Junk Food

There are times in my day when the idea of potato chips sounds appealing. I just can’t stop thinking about a chocolate bar. Either that, or an espresso milkshake.

Sugar creates cravings in me. I know I’m not the only one, but it makes things hard when my naturopath explained that sugar is effectively poison (for my body type.)

It’s a poison that feels good. My mind hums on sugar; my body feels energized, and the good mood it stimulates makes me feel like it’s worth the twenty or so extra pounds I carry. I have tried everything, but it’s like quitting smoking. No gum, no patch, not even hypnosis is going to make you forget how good smoking feels. You just have to make a decision.

While I was on vacation this year, I realized that there’s something else I crave. The Internet. As certainly as I feel like I can’t live without chocolate, I feel like if I don’t check the internet regularly, I don’t know what’s going on.

But what do people post, really? Cat pictures. Funny baby stories. Upsetting political maneuvers by their rival political party. Movie trailers. Celebrity misdeeds. I find it very hard to find a Facebook post that actually says anything anymore. It’s a cacophony of noise and no substance.

Sadly, it makes me miss the days of LiveJournal, when pictures were few and posts were about people’s direct experiences with the world. Certainly there were faux pas, breakups that exploded in vitriolic posts or the ever-favorite drunk posting.. but at least the content was real. It wasn’t whining about a Coke commercial.

My next goal is to include social media in my ‘junk food’ category. I am going to try to minimize my distraction. I’m going to stop shopping – that is, browsing for things I don’t know I want until I see them. I’m taking a 6 month hiatus from buying junk. If I run out of ink for my printer, that doesn’t count. I’m going to avoid Amazon unless I am looking for ink for my printer, is all.

I’m going to give myself one social-media day a week. I am in the process of writing a book, but that’s lonely work, and I’m not posting passages out of my rough draft. Not yet, anyway.

I think this will give me time to focus on more worthwhile content. I like writing blog posts. It reminds me a lot of LiveJournal, without the commentary. That bums me out some, but maybe I can write posts that encourage more active comments.

I don’t think that the Intarnet is something I could ever truly give up. I’m a tech support specialist at work, an ex-app developer, and my friends work at Disney Mobile and Deloitte, Microsoft and PopCap Games. I am a technophile through and through.

However, while there are a thousand cute kittens, a thousand cute dogs, a thousand cute babies that all have charming giggles. If I sat weeding through them all day, I might find something that really stood out. Or, I could stop spending time on an inconsequential task and start producing something.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never be sorry I watched Vin Diesel lip sync to Katy Perry, but a line has to be drawn somewhere.

I feel better in the long run when I cut out sugar. After the first few days of craving, I notice I’m distinctly more clear-headed. My scale is nicer to me, and I’m less emotionally wonky. I notice a similar, if different effect with a lack of Internet – I feel less of a need to choke people to death, for starters. I don’t get my emotional high off of heart-warming stories of pitbulls saving kittens from burning buildings, but I don’t have to endure the lows of seeing Russia round up homeless dogs and slaughter them to clear the streets for the Olympics, either.

So, fear not my local WordPressers – I am not going to stop blogging, and I am not going to stop supporting other people’s blogs. Facebook, Tumblr, these are the places that I am withdrawing from. I’m tired of soundbytes. I want more substance.

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