41 + Moving On

https://mashable.com/video/study-quitting-facebook

Between this birthday and the last birthday, one of the more devastating things happened to me. Something that I never would have anticipated. I won’t go into great detail, but suffice to say, between August of last year and February of this year, I was a mess. I realized though that something much better did in fact come along, in terms of career possibilities and working environment. As usual, movies, music, friends and cats helped along the way. Those are all the blessings that I can never take for granted. It seemed to suggest that maybe depression, though often debilitating, could at least be managed. The trickier parts were exercise and diet, which remain two of the more challenging aspects of daily living that I continue to experience.

Somewhere along the way though, I stopped making music and felt defeated. Again, it’s difficult to explain why without going into great detail. I’ve confided in friends as to why and as to why my positive self-esteem is a mountain that I have trouble climbing. I keep thinking about mistakes and/or decisions that turned my life in a completely different direction. Suffice to say that I now like the direction my life is headed towards. I’m investing in a career as a librarian / digital archivist.

Social media is something I have a love/hate relationship with, and it’s been leaning more towards hate. After experiencing identity theft, I suddenly no longer feel that sharing information is safe anymore. Anyone can sell my information on the dark web, create fake accounts, or utilize my credit report for evil purposes. Something leads me to the strong belief that I am better off disappearing from social media, or at least no longer create new posts. Everything gets filtered, surveillance-based advertising is the new norm. But then again, if I reduce my contact to texting, phone calls and emails, this will mean losing contact to hundreds of people on a platform like Facebook.

Part of me thinks that’s exactly what I need to do. I’m going back to school, I’m trying to write a script, I’m trying to make new music and record more again. I’d rather do away with distractions like social media, as difficult as it may be. I’d rather focus on being a true blue living breathing human being, rather than just advertise my thoughts and projects to the world. Maybe if my interview podcast reached a wider demographic, I’d feel differently. But I’m honestly tired of trying to keep up with so much content out there, a lot of which I honestly don’t care about. As of the end of May, I will be deleting a lot of accounts, no longer reviewing movies on WGN Radio, and learn how to dial back on my iPhone usage. It’s become overwhelming to the point of inflicting anxiety so I have decided on my birthday, with personal healthy self-care being the focal point of my remaining years, I’d rather stop looking at a screen unless I’m creating something or communicating personally. Of course love all of my friends on social media, even the ones that I haven’t met personally. And I want to keep in touch, but not using a greedy, addictive, manipulative, ugly platform like Facebook. A few friends, a couple of which remain very close friends, abandoned Facebook too, and I’d rather get personal messages from them or meet in person.

It’s not going to be easy, but it’s necessary. I’m going to do my best to keep up with all the podcasts, particularly the ones on the podcast network I helped to create. I will try to post about their lives and episodes, but no longer about mine. The best way to find me is through text or email which you can DM me on. I know it’s a bit of a contradiction to not want to share my life as it gets better, so maybe in a year or two, I will return in some form or another especially if things take off. But I need to focus better and express myself in ways that are less about text and scrolling. After all, that’s how it all started - writing, music, college, friendships, exercise. I have done much less of this since having been a part of social media. I know I only have myself to blame to a degree, but I also know this is best for an indefinite period of time. This announcement to get “better” is a birthday present to myself, and I know that by eradicating things that don’t leave me feeling good is the best approach right now. I’ll still maintain my blog the best to my abilities but I’m really tired of social media since I see it being used for more bad than good. I’m saying farewell within the month to it and I already feel like a weight has been lifted. Happy 41st birthday, indeed.

James Laczkowski