Jan 3, 2016

Tiny promises that get me through

I always say I don't do new years resolutions, but it's not true. I make tiny promises to myself. Not full fat resolutions - just wafer thin thoughts that linger at the edges of my daily routine.

Last year's promise was a success. I decided to back off from internet arguments. Increasingly, I find my energy levels to be a finite resource - particularly after a year of higher-profile performances. So why waste that energy on the fallout from oversharing, or from repeats of that famous 'someone on the internet is wrong' XKCD cartoon?

The promise came as a little mantra:
> my internet is an echo chamber;
> if in doubt, stay positive - or silly;
> if my first reaction is annoyance then back off;
> always ask "is this my battle?"

Wow, the comments I have deleted mid-draft as a result of that... This has been quite cleansing; for me, the web has become manageable.

It also led to me writing a letter to my MP for the first time in a long time.

I wanted to tweet about Syria, but the internet was echo-chambering like crazy. What was the point of yet another parroted tweet of outrage?

So I decided on a real-world action. Social media was part of this, but it was at the start and end of the process. In this case, I read about the topic, I wrote and sent the letter, and then - and only then - I tweeted about it.

There were many more tiny promises, but I think the internet thing was the most successful one.

Not that my record is spotless. For example, I had an eye-wateringly passive aggressive argument with a Ukipper. The ensuing conversation went nowhere. (I was the passive aggressive one, I think, but hey at least we maintained a veneer of politeness.)

My tiny promises for 2016? Not telling. The promises are to myself, so I won't tell you until the next twelve months have been consigned to the wheelie bin of history.

And now you.

Try a tiny promise yourself. Rather than a full-on detox or writing routine or whatever it is, construct a promise that is tiny, wafer thin and, yes, sometimes breakable.


Anonymous said...

"Wow, the comments I have deleted mid-draft as a result of that... This has been quite cleansing; for me, the web has become manageable."

As an ex-rantee I can fully relate to this statement.


Fat Roland said...

Yeah, it's so flipping pointless, isn't it. Personally, I'd rather cut a comment short than rant on for--