The Letters of Clio #6 — Merry Holidays and see you next year

Hello everyone, and merry whatever holiday you celebrate this weekend.

I am currently in an undisclosed location, hopefully completely offline over the holidays. But thanks to the power of the internet and scheduling features, you still get a Letter today. The 21st century is so amazing, much wow!!

As we haven't had a proper holiday this year, my fiancée and I decided to leave during the Christmas madness and retreat somewhere calm and silent. I mostly spend my time reading and maybe sneaking in a session or two of Nintendo Switch.

This is the first time I will completely turn off my phone for an extended period. Heck, I've even been thinking about not bringing it in the first place. This would make it my first time without a smartphone since... well, since I had owned my first one back in 2008.

I am not doing this to digitally detox. Or do a digital sabbatical or whatever else you want to call this. I am mostly trying to prove myself I can do it. That I can resist the temptation.

Because, in truth, I doubt it. I am addicted to my phone. I use it to procrastinate whenever I don't know what to do; mindlessly scrolling through feeds, inboxes, or chatlogs is how I get my dopamine hit. And it annoys me.

But in the past, the best way for me to get rid of a (bad) habit or hobby was to stop doing it for a while and see if I missed it. That's how my streaming career on Twitch died, for example. And I hope that's how that mindless phone usage will die.

Starting next year, I want to change a few things. Both personally as well as professionally. The downtime is also meant to help me figure out some things. Proof some theories I have.

For one, there is the timeline thing I mentioned above. While I use them to procrastinate, they don't ever really give me satisfaction. Not even if I curate them only to include people I care about. I don't know if this is a misanthropic trait of mine, or if it's just the filter of social media that makes everything look, well, bleurgh, but it always feels empty. Unlike a status update via text message or a call, it doesn't make me care about what other people do.

The same goes for news. While, in general, I do not read "hard news" (politics, local, or business — more on that on another note), I tend to subscribe to a ton of tech-related news. But all this does is make me want to spend money on things I don't need. So, I might cull my feeds, too. And use the money I save for more meaningful things like investing in ETFs or similar.

All in all, my goal is to spend more time next year doing what might not give me instant gratification but what brings me closer to my actual goals in life. These goals are:

  • Never stop learning
  • Teach what I learn
  • Live a healthy lifestyle both physically and mentally

Getting there takes time and energy. Time and energy I can recover by doing less of the aforementioned things.

So, enjoy your holidays. Have a great start to 2022. Stay safe! And don't fight your relatives, not even that no-vax uncle. It's never worth the mental energy.

See you in 2022!