This quote is powerful:
The main benefit of taking a break from social media is that you stop living in a fictional world and finally start dealing with your own reality.
There is a lot of hard science indicating that social media is harmful. That quote adds something new I hadn’t considered that is hard to quantify, but seems more important than all the rest.
And, choosing the live your life fully, being aware and present to your sadness and hardship, is the most noble way to live.
When I write, I am forced to deal with the world I am in, apart from everything else. Writing is a solitary act, that is not like clicking a like button, where you are connecting to a false shared reality that is manipulated to suit your base needs, not your higher needs.
If I think back to my favorite moments in my life, one of them was when my brother and I dragged our VCR to the repair shop several blocks away when we were living in Rio de Janeiro. That VCR was our lifeline; after a long day of trying to find a tennis court with a net (and eventually just playing basketball) we needed to decompress with a movie (stay with me, I was young and stupid, and now am old and stupid). When the VCR broke we were despondent, but we took it down to the repair shop, a grubby hole in the wall on a side street off the fancy neighborhood in which we lived, a side street which was the conduit to how most Brazilians live. We had to explain to the workers there what was wrong, that it was clicking and dying and not playing tapes anymore. I love Brazilian Portuguese because it is a musical mixture of Portuguese, Indigenous language, and African. In that moment we altered Portuguese, adding mechanical sounds, hand gestures, conveyed with wide eyed fear and loathing at our ineptitude. But, then success! They finally got understood what we understood. We walked away so ecstatic, high fiving, and within a few days we had a functioning VCR again. It was one of my favorite moment, with one of my favorite people (my brother). Then we rented Moonraker (the terrible James Bond movie, the opening scene takes place in Rio) and quickly ruined all that feeling. Fortunately, that bad taste has left me, while the good times, where my brother and I carted a heavy, brickish VCR down the cobblestones of Leblon in Rio de Janeiro, remain in my mind as an example of an experience in real life that took courage and patience and connection with other humans, and it was beautiful.