Virtual Reality Bullshit

Jess Smith – my anonymous Facebook account – is no more, as of this morning.

Deleting the account was easier than I thought it would be.  Saying a mental goodbye to some people I had met along the way not so. One in particular.

I never had a photo on that profile – in fact this was the photo I elected to have:

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It was tongue in cheek, I had noticed how everyone put their best photo as their profile pic (me included in my real account) and it had amused me to realise how vain we are.

Part of the reason why I didn’t want to put a photo was because I wanted to explore myself and my relationship with the world, the Facebook one at least, without any sexual distraction.

I wanted me to be engaged with for my brain rather than my physique.

And indeed it worked. For a while anyway. Funny how everything can change when you “see” someone. It has been my experience anyway.

There was someone who I connected with like I had never before. Every posts of his interested me, made me think, made me want to contribute. Our exchanges via our contributions on each other’s posts were always enlightening (to me anyway, of course I can’t speak for him), we “discussed” things rather than debated them, it was very refreshing – I have found most people get very defensive when you question their views or opinions, and I guess me included (but I am learning). With him, there was never any tension, everything just seemed to flow in perfect harmony. I had never experienced this before. I got hooked.

A couple of days ago he asked privately who I really was, and so I explained, saying I was happy to be honest with him about who I was, even offered a photo so he could put a face to a name. I had realised it was a bit unfair for me to know what people looked like and them not to “see” who they were talking to. The thing is, I had no agendas, so it really didn’t matter to me what people looked like, I was more interested in their intellect.

Still, photo got sent, and everything changed. For me anyway.

I had felt “safe” in this connection as I had seen the guy was married. I am not an idiot, I understand how easily people can be attracted to each other in this virtual reality and I was keen to avoid this, because I also understand how virtual all this is.

Virtual attachments give you an escapism from reality I am not keen on, especially when it comes down to attraction. You can never get the full picture of someone until you meet them in person, and several times – that lesson I learned from my internet dating days.

Unfortunately, after sending the photo, some flirting ensued – I also found out he wasn’t “happily married”. Disappointingly, it turned out he is one of those people who are in a pay off relationship – not happy but staying because, for now, he doesn’t think he has any other options, or options he isn’t keen on (aloneness).

And that changed everything for me.

I have witnessed enough relationships being rocked by virtual escapism, or people who don’t think they have much of a choice – in fact, I will always feel grateful to my husband to have had the courage to end our marriage. I wish he had involved me in the decision when he came to that conclusion about a year before he actually finished with me, but still, at least we both had a chance at happiness again after that – admittedly, he had moved on to my best friend (in his head at least) by the time he announced his decision to me, and it took me a good four years to find my balance again, however I always admire people who have the courage of their convictions – being “I am not happy and I need to do something about it”. Not: I will escape my reality until I am ready to face it.

I know it’s a natural behaviour, however, to me, for me, it is no longer acceptable. I have lived in escapism mode most of my adult life and six months ago, I decided enough.

And since then my reality has got better and better, because I no longer bullshit myself.

However, the pay off is I have little patience for people who do now. I do understand though, of course I do, but I want no part in it.

The Facebook Experiment Ends…Begins?

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Back in June, I created an anonymous Facebook account, as mentioned in this post and back in August I decided to de-activate my real persona account as it didn’t serve me anymore.

Today I decided to de-activate my anonymous account too. I only de-activated it rather than delete it because there are some thoughts I had expressed on there I wanted to capture for my “memoirs”.

When I de-activated it, I was presented with a choice of reasons for wanting to do such thing. I picked the correct one: “I am spending too much time on Facebook”.

Since being back from holidays, and after my internet sabbath, I have realised it wasn’t the internet I had an issue with, it was Facebook. For, despite the fact that I got to choose what I saw in my newsfeed, I was still bombarded by thoughts from others, and that was still addictive.

This life journey of mine started when I realised I had attachment issues and since, I have been adjusting my life so as to have little attachments. Except Facebook became an attachment, again. So it had to go.

I felt a bit lost for a few moments after I clicked de-activate. I ran through in my head how often I checked my newsfeed (too often, certainly from first thing in the morning and last thing at night) and wondered what my life will be like now I don’t have this crutch of sorts. Then I removed the App from my phone, it was taking 222 mb of space, I think my phone will thank me (it is constantly running out of storage space!). Then I started to get excited: a new challenge ahead!

How will I get my news? I never watched the news so why worry.

How will I get my thinking material? I have accumulated enough thinking material via books, podcasts etc in the past six months that I have barely touched.

What will I do with my time? Now, that is an interesting one. Possibly be more mindful of what I am doing. I have a few projects coming up, I think now they will get the full attention they deserve.

It may sound really stupid, but I am actually quite looking forward to seeing how my life is going to pan out without this distraction.

time to live

jess smith2

Internet Sabbath: Verdict

 

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As I mentioned in my previous entry, I took myself to the sunshine over christmas and had decided to take an internet sabbath of sorts, only connecting once a day to do my Elevate brain exercises (which unfortunately requires internet access for some games).

So for six days I had to rely solely on myself for entertainment.

I had prepared, fear not, as you would when you go on holidays, I had taken 2 books and had downloaded some 20 ebooks, plus 40 odd podcasts from You Are Not So Smart (this book possibly changed my life and the podcasts are amazing) and also Brilliant Idiots (figured a bit of comedy wouldn’t go amiss).

On my first night, I went to a restaurant behind where I was staying, and found it had free internet access. I thought this would be a good place to come every morning to do my Elevate, it was also at the top of a steep hill so double exercises. [I also discovered the following day that it was next to a supermarket, so my morning routine was nicely laid out: have breakfast, shower, watch the sunrise, walk up to the restaurant (I got faster as the days went :-)), do my Elevate, get my yummy baguette, soda water and anything else I needed there every morning].

Admittedly, since I deactivated my personal facebook account, needing to check my phone every 5 minutes had evaporated, nevertheless, I still found it weird not to be constantly connected to start with.

Then I just got on with doing stuff – reading, or listening to podcasts on my sunlounger (I elected to rent one for my patio in the end – only 3 euros – and it was an excellent idea to make my own little world just perfect – so perfect even that I never went to the pool), preparing my lunch, eating, reading, listening some more, then taking a bath and taking myself to town for some people watching/awe moments by the sea, getting home, eating, reading some more.

After a couple of days of this routine, my mind started to become active and I did my Mind Map on day three.

From then on, same routine, with added “Realisations” moments a galore that needed capturing, either on paper or by using my phone’s Notes App that I have been using for my checklists or random thoughts.

Although I had downloaded an App for the Mind Map, I thought it easier to start on paper (I found creating it on the software too time consuming). And this is the end result (and yes, I had brought highlighter pens with me 😉 the purple bits are bits I added after I created the Mind Map on the App):

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Yes, it looks messy but I only had the back of the information envelope they gave me to play with so not much space available, I was really happy with it though. I did transfer it to the software but it was messy to do on a kindle. Ideally I would like to do it on a big white board but it appears those are expensive and I have spoilt myself enough for xmas now 😉

This is the software version:

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This is in no way the finished version but the basics are there.

Once the map was drafted, ideas flew in my head about some of the areas and I used my Notes app on my phone (as it was always with me) to record them.

After this, some of the podcasts I listened to, books I read, seemed to just complement my “life plan” perfectly, giving me tips and advice on how to get there, there was never a dull moment! I became grateful of the no-thinking time I allocated myself late afternoons taking a walk into town and to the beach to watch the world go by 🙂

I cheated a bit I will admit:

Once when I was doing my Elevate I received notification of an email from my husband, which I answered, and on christmas day an email from my dad, which I answered.

I also downloaded a collection of eBooks too after I discovered a new one that I totally resonated with.

I lifted the sabbath on the Saturday morning when I was due to come home, and went to the airport earlier than necessary so I could connect to their free wifi [interestingly, the only pleasure I got out of it was reading stuff a new FB contact had posted – his stuff always makes me think, I love it]. Not that I had put a time limit on the Sabbath but it felt to me like I had cut it short.

Still though, this Internet Sabbath has taught me a few things, mainly:

  • I am not an internet addict for I can go without for a long period of time, long being relative, however I doubt there are many internet users out there that would even attempt a 6 day sans. I was relieved of this because I am attached to the internet in my life and I wanted to see how bad an addiction it was – addictions aren’t good for you I am told.
  • Without constant internet access, I focus much better – hell I even finished a whole paper book (feast I haven’t been able to do for the past few months, I start them then get sidetracked by some other thing) and some eBooks too!
  • I seem to sleep longer

I am sure there are other effects that I may not realise just yet.

One thing is for sure – I may be able to be without internet for six days, but not technology 😉

Books I read during my break:

  • :59 seconds – Richard Wiseman – Highly recommend!

 

  • The Naked Mind: Control Alcohol – Highly recommend it but the subject deserves (and will get) a separate entry – you can get the ebook free on Amazon.
  • As A Man Thinketh – James Allen – This is the one that made me download his whole collection.
  • How to Live in the Now – started good enough, then it went all Godly and lost me a bit.

There were others but I haven’t finished them yet so can’t comment.

I have learned so much through all these books, I am glad I took this break from the Internet.

And in particular, I am glad I did this all by myself, no-one made me, nor was it imposed on me, I had the choice all along. It was purely my personal decision to impose this challenge on myself.

The sense of empowerment that came from this is priceless.

Next challenge: quitting smoking cigarettes.

Mind Mapping

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In a couple of days, I am flying off somewhere sunny for six nights. I like to escape at Christmas, in particular escape my family. Why may be for another post.

At the beginning of the month, I took myself to Amsterdam, for the first time in my life, and discovered an immense pleasure in organising the trip. Insofar as I researched the town, downloaded a GPS map, plotted all the things I wanted to see, the places I wanted to eat at following the reviews I read, even did a street walk through the area by my hotel via Street View.

I ended up having an amazing time, not necessarily because I did all I wanted, more because I didn’t feel lost there and so I was able to allow flow to happen and it delivered beyond expectations (which I try not to have).

I decided to do the same for my Christmas gateway however I discovered there really is nothing to do where I am going.

Last night I decided that I would take an internet sabbath during my six days there.  So I won’t be checking my emails and my FB alias account, nor will I know what is happening in the world. The only internet connection I will use will be for my Elevate brain exercises every day (I am on a 117 days streak and it feels good!).

What will I do instead with all this time on my hands?

Well I am going to work on creating a Mind Map. This map will put in order all I have discovered in the past few months that I have noted down in my organised pads as relevant to my growth so I can put it in practice and develop it further, apply it to my life.

This is the list:

  • NonViolent Communication
  • Emotional Mastery
  • Addictions
  • Will power
  • Fears
  • betrayal
  • Relationships – with parents
  • Contribute to the world
  • creativity
  • Money
  • True me
  • mindfulness
  • Nature
  • Humour
  • Exercise
  • Streaks
  • Realisations
  • PMS
  • Psychosis/Mental Health
  • Ego
  • Random Connections
  • Manifestation
  • Dogs (love for)
  • Passion
  • Who am I
  • Personal Freedom
  • Master freedom
  • Grounding
  • Emotional/physical response to stress
  • Curiosity
  • Elevate – brain exercises
  • Face the mirror
  • body/mind connection
  • meditation
  • Morals
  • Honesty
  • defensiveness
  • Awareness
  • Be genuine/authentic
  • taking responsibility
  • boundaries
  • Colours
  • Love lights
  • Financial independence
  • Children (love for)
  • Sex/Twin flame
  • Resistance
  • Righteousness
  • Confidence
  • Eye contact
  • Source of my behaviour
  • Contemplation
  • Preferences -v- priorities
  • Visualisation
  • Mind reprogramming
  • Self image
  • self acceptance
  • enlightenment
  • “Bliss”
  • Intuitive thinking
  • “You’ll try to become who you think you are”
  • Flow
  • Organisation
  • Sleep
  • Routine
  • Reality
  • Perception
  • Privacy
  • Love
  • Work
  • Best person I can be
  • Challenges
  • Results
  • Memory
  • Ethics/values
  • Comfort zone
  • Life purpose
  • tolerance
  • Biases
  • Balance
  • Crowds/people
  • Synchronicity
  • Projects
  • The Brain
  • Sound
  • Observations
  • Beauty
  • Growth/Self development
  • Detachment
  • Hobbies
  • Memories
  • Maths
  • Repression
  • Subconscious
  • Travels
  • Pot
  • Smells
  • Collage – vision board/what makes me happy
  • House (finance and DIY)
  • Guilt
  • Empathy
  • Desire
  • My body

I am told Mind Mapping is a great process to organise thinking and actions, so the above should somehow fit in the bigger picture of my life. I have also downloaded an offline kindle Mind Mapping app and an instruction ebook.

I am very excited about this project. It feels like I am mapping out the best person I can be and having the right tools and knowledge to develop to get there.

2015 me, you have been amazing, roll on 2016 me

 

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