"In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable. Social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable. Any 16-year-old with a smartphone can invent a hashtag or repost a viral article. The idea that if you engage in enough of this low-value activity, it will somehow add up to something of high value in your career is the same dubious alchemy that forms the core of most snake oil and flimflam in business."
~ Cal Newport
Today marks my 27th day off social media and there is no turning back.
If I was to drop dead tomorrow. Do you know what the most important thing is to me?
That I have lived a meaningful life
If you believe that spending your days attached to your social media accounts is a productive use of your time. Well, then you're fucking delusional!
Social media is engineered to be addictive and to fragment concentration.
Have you ever been reading a book and stopped to check FB?
Have you ever been watching a film and stopped to see how many times your tweet has been retweeted?
Have you ever caught up with a friend and checked your social media accounts whilst sitting with them?
If you answered yes to one or more of these questions. Your ability to concentrate has already been weakened.
As millennial computer scientist, Cal Newport says in his powerful New York Times Column:
"The idea of purposefully introducing into my life a service designed to fragment my attention is as scary to me as the idea of smoking would be to an endurance athlete, and it should be to you if you’re serious about creating things that matter."
The more you use social media, the more your brain craves a big hit of stimuli.
In the first few weeks of being off Facebook and Twitter, I felt directionless when I opened my browser.
But you know what I've learnt in the last 27 days?
It's actually okay to be bored.
It's actually positive to reflect and contemplate.
Social media robs us of those natural states of being.
People use work as their excuse for being on social media.
But to quote Cal Newport again:
"As you become more valuable to the marketplace, good things will find you. To be clear, I’m not arguing that new opportunities and connections are unimportant. I’m instead arguing that you don’t need social media’s help to attract them."
My productivity has tripled in the last 27 days. In that time I have done the following.
I've penned and filed three 600-word Maxim Columns
I've written 16 Non Sex Blogs
I've written 4 Sex Blogs
I've written 2 Huff Post Articles
I've written 1 Medium Article
I've completed 2 x 5k runs
I've endured 10 x cardio/weight sessions
I've written 27, 000 words of my book (1000 words every morning)
27 Morning pages (which equates to 81 pages of longhand)
27 Gratitude lists
Read one book and wrote a review
Designed a new website
Slowly paying off my debts
Showed continual kindness and compassion to others
Watched umpteen films
Teaching myself to play the ukulele
Learning new songs on my keyboard
Usually I would also have newspaper columns to add to this list. But I have NOT been pitching to editors. I don't need rejection or censorship whilst I rebuild my self esteem.
At the end of November, I shared a column on social media that had taken me six months to write. I poured my blood, sweat and tears into that column. I allowed myself to be vulnerable.
And not ONE fucking person LIKED it on social media. I was devastated. More so at the fact, that I wanted their validation.
THAT was my turning point.
I will NEVER let that happen again. I will NEVER require anyone's validation except my own.
Right now I AM PRESENT in my life.
I don't CREATE for others. I CREATE for myself.
Whether you praise me or criticise me. It doesn't fucking matter.
Because I will continue to do what I do regardless.
The only social media I have is Pinterest.
That site gives me unlimited joy.
Greetings and salutations.
Is everyone worse for wear this morning? Fuck, I hope so!
I started the day right. I was making myself an Irish coffee at 5am.
I have a really weird sleep pattern going on, where I'm in bed at 9pm and wake at 4am.
I'm the ultimate Nana -- I just need a set of curlers and false teeth.
Except Nanas don't have a wet cunt. Or maybe they do?
I have no evidence that nana's don't have a wet cunt...
Anyone banged a Nana lately? I've heard alcohol helps. A paper bag also helps.
Every dry spot is a wet spot in waiting...apparently!
I actually think for 2018, I will aspire to start EVERY day with an Irish coffee. Fuck the museli and fruit. Give me caffeine and a hit with a 40% alcohol content.
My Christmas eve horderves were SHITE. According to my friends, I'm never allowed near a kitchen again. But it was hilarious.
Christmas Eve and Christmas Day were absolute PERFECTION. Lots of yummy, yummy food and shitloads of grog. I spent the day/s playing my musical instruments, socialising, finishing my book and watching some GREAT old movies.
Today I will set out in the same direction. Lots of food and grog. Today's drink is Canadian Club, Tapas for lunch, garlic prawns and jasmine rice for dinner.
Tonight some friends and I are watching the 6th season of Game of Thrones.
Lots of ideas coming to me in this rest period. I am writing each idea down in my diary. But won't act on any of them until a later date.
Here's to living a CREATIVE and indulgent life in the present without the life-sucking DEMON that is social media.
I'm off to practice my chords.
It's 7.31am on Christmas Eve morning and I'm sitting here with my second coffee, some brandy-laden Tiramasu and half a glass of champagne.
I've had a funny couple of days.
On the afternoon of the 21st, I set out on foot to collect the Christmas alcohol from a bottleshop I thought was 30 minutes away.
The bottleshop ended up being 1.5 hours away on foot and when I arrived at the bottleshop, they had run out of bags. So I had to walk back with a box full of bottles in the heat.
Why didn't I get a cab? Well, because I had ordered and paid for the grog online. I didn't take my bankcard or any dosh with me. #stupidity
The three hour walk wouldn't have been so bad if I hadn't have done a 5k run that morning. When I got home, I was truly fucked. And the Bisson Vodka (that was suppose to be for Christmas eve), I started drinking as I soaked in my Radox bath.
When I woke on the 22nd, my arms from carrying the box all that way, ached. My whole body ached.
Yesterday, some financial abundance came my way late in the day -- out of the blue. And last night was so much fun. I was at JB HIFI spending up a storm!
I'm setting out now to get the seafood and replace the vodka (which got drunk) with another poison.
It's going to be a very seafoody, alcoholy, presenty, relaxing Christmas. I have friends coming tonight. Cocktails and Horderves. I'm not much of a cook. But I'll try my best.
Hopefully I won't start a fire!
Merry Christmas Everyone. xxx
Don't listen to anyone who tries to tell you that Santa isn't real.
Sadly, there are individuals in this world (both BIG and small) who derive satisfaction from spoiling other people's joy.
Children learn the 'art of disbelief' from adults.
And adults stop believing in magic when they disconnect from their inner child and put their grownup mask on.
I'm here to tell you that Santa Claus is real. And so is the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.
At the ripe age of 40. I still BELIEVE in Santa. And you should too, whether you're 10, 15, 21 or 50.
If you believe it in your mind -- it's REAL.
As Albert Einstein said: 'Imagination is more important than knowledge."
Whilst reading a book of essays by Einstein. I was relieved to find a kindred spirit within the pages.
Einstein lived in his imagination. His essays were written very simply. He was connected to his inner child up until his death.
Every day I get up and skip into the magical world that is my imagination.
My entire life is spent being VULNERABLE and playing.
Other adults find my vulnerability CONFRONTING. Because it's something they've lost. People often say to me 'You're very childlike'. And I feel like responding: 'You're very adult."
I've never felt the need to adult.
Adulting is a lost concept to me -- it's an early death.
Charles Bukowski said: "At the age of 25 most people are finished." He was right, most people are dead before they're dead.
But if I can give you one piece of advice: " Keep believing".
Believe in magic. Believe in dreams. Believe in the impossible. Believe in the wisdom of your heart. BELIEVE IN YOURSELF.
BELIEVE IN SANTA.
Childhood is precious.
Soon you'll grow up and you'll be pressured to adult.
They will try to enslave you. They will try to rob you of your joy. And you're going to have to fight.
I fight every day.
I fight the evility that tries to steal my joy. I fight the monsters who try to burn me down. I fight my critics. I fight conventionality. I fight for my freedom. I fight myself.
You too, will have to fight to survive.
You too, will have to develop an iron will to hold on to your magic.
Magic and imagination are the most important things in the world. Now, go and write your letter to Santa Claus.
This blog post was also published on Medium and The Huff Post.
I LOVE Christmas.
It's my favourite time of year.
I get as excited about Christmas day at age 40 as I did at age 5.
My brothers love Christmas too and I think its indicative of the magic our parents created for us as children.
This year I will be going to have a photo taken with Santa on Christmas eve. BECAUSE I'M A FUCKING BIG KID!!!!
My Christmas Eve poison of choice this year is: Bison Grass Vodka with cloudy apple juice.
I first tried it with my British girlfriend in London this year. I'm not a huge fan of vodka but this drink is absolute PERFECTION.
I'm also making some savory horderves for Christmas Eve -- Devils On Horseback. That's if I don't get too tipsy on the vodka!
My Christmas Day morning ALWAYS starts with a champagne breakfast -- whether I'm having Christmas alone, with friends or with family. This year I'm spending Christmas with beautiful friends.
Christmas lunch is ALWAYS seafood. Crayfish, prawns and oysters.
I grew up in Perth (where it's often 38 degrees on Christmas day). So we never had hot lunches and I prefer a cold seafood lunch anyway.
My Christmas Day poison is: Aperol Spritz (Aperol, Prosecco & Soda)
That's what I was drinking in Venice in September -- so I'm gonna pretend I'm still there.
I'm hoping Santa brings me a ukulele this year. If he does -- I'm going to teach myself to play it through youtube tutorials over the festive season. Christmas night is usually chilled. I'm usually drunk!
Between boxing day and February is when I binge on DVD set TV series. I very rarely allow myself to watch TV throughout the year. So it's a real treat.
I'll be catching up on:
Game of Thrones
Sons of Anarchy
I let myself totally chillax between December and the end of February.
No expectations. No news. No social media. No politics. No plans. Lots of naps. Lots of grog and food. A proper and much needed rest.
I'll come back FIGHTING HARD in 2018. Watch this space.
Anyway, I'm off to buy a Christmas tree and some decorations.
Catch you later! xxx
PS: I filed my February column for Maxim Magazine this morning. YAY!
I've never understood the nine to fivers.
They rise early.
And turn up to jobs that they hate.
They do this day in and day out.
Totally unaware that their life is passing them by.
They don't ask questions.
They don't seek an alternative.
They are the worker bees.
The societal slaves.
A bunch of zombified non-thinking robots.
They would never give up their jobs and follow their dreams.
That would take too much courage.
That would be too impractical.
But if I've learnt anything through my own experience.
It's the IMPRACTICAL people who win in the end.
Fortune favours the brave.
Success favours people who take risks.
I'm incredibly proud of the fact that I've never been a pawn in the system. I will never join the collective.
I have more respect for drug addicts and serial killers than I do for nine-to-fivers.
At least drug addicts and serial killers have passion!
I once read an article that said:
"If women didn't have vaginas, men wouldn't bother talking to them."
And I get that. Boy, do I get that!
The female clan is a hateful mob. And I should know. I've been on the receiving end of their hatred all of my life.
Women are threatened by attractive women.
Women are threatened by sexual women.
Women are threatened by younger women.
Women are threatened by women who get male attention.
My mother was an attractive woman.
And the things other women did to her at work were so cruel.
Mum lost jobs, credibility and self esteem due to the actions of jealous women who made her life hell because of her beauty.
They made up stories about her virtues and morals. They shamed her for the sexy and feminine way she dressed.
These memories affected my Mum for much of her life. Enough for her to talk about them with me after she'd had a few drinks.
When I was 14. Mum and I were at a shopping centre. We stopped at a food court to get some cheap Asian scoffs.
I was dressed in cut-off denim shorts and a body suit. And this group of men in their 50's were leering at me, unashamedly from their table.
I said to my Mum innocently:
"Why are they looking at me when they have wedding rings on Mum?"
And Mum, in her frankness said:
"You make their dicks hard. But it's not the men you should worry about. It's female jealousy that will be your curse!"
I've never forgotten that day at the food court and Mum's words of wisdom. I didn't really understand the weight of her statement.
But Mum was right. She had learnt through her own nasty experiences with women. Her motherly prediction would become my reality.
My gender has been fucking horrible to me since I was a young teen and there is no love lost.
It's the men of this world that I am indebted to. They've always been the ones who have helped me when life has gone to shit. They've ALWAYS had my back.
Women are usually nowhere to be seen when I find myself in a crisis!
But no surprises there. In my experience, women are generally out for themselves.
Nearly two weeks off social media.
Nearly three weeks off the cock.
I'm using my TOOLBOX.
I'm writing like a motherfucker.
I'll show up to write on this non-sex blog EVERY DAY until I turn this big MOTHERFUCKER of a ship around.
I'll keep peeling back the layers.
I'll continue to LOVE others as much as I possibly can regardless of how they react.
I'll keep culling the 'friend' list.
I'll keep exercising.
But most of all. I will CHOOSE MYSELF.
My biggest mistake of 2017 was putting my confidence into people who were undeserving. But I'm so GRATEFUL for the lesson.
We forget our worth. We forget the gold which resides inside of us.
I've collated a list of the things I'm letting go of.
My name is Vanessa de Largie.