What is this blog?

Hello everyone!

I’d like to thank everyone who has followed the blog for sticking around despite me not being active on here whatsoever for the past two months. I apologise for that. I honestly wasn’t feeling very inspired or motivated to do anything with this. Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve been thinking about what I want to do here going forward. This originally started as something that was meant for me to write about 500 words a day about whatever I wanted, then I thought about possibly tackling some larger writing projects which… never happened. I feel a large part of why I stopped writing here and never did any of the writing projects I wanted to do is because I just 100% was trying to do way too much. 

I was looking back at my 2020 year in review post and immediately saw what I just mentioned above: I was trying to do way too much. Working a full time job, learning 3 different languages with 3 different tutors, and maintaining other hobbies and being able to relax? Yeah, not really happening! So, the past couple of months away from here have been an interesting learning experience for myself which I thought I would share here.

The major thing I did over the past couple of months was deciding to let go. But, what to let go of? In previous posts, I talked about learning Mandarin Chinese and Japanese, alongside with Korean. Well, I officially gave up Chinese and Japanese. I thought about possibly doing self study only with Japanese, but let’s look at my experience with the language: it’s a language I had said I wanted to learn for over 10 years, and let’s be real, I can’t even read or remember all the hiragana. I’ll always have a soft spot for Japanese media and culture in my heart, but I think it’s safe to say that learning the language is not for me. And that’s okay! I gave up on Chinese because… it’s hard. I just couldn’t grasp it at all. I think I gave it a fair shot with 2 months of lessons and got through HSK1 lesson 4. I even tried learning apps alongside the lessons and those weren’t helping either, so I figured it was time to give it up instead of forcing myself to continue with it.

So, that’s one of my 2021 resolutions completely obliterated. Although, it also reinforces my resolution of just focusing on my passions. With two languages done, I can focus on Korean which I am still loving and it’s going very well! I do 2-3 lessons a week (depending on availability of my tutor) of Korean which is nice just focusing on one thing.

Another thing I did that I talked about getting rid of, was going back to social media! I think a lot of it has to do with who you follow and what fandoms you want to participate in on different platforms. I went back to Instagram but instead of stressing about posting 1-2 screenshots a day, I just post whenever I want and want to also focus on myself and other interests/hobbies as well. Yeah, the 2,000+ likes are gone but I don’t really care about that anymore. With Twitter, I left every single KPOP fandom and hardly ever post about it anymore. I lurk official accounts for news now and that’s been a lot better than actively participating or following fan accounts. I still very much love KPOP and listen to it still, and will support my favorite groups and soloists, but I have finally found a very healthy balance of it for my mental health and am able to really enjoy it again like I used to!

So, with all of that out of the way.. I have been thinking about the blog again. I know I wanted to write about BTS and ENHYPEN, but I think when they release new music I may write about them. I’ll leave the theorizing to the lovely experts over on YouTube. What will I write about then? I think I’m going to go back to: writing about whatever I feel inspired by. Really though, this blog is just a very big journey and learning experience for me, and I’d love to see that continue as life goes on.

Over the next few days, and yes I really truly mean it this time, there may be some small tweaks happening visually with the blog, and I will be updating the social media panel, sidebar, actually posting an about me and about the blog section, and making a post about this new thing I bought the other day:

Playstation 5 disc version, bought from Playstation Direct, photo by me.

Yes, your girl finally bought a Playstation 5!! I have entered the next generation of console gaming and it is fantastic so far! I got incredibly lucky with Playstation Direct after 4 months of trying to get one. I have another controller, some hopefully nice controller skins, and my beloved Demon’s Souls remake coming in the mail soon. All my thoughts and feelings will be revealed about this lovely console in a post over the weekend! 

Until then, thank you for reading. Feel free to leave a comment, even if you just want to say hi. I appreciate you!

My Social Dilemma

This morning, I was able to watch a documentary I have been interested in since I learned of its existence about a couple of weeks ago: The Social Dilemma. It’s available starting today on Netflix and I urge everyone to give it a watch. And when you do, put your phone on silent or even turn it off so you don’t get distracted because this throws a lot at you and will have you thinking about your social media usage and your relationship with your phone and technology by the time it’s over. It goes into great detail about how these social media apps actually work and the bubble that we are all in. It also discusses how we are products being sold. Some of the concepts were very obvious, but it felt that it needed to be addressed by people who worked with these systems and know how they work firsthand in order to really get it.

The Social Dilemma promotional image courtesy of Netflix

Honestly, this might be one of the scariest documentaries I have seen so far because it’s very real and it’s happening right now with no end in sight, or so it seems. Despite not wanting to, I saw myself too many times being described in this documentary. And it truly haunted me a little bit. I do have some hope with The Center for Humane Technology (https://www.humanetech.com/), which I definitely plan to learn more about in the near future! I already subscribed to their podcast!

As a result from watching this documentary, it really inspired me to look more at my phone usage and the apps I have on there. I deleted almost 50 apps today, as well as almost my entire photo gallery that was sadly, mostly full of memes I had saved while endlessly scrolling through the depths of Twitter.

So, which apps survived? Well, not a whole lot. I have what I would categorize as “essential apps”, like apps to pay my bills and an app for my bank account. I went down from about 14 photo editing apps to only one, PicsArt, which I use to edit my gaming screenshots for Instagram, which is the only social media app I have left on my phone. I debated keeping Twitter, but ultimately, it had to go. Apple Music and Play Music are also still on my phone, as well as Audible and the Google Podcast app for some nice, easy listening on breaks. I do have Ipsy, Amazon, Dunkin, and Starbucks apps on my phone as well… that can’t hurt, right?

Another thing that I did?

I turned off notifications for the apps that remain. I have text and phone notifications on, and that’s it. I don’t get a notification every single time I get an email, or someone “likes” something I posted. It’s been only 12 hours but let me tell you, it feels awesome. It’s sad to wonder what life was before all of this technology just… happened. You don’t need to always be online or be connected to live. I think it’s the opposite: you need to disconnect. Not even 100% or permanently, unless you want to, but just enough so that using these things becomes healthier.

This even rolled over to my Playstation 4. I cleared out the storage almost completely, deleting games I doubt I will ever play again or am completely done with. And it felt good! 

We’ll see how it goes. I’m wondering how much of an impact this has all had on my mental health. Time will tell.


PS: An interesting article popped up today about bringing back the old school “away message”, and seems relevant, check it out here!