Starting 2022 with a Break
Over the past several years, I've justified my hours of scrolling, posting, engaging because it is tied to my work with gatekeeping (see my research here) and how part of the ways I challenge toxic academic socialization is by sharing resources (see explanation here and here). I share and learn about call for proposals, new articles to read from Twitter. The Facebook Groups I have joined often serve as mutual aid groups in my identity as a pre-tenure scholar. And Instagram is where I keep in touch with friends and all the Kpop and Korean drama funsies. I love so many aspects of social media. And, as equally important, I dislike so much of social media. Or, more accurately. how I have been seeing myself morph and engage with these platforms. I spend hours endlessly scrolling, being less present, hyerscrutinize the photos I take or the captions I'm trying to write, and spend time feeling like something is missing because the comparison feels real, even though I know and have read articles like this one from Psychology Today that breaks down how this phenomenon is a facade.
So starting tomorrow, I'll be taking a break and try logging off. I know I should because of how much stress it's already causing me to even think about not using it. I want to use it even more today just to "make up" for the lost time I know I'll be incurring later by not being able to access it. Hilarious, and a reaffirmation I need to pause, take a break, and see what happens. At the very least, I imagine I'll have regained some time back.
Random Round Up: Binge Edition
It's that time again! Me sharing what are the things I've been consuming, watching, enjoying, while procrastinating from my actual to do list, AND also taking some much needed time away and resting. Much like the rest of the world, I binged and enjoyed Squid Game - I had it marked months prior because I'm still always a little dazed that Korean content is showcased and readily produced with streaming sites. And in that, I went down a bit of a rabbit hole of a TON of Korean shows and movies.
I feel like Squid Game needs no explanation. The only thing I'll reference is what others (especially on Twitter) have discussed about what gets lost in translation from Korean to English, which is something not just to Squid Game but a lot of the Korean dramas and movies. In that, it feels -- odd -- to understand the nuances and realize that it's not carrying over in English. Even the use of my word "odd" is an (ironic?) translation of the word I actually want to say in Korean...
What I've realized with the majority of the movies and shows I've recently binged is the critique of the system and a comment towards corruption. Squid Game, classically focuses on capitalism; Hellbound critiques cults and the ways people too easily weaponize religion into fanacitism; The King about political machinations to create the history that is celebrated. Likewise, I've realized I tend to gravitate towards the vigilante, rag-tag type of "fight the man" team, much in the ways One, the Woman is challenging corporate conglomerates (with a dash of murder/ disappearance/ mistaken identity); or Veteran as the team is trying to take down an entitled, violent, person (that represents a much larger system). And to be clear, most of these are incredibly violent (Squid Game and Hellbound, especially so), but also with a dash of humor (sometimes a romance line too). Extreme Job overlays efforts of trying to uncover a drug ring with getting waylaid by their too-effective undercover operation as a fried chicken place and Don't Date That Guy infuses an espionage tale with a sarcastic refrigerator (yes, you read that right).
And as a random observation, I didn't realize how many zombie shows and movies I've been enjoying. It's not a trend I thought I'd like (and I completely skipped over the vampires and werewolves excitement), but in thinking about Kingdom, Train to Busan, and most recently Happiness, I apparently really like zombie things, or at the very least, the way Korean directors are showcasing zombie storylines and tying it back to... yep, you guessed it, corruption, greed, and the human condition.
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).