Less Screen Time: Pros and Cons

Howdy, howdy!  How is everyone doing this December?  Are you ready for whatever holiday you happen to be celebrating?  We aren’t planning on doing anything this year, so we’re pretty much prepared.  Anyway, I haven’t been doing much aside from reading and crocheting.  That means I don’t have much to talk about.  But it also means I’ve been away from the computer more often than usual.  It makes for a weird combination of good and bad.  So, I thought I would take a chance to ramble about some of the pros and cons I’ve noticed about being away from the screen.

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Pro 1: Less social media drama.  Don’t get me wrong, I love lurking and seeing how everyone I know is doing, but I really like not getting sucked down all the flame war rabbit holes.  I still scroll through everything on a daily basis, but I find myself reading fewer comments because I’d rather go play with yarn than watch people argue.  It just seems like a better use of my time.

Con 1: Less socializing.  I don’t socialize enough as it is, but being away from the computer means that I don’t respond to Facebook messages right away.  I rarely respond to texts right away anymore, unless it’s important.  It’s just not as easy to multitask when my computer is in my room and I’m in the dining room.  So, sorry if I haven’t messaged you enough or in a timely manner.  I’m being worse than usual about it.

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Pro 2: Yarn doesn’t judge me when I curse at it.  Try it.  You can say anything you want to yarn and the worst it will do is tangle itself up, which just results in more colorful language.  Say the wrong thing online and someone’s going to blow up at you whether you were talking to them or not.  Yarn is good.  Yarn doesn’t judge.  Be like yarn.

Con 2: Yarn won’t help you with stupid things.  As good a listener as yarn is, it won’t offer unhelpful solutions when you need a laugh.  That’s what my Interwebz friends are for, to send me stupid memes and GIFs when I’m in a funk.

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And sometimes yarn curses back.

Pro 3: Finding new communities to be part of and learning people you already know are in those communities.  I’ve joined a few crochet and fiber arts groups only to discover people I already know are in them!  It’s actually kind of cool to join a group and realize you already have friends there.  Plus, it’s nice to have places to go and ask beginner questions and get a lot of feedback.

Con 3: The groups are online.  In other words, I join them and stalk them for a few minutes, then go back to the dining room.

Ultimately, I’m still on my computer a lot, but being away from it seems to be helping my mental health.  I don’t know if it’s just being away from the negativity of social media or if it’s doing something with my hands or a combination of the two, but I feel better (not as depressed and anxious as usual).  So, I think less screen time is good, but I still need it to socialize.

What are your thoughts on screen time and social media breaks and all that good stuff?  Feel free to leave your comments or thoughts here or on my social media pages!

My Writing Space: 5 Things That Aren’t Writing Related

Hello, hello!  How is everyone doing this bright and beautiful July day?  I’m still finding motivation and focus hard to achieve, which means most of my writing goals have failed miserably.  Slumps suck, but I’ll get out of it.  Anyway, I don’t really have anything writerly or exciting to post about, so I thought I would reintroduce you to my writing area.  I know I posted about it before, but writing areas aren’t entirely about writing.  They’re also about the writer (in this instance, me), so I wanted to introduce you to some of the non-writerly things that I keep nearby.

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An old picture.  Things have changed, like a new stereo and different pictures, but still a good representation of my work space.

1. Yarn.  I decided to teach myself how to crochet, so I have a slowly disappearing skein of yarn and an 85% finished project sitting on my computer.  I just have to make a few more rows, then figure out how to sew it into a hat.  As usual with my creative endeavors, I’m finding it difficult to work up the motivation to finish.  Mostly because the next project I want to undertake scares me.  It’s supposedly fairly easy, but it looks so complicated!  And kind of big, so I don’t know if I’ll be able to handle it physically.  But I’m enjoying the new hobby even though it scares me.  That’s about all it has in common with writing.  Well, that and shitty first attempts being acceptable.

2. Tequila.  I actually have two bottles of tequila on my desk.  One is an anejo from Republic Tequila in a bottle shaped like Texas.  It hasn’t been opened yet, even though I’ve had it for years.  I also have a Kah reposado in a sugar skull bottle.  I’ve only had a couple of shots of it, so it’s mostly full.  I’m not a lush.  I swear.

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This one is similar to my bottle, but the designs are always a little different because each one is hand painted.

3. Assorted treats.  I keep a jar of chocolates on my desk, plus various candies and Pocky that I pick up or that people give me.  I still have chocolate from Christmas and Easter, plus candy and Pocky that are at least a couple of years old.  I keep forgetting they exist.  It’s weird, I know.  But my sweet tooth only activates at random times and I usually go for the chocolate instead of the rest.

4. Random creepy creatures.  Well, they aren’t really creepy.  I have a little rubber rat finger puppet that a neighbor gave me one Halloween.  His name is Yuki (it means snow) even though he’s black.  I just really like Fruits Basket.  And he cheers me on from my computer or right next to it.  I also have a tiny glass octopus named Tako that a friend sent me during one of her visits to Italy.  He watches me from one of my shelves.  And I have a bunch of other random figurines I’ve collected over the years.

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Sohma Yuki, year of the rat.

5. A pile of CDs.  My new stereo doesn’t have a multi-CD function, so I have 60+ CDs sitting around in plain sight (many more hidden in my cabinets), waiting to be ripped to my computer.  But I’m lazy and keep forgetting about them.

So, that’s some of the non-writerly things I have in my writing space.  If it tells you something about the kind of person I am, feel free to share.  What are some of the things you keep in your work space that have nothing to do with your work?  Feel free to leave your comments, thoughts, or questions here or on my social media pages!