on and offline part 2 (social media etc.)

How to live without social media?
How to take back control in our lives?
How to use the internet as a tool and not be its slave? How to create content and read content and find content that is worth seeing, reading , creating?
How to escape the trap of FOMO, the trap of having to be one of the “early adopters”, the trap of thinking we need to create content for other people´s platforms, content with which other people will make money … all for some vague promise of fame and money. That will hardly ever materialise.
People work so hard on their social media profiles in order to get the followers they so desperately need, want, think they want… no one in their right mind would work for free in a normal job in a company worth unimaginable amounts of money … and help them make even more … but we all do, because we all bought into the “you have to do this in order to …. “, we adapt, we create not because we wish to create but because we think this will make us more likeable and we fear we will miss on out on …. something. The thing is, we do miss out. On our lives. We are being manipulated in quite an unprecedented way, although we have uncountable sources of information, we chose to read what Facebook algorithms serves us … not a good way to learn to think for ourselves.
How can we find a way to reclaim our lives, to use our technologies for our own good without falling into the traps that we encounter all the time? How to re-learn how to live?

Ok, let´s make this more personal: I check my phone all the time, social media especially. And there is hardly ever anything of interest on it. My Instagram profile(s) do not get more then 20 likes, whatever I post, no one reads my blog, and I hardly get any e-mails, except ads and mails from mailing lists. And the only Facebook likes I get are those after I post a picture of myself.
So, today, I decided to get rid of this addiction, the social media addiction. I am glad to say that I checked only three times, until now, nearly at 9 p.m. in the evening. It feels a bit strange, but it also feels incredibly liberating.
I spent this day going through my DVDs and data CDs … thousands of pictures … I put them on external hard drives and then destroy the DVDs … that feels good … and then I accompanied C. into the cellar … and we began cleaning it out as well … I destroyed all my old diaries, after realising that I have been writing the same old stuff over and over again. Depressing. It felt good to say goodbye to those old thoughts, old fears, old hopes.
… I went for a run afterwards…. short … but the first one in quite a while. Freed myself from being so annoyed at the competitive running everyone seems to be doing at the moment that I gave up running myself. I used to love it, the exploration of the city while running through its streets …

To be continued.

lichtenbergold pictures from 2005 (Weissensee and Lichtenberg)

on and offline

What are experience that I cannot write about online worth?
What are pictures that I never show worth?
Do they benefit me in one way or another?

I want to be online less, much less, but whenever I consider being really offline I feel some kind of strange emptiness, a feeling of uselessness. What and who am I when I cannot share what I see, experience and make?

Maybe the way for me is to accept that I like putting my thoughts, pictures, ideas, words out there. And that it is part of who I am and how I function.
And that, on the other hand, I could very well be more offline by reducing the time I spend online as a reflex, a way of avoiding being present, a way to cope with potentially embarrassing or awkward situations, as a means to escape the sometimes really ugly physical reality I am in.
Stop that and see what is really going on around me.
I believe that the possibility to escape our mobile devices give us are the reason so few people notice what is going on around them and don´t care anymore, as a means of escape is always available. I wonder if, for example, people would care more how their neighbourhood looks and the state of public transport and the shocking transformation and destruction of nature, etc. etc.  if their means of escape would suddenly disappear and we all had to cope with what really is, here, in the physical reality we are very much part of …

 

Black cat, Paros, 2017

resisiting the time frame

green

sunset
How to escape the time narrative?
The time frame that makes days and weeks and months, the one that talks about a beginning, a middle and an end, the one that asks for a story to be quest, the one that does not allow things to flow in an irregular and natural rhythm.
I like new beginnings, but I dislike having to start over again every morning, go through the same / similar rituals, have the day begin and the day grow a bit stale even before I manage to get back into that flow of energy I was in the day before and then having to switch to “end of day” mode again before something really good had a chance to grow.
I have no idea how to change this, but I long for days that feel like one, where my creative energy simply continues, where sleep is part of the same energy, where I can go on once I am awake without the interruption of “a new day, thus a repetition of the same structure then yesterday” .
I wish I´d find a way to break free from this idea of separation  … I love sleep, I love sleeping and I do not mind interrupting my “flow” by sleep, because it usually does not interrupt anything at all, but I feel frustrated and sad by the idea of separating the flow of time into these highly structured and institutionalised time-units.
I could never understand when a friend insisted that Sundays are for certain activities and not for others and on Mondays, even though you are a free lancer with little work, you are not allowed to go for a walk in glorious sunny weather, just because it is Monday and one does not do that on a work day.
I am all for the protection of “free time” for people in 9to5(6,7,8,9) jobs but I do feel this urge to free myself from applying the week-narrative of our society to my life.  It cuts short everything that is worth working for, worth creating, worth thinking about and separates us from our own feeling of time. And it is a great tool for time wasters how can fill in the short time-units with loads of ego-heavy-good-for-nothing meetings and the like.
There are time structures that I like and that I find easy to respect, but those are ones that I chose myself and they give my time a rhythm and an anchor that I do need, and I am pretty sure that everyone needs and wants those in one way or another. I am simply questioning the one we have now and that most of us accept as “god-given” without ever questioning whether it does us any good, or who profits the most from it …

spiralSpiral, 2012

transitions

Everything I worked on this summer somehow disappeared or fell through … In a way it makes me laugh, all this effort and stress, all for nothing … or not really, but almost. My works that I sewed for Fotonoviembre, nobody knows where they are, they seemed to have vanished at the customs in Teneriffa, my application for funing on which I worked hard, made videos and works for: nobody seems to understand what it is about and I have been advised to re-write, find more sponors and re-aply next year.
I wonder if aynone realises what my work implies, how much time, passion, thought, reflection, mental and physical effort it takes, not to speak of the financial invenstments that go into such work? To be then lost or easily dismissed in a way that makes me laugh in disbelief.
But. It shook somehting lose in me. I don´t care anymore. And I am free now. To do exactly as I please, to be exactly whom I want to be.

I do not belong to anyone.
The day before yesterday I went to the sauna, lying there in a red light, sweating and breathing in fragrant hot air, listening to but not understanding two big russian speaking women, I felt good and live and wild and free again. And I know that all will be fine and that this needed to happen and actually I somehow feel relieved.

knowledge and death

As a kid, late at night, when I couldn’t sleep, I tried to do something which now I can only describe as “going back in the mind”. I tried to go back to where everything began, and with everything I mean exactly that. Me, life, the universe. Everything. 
I asked myself questions and tried to find ever more complex answers. Why am I here, what is this place, this house, this village, this country, this planet, this universe, it was, now that I think of it, more of a zooming out then a going back. And, lying there in the dark, in my bed, in this house, in this village, on this planet, every so often I would arrive at something that felt like a thick black wall. And that thick black wall was in my head. And I knew that behind the wall lay all the answers. And that I could get there. But I also knew that I, as a human being, would be annihilated once I got behind this wall, pulverised, that my human mind would blow the moment I would finally be in the know. It would kill me. 
I can still remember how that felt and I am still unable to describe it. .