I think every once in a while, we all get obsessed with having something new. In the current climate we are in, it is almost a given that new is very exciting.

There I was, on the brink of buying something, thinking it would make me happy. But, as I looked around, at my bank account and my beliefs, I began to realise that I didn’t need this product. Apple products, laptops and phones all come under the same usability, though some are faster than others. They provide the same purpose, but just a little difference. If you could sit me down, and tell me the difference between the iPad and the iPhone, besides the Apple Pencil and bigger screen and speed, I would be impressed.

Don’t get me wrong, these products are useful if you require them to be. But not everyone needs these items, they just want them. I think this is a key factor in our society; the divide between wants and desires. You may think that you need sometime, such as a new phone so you can watch TikToks at faster speed, but really you just desire it for a different purpose; maybe for image or self identifying worth.

Your purchases and products should not define you as a person, rather they should help accentuate your worth, but not be the worth. Whether you have the latest iPhone, or a Nokia brick, these products are not a definition of YOU. Our actions help dictate the direction of our growth, but ultimately what makes you you is what you do with your time.

That’s a currency you should spend wisely.

Entitlement

I’ve always had this idea in my head, that if you do something nice for another person, the good karma could be reciprocated in some other form. For example, I was at the shops one day; buying some chocolate to eat on the way back to school. My card got declined, and I was panicking because there was a queue that was beginning to form. Unexpectedly, the man behind me decided he was going to pay for my stuff as well as his. I was shocked, I had never experienced this level of generosity in my life with the general public. This man didn’t know me, but he still decided to help me.

Once I had thanked the man, I left and composed myself outside. The man walked up to me and said “Just one thing mate, pass it on”. That was the moment I realised his message; do nice things without expecting a result.

These days, it can feel as though the whole world is incredibly selfish. If you ask how many donate to charity, the numbers are far lower than expected. So when I witness this man being astonishingly nice, I want to pay it forward.

That’s what I did, paying for somebody else’s shopping and donating to charity. Though this was a big deal for me, I do not see this as an achievement. We should all be giving to one another. It seems as though the concept of “one world” to share has been lost. Let’s try to fix that.

Today, I would like each of you to do one good thing for somebody else. It can be small or big, but you mustn’t expect a reward from doing it. Just being kind out of the kindness in your heart should be enough.

Take care 🙂

Maybe cut down on your screen time

With the whole world being stuck at home once again, it may seem natural to spend every waking moment online, to pass the time away that you would usually be doing with others.

Now don’t get me wrong, like the average Joe, I love using my phone and the internet. It is a brilliant source of entertainment, communication and pleasure. However, for every positive there has to be a negative. With the internet, it is the biggest form of distraction there is.

It has been said many times before me. Websites have been designed to be engaging and addictive. The reason tiktok is so popular is because of its endless scrolling feature. It is impossible to reach the end of it, there is no end. Facebook and YouTube are the same, you could spend hours watching videos and browsing, without realising it is night and you haven’t eaten all day. That anecdote may seem farfetched, but it does happen; to me as well.

You may be wondering “Get off my phone? That is so easy anyone can do it!”. To those who make that statement, I ask you whether you have tried a detox from it? To an outsider, anything seems possible. Once you have committed to staying off it for a while, it will become how apparent the difficulties it entails.

Books are still a thing, and probably hold more knowledge than any single video does. Perhaps you could try it instead of indulging in a Minecraft video. I should state, I am being hypocritical on purpose. I believe throughout all our lives, we should take responsibility and be accountable for our own actions; myself included.

So, let us try to get our screen time down by 10%.

Phones

This is a distinct predicament that i have had throughout the past few years of my life. Once i began to have my own income, through my job, i began to frivolously spend money on objects i don’t need. This hit its peak towards the end of 2019, where i had the ingenius idea to have a no spend year. So, i thought it would be a good idea to spend all my money on what i needed, or wanted to have for the year. Obviously, this did not go according to plan, and i still spend money throughout this year; not as much, but i still do .

My phone contract was going to end in late 2020, and i thought i should buy my new phone outright before it ends. Then, i could get a cheap sim card to save money.

But that is when the issue started, i bought 3 new phones.

WHY DID I DO THIS?!

Not only did i have less money than beforehand due to this, i also disliked all that i had bought. I began to view the phones as a failure to self control. I hated myself for my mistakes.

But, after this, i had an amazing idea. Instead of holding onto the phones that held no value in my life, i decided to give to those who needed it. My friend didn’t have a phone because he couldn’t afford it, so i gave one to him. I gave another to someone else, whose mother couldn’t afford to have a phone due to spending all her money on her family. Obviously, this is not a scenario i find myself in, i am in a better situation, and i am grateful for it.

The final phone, i returned back to the supplier for a refund. Although, this may seem selfish, it gave me permission to reflect on all that i had done, and i learned something from it.

Items do not cause happiness. They can help, they can cause preliminary happiness, but not continuous. Giving and helping others does cause true happiness.
Who could you help today?

YouTube detox

A month on from my last detox, that did not go that well in all honesty. My addiction to the internet, especially YouTube, has began to spike again. I find myself watching endless streams of videos, constantly refreshing my recommended tab; waiting for the next piece to catch my eye.

This has affected my health in ways that I did not know it could. I find that my screen time has increased by a large margin. Though I watch Anime on Crunchyroll, it is not as frequent as the Google site. I am now well aware of my existence, and how I am wasting it, consuming the success of others. I keep telling myself: I am better than this, I can do more. But I am always so hesitant to do so. It is like I need to go on there to be happy.

That isn’t right, I need to find true happiness within myself, not through objects. So, for the next 30 days, YouTube is off the table. I cannot go onto it for any necessary reasons.

It is time to see how strong my self control is.

My time offline…

A couple of days ago, i said that i would be taking some time off the internet to have a break from it all. I said this with every intention, that i would find happiness and joy in doing different actions in everyday life, compared to the norm.

This did not go to plan.

So, the 1st day went pretty well. I woke up on time, feeling well rested from the night before ( no phone present). I had my breakfast, and took the dog for a walk; bringing my phone in case of an emergency. It was then that i encountered my first problem, my morning routine was all over the place. See, I use my phone for the workout apps, and as a timer for meditation. Without being able to use it, i found it difficult to exercise, and as a result i ended up exercising less than usual.

However, there was a benefit. I got really into one of the books i was reading. In the beginning, it was difficult to concentrate, but as i progressed, it became easier to direct all attention onto the book. We live our lives through the process of multitasking, that we forget it makes us less productive.

Another problem occured, i felt really bored. I never realised how much my phone takes my attention away from my everyday life. All of what i do is on my phone. Not being able to blog, or practice a new skill made life pretty difficult. Regrettably, i ended up going on my phone to fulfil this need, for a limited time.

Another benefit i did find is that i had free time in the evening. So, instead of sitting down and watching TV, i jumped in my car, and drove to a nearby forest; to have a walk. It was relaxing, i felt my imagination transpire past boundaries i thought was impossible. I felt very relaxed.

As the day came to an end, i realised that i had received a message from my boss, where i needed to be online. Again, i had to open my phone to transcribe an email. Besides this, the first day and a half was pretty successful.

As i come to the end now, i do not see this challenge as a failure. Technology has grown to have a larger influence in my life, than i had previously imagined. But, this is not all bad. I use services such as YouTube for entertainment, whilst still pursuing my writing and skill-building courses.

It is all about balance. You do not need to strip everything away from your life, but to keep the essentials that you value dearly. I will cut down my screen time ( using the Apple service ” Screen time” ) but continue to use my devices to improve myself as a person.

Your turn: What could you cut back on which is not adding value to your life?

Boredom

I have had this feeling for the past couple of days now. I have done blog posts on this topic about a year ago, yet i have never experienced it like this.

When i get bored, i want to go on my computer, go onto YouTube, and watch videos to escape it all. This is because it passes the time, and allows me to consumer content whilst not having to pay for it, unlike other services such as disney plus and netflix. I am fearful, having time alone with myself because i don’t know what i will fill the day with. Will i go crazy, and watch the sun go by? Or will i discover a new passion, something i had never considered beforehand. Either way, this fear is daunting, calling me to a different purpose that i am hesistant to explore.

I completed a miniature detox earlier on this month. It was the happiest i had been in a while. It was great, to relax and enjoy being present in nature and the world around me, yet the days felt longer. Recently, i have been reading on my kindle a lot more, but i feel contorted to binge a book, to get through it as fast as possible ;just so i can know the ending, without appreciating the book for its values.

My blog on digital minimalism, was one of the most popular posts to date. The advice is very true, but it is very difficult to follow. Many bloggers outline the practical points readers should follow, but do not detail the difficulties which follow.

It is time that i try to follow my own advice. For the next two days, i am going offline. No Phone, No internet, and no laptop. The only device i will have is my kindle, where i can read books. I will have my phone on me, in case of emergencies, but nothing more.

My next post will outline what i did, and how it felt to do the detox. I hope others join me in this daring adventure!