I’d noticed that, lately, I was spending most of my free time alone, bouncing back and forth between Twitter, Facebook, my email, and games on Steam. Steam can just eat all of my day, if I sit down unmotivated. I wasn’t doing anything awesome, unless I’d planned in advance to be away from the internet. So, I’m taking a vacation from the biggest, most pointless consumers of my attention.
Today is Day 2 of a week-long vacation from Facebook and Steam. (I’d intended to also ignore Twitter, but it was too easy to convince myself that I’d hurt nothing, checking Twitter updates for 3 minutes… insidious!)
Yesterday, I found lots of other random things to fill my attention. I watched every episode of Adventure Time and Gravity Falls. I reread all of Gunnerkrigg Court. I read some fanfiction. Basically, I spent hours desperately avoiding anything I really endorsed doing. But this became obvious after a while, and I got myself to clean my apartment, and handle a bunch of organization for an upcoming project. Today, I’ve managed to buy groceries, and arranged next week’s Less Wrong meetup, and reached out to the agents of a dozen houses that I and my friends might rent, and spent some time learning D3, and played my violin some. I never play my violin, and it’s really nice to do so! I’m really happy with the amount of stuff I’ve done today, and some of it’s fun, creative stuff. I feel better, more powerful, more capable than I usually do after a day by myself.
And I’m sure that, even if I stayed off of Facebook forever, and I never played another video game, I’d just find new ways to procrastinate. Or, perhaps, this is just what if feels like to desire something, without enjoying or endorsing it.
Right now, it’s unusually vivid that debugging my desires is a target-rich environment.