Is it too late for New Year’s resolutions? New Year’s resolutions still remain the same. There’s always eating healthier, exercising more, spending more time at the office, or spending less time there. The whole idea of a “new year, new you” is frankly not true. For my part, I never want to force a New Year’s resolution on myself, so I tend to just not do them. My therapist told me once that a person can’t just change their behavior, they must first change their beliefs.
New Year’s resolutions also have a tendency to make you feel like there’s something wrong with you, as opposed to focusing on all of the things you’ve done right.
However, recently I’ve been thinking about the small changes I want to implement in my life, and thought that I might as well make these changes and call them New Year’s resolutions. I’ve already changed my beliefs, so here is the rough draft of what I want to do differently this year:
Less Social Media
I’d like to preface this by saying that I use social media less than most of the people around me. I’ve felt ambivalent towards social media for a while now, but my sudden interest in unplugging comes from the Netflix special “The Social Dilemma.” For those who’ve never seen it, it’s a hybrid of a documentary and a dramatization of how corrosive social media platforms are. The panelists are early employees and designers for every major social media platform, who state, unequivocally, that their product is not being used with the spirit with which it was intended. Not to sound like an alarmist, but these experts consider social media to be nothing less than an existential threat, that could bring about the end of civilization. The best case scenario is that in about two decades, the global economy collapses, unless some major modifications are made, which will only happen if immense public pressure is applied to these companies and it becomes more financially sound to solve the problem than not to.
I am not holistically abstaining but I want to stop mindlessly scrolling on the Instagram explore page, where there is an algorithm set up to show me what I like by monitoring how long I linger over a certain post. I’m frequently exposed to political opinions, some that I agree with, and some that I decidedly do not, but I no longer want to see any of it.
I understand the irony of me blogging about how the internet is bad, but I don’t think that all of the internet is inherently bad. It just needs to change. Until it does, I have all of my notifications turned off, I’m not getting any new platforms, and I am not clicking on a single video or news article that is recommended for me.
Getting News Solely from News Sources
Once again, I feel like I already do this more than others. Recently, I’ve taken to watching the news and I know that the news comes with its own warning label when it comes to bias, but Kornacki will never tell me that there’s a pedophile ring at a pizzeria being run by the Clintons. My point is that it’s safer. I started watching the news when the election lasted days, then during the runoff, then during the certification of the vote, and then during the ensuing insurrection and honestly it feels good to be informed.
Caring less about what celebrities do
I don’t really care who’s starting a book club, who’s writing a cookbook, who’s playing games with Fallon on his show or what reality show is coming to an end. I also don’t care about their politics or lifestyles. In the past I’ve enjoyed seeing their apartments in Architectural Digest and their 73 questions with Vogue, but I think I’m just through caring. Sure, I’ll probably watch them tell their funny stories on The Graham Norton show and keep up with Jane Fonda’s activism, but those are my only vices. At times it almost feels hard not to care about what they do, because I feel so constantly bombarded by their concerns, rather than what I’m actually interested in. Hopefully, now that I am going to be on the internet less, it will be easy to shut celebrities out.
I have a few more personal resolutions that are just between me and the universe, so I’ll be keeping those to myself. By correcting these small things, it’ll hopefully allow me to achieve other things along the way. I want to feel unencumbered and less manipulated and exploited, as I’m sure we all do.
The Tragic Queen,