Today is the last day of my social media hiatus (which I explain here and here). A lot of my reflection is similar to what I've already written: feeling disconnected but having more oportunities to be intentional about connecting with friends; realizing I spent A LOT of time on my phone; appreciating the time to focus on myself and pick up books I've been meaning to read, shows I've been meaning to binge, etc.
For a bit of deeper reflection, one thing I realized I have missed are the "announcements" on social media. Friends post updates and news for mass-communication on Twitter and Instagram and I'm sure I have missed key events and missed things to congratulate. While these practices might, at times, increase stress and anxiety because you can't help compare (yes, I've been guilty of this; I've written about here), overall, I deeply appreciate this practice to celebrate people's wins— especially because in academia, the wins feel so few and far between. In that comraderie, I am thankful for the GroupMes and chats where I wound up still in the loop, and also yes, happy to be back in this way.
To be honest, I didn't think I've make it. That first week was so hard, and again, really hard after I finished a conference last week. I had not-a-little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) for what I know are all the post-conference social media funsies. But throughout the month, the inclination and temptation to go on social media slowly dwindled. I didn't realize how badly I needed this break and spend some time with myself. I heard silence for the first time in a while and in that silence, was able to hear myself. I'll likely engage in this practice more often. At the very least, it's affirmed that I don't need to check social media every day. Now, for tomorrow, I might feel differently depending on whether I have 0 or 10000 notifications, ha!
But overall, the past four days have affirmed what I had hypothesized previously: that I spend a lot of time on social media, and on my phone in general. And as a result, during this break, I find myself misplacing my phone often. And in all of this, I've enjoyed my holiday time with my family more because I am both figuratively and literally more present. I didn't think it'd be that much of a difference, but it has been. Admittedly, I also feel somewhat disconnected, which I had also hypothesized— it's part of why I was scared to delete these apps because it's so much of how I stay in touch with friends. Thankfully, people have texted me more, which has been lovely, and I'm glad that on the 31st, I posted that I was going on break for the month.
In that, I totally missed the news about the boycott for the Golden Globes. I already had a slew of criticisms for them, which have been aligned with the critiques about the lack of diversity from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assocation and corruption (all of which can be read here and here), But my critique has also been deeply personal in the ways that the Golden Globes categorized Minari under the "foreign" category, despite the narrative being about Korean Americans, written by a Korean American, and a cast that is largely Korean American. While I grew up not in Oklahoma, where the movie takes places, I felt like the stories and snippets, the small details in that film were taken verbatim from my childhood memories. Memories, according to Hollywood Foreign Press and the Golden Globes, that are foreign.
Scholars have written at length about this: about Asian Americans being perpectual foriegners, of how Asians are reduced to the model minority myth, and the ways the model minority myth further perpetuates anti-Blackness. So even as the Golden Globes awarded Bong Joon Ho and Parasite many deserved awards (which I write about here) and I, like many others, was excited about Lee Jung Jae of Squid Game receiving a nomination for Best Actors, I also know that this representation isn't enough. Representation won't bring us transformation: at most, it is what Dr. Sarah Ahmed describes as a function of the diversity check-list.
In a year, I read somewhere around 100-200 books. I don't have a TV and I use reading as a form of escape, and I especially like reading outside of academia. It also helps with improving my writing :)
When I'm trying to concentrate, I like having background music that's super dramatic. For some reason, instrumental music is instrumental (pun!) in helping me concentrate. Most of the songs are Korean-drama OSTs (original sound tracks), w/ a few classical music scores in the mix!
I don't categorize anything other than my "random round-ups" because it takes too much work (insert laughing emoji).