I'm halfway through a month of no social media. I deleted Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter from my devices. I've done this before with tremendous success.


Why?


I'm getting sucked too far deep into the Nothingness of the internet. Recently, social media isn't adding value to my artwork or to my overall wellness, so I set a boundary for 30 days: no posting, no notifications, no scrolling. And what a relief!


Jason Zook did a similar feat and documented every day of his journey. It's an enlightening read and I'm facing the same quandary he faced on Day 21:

As of right now, I’m 98% certain I won’t put the FB or Twitter apps back on my phone again. I don’t want to feel tied to them or get back into old habits.

I love getting up, drinking coffee, reading, writing, etc, without the distraction of social media drama. During lunch, I take long walks across Seattle. In the evening, I'm actually present when I watch a new movie or TV show, as opposed to watching with partial attention while on my phone. And before bedtime, I leave my phone and iPad in a different room to avoid temptation; falling asleep happens in less than 5 minutes now.


Again, I've done this before and I think there'll be more "breaks" in the future so I can explore other opportunities in our universe.


...are words I'm repeating on my lazy-bones Sunday: "Don't beat myself up."


I didn't follow my ultra marathon training schedule this weekend. Instead, I volunteered for Evergreen Trail Runs on Saturday and supported other runners. Then I worked all day Sunday on a grant application. Still, that oppressive voice in my head keeps beating myself up for not doing everything. That voice isn't realistic, is it?


There's this demanding maniac inside my brain whenever I fall out of line with my commitments. I've always had it, and it can create some incredible results. On the other hand, when the voice gets out of control, like this morning when I woke at 1:30AM worrying about my to-do list, my mood sours.


So I have a choice: be super serious about life, or....make this important chart about two major food groups:

Grrrr! Del Taco already made the Burrtaco! And there's a chain of restaurants with the same name. Patent no longer pending :-(


Or is it, Music!: The Brain Sensation...?


PBS News Hour published a video about the power of music on the human brain. 'Why Music Has a Profound Effect on the Brain' is a quick 5-minute discussion about why and how music impacts our mood(s). According to the video, our brains seek patterns in order to maximize our chances of survival - if our brains can foresee the future, we can prepare for whatever might come next. Music, then, offers our brains solace with repetitive patterns, like Coldplay's Clocks. Or music can scramble our noggins with crescendos, rhythmic variety, and tonal changes (e.g. Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody).


I reminisced impactful musical moments in my life. From classical to opera, and Shoegaze to post-punk, my sample playlist are songs that shook my core. For instance, when I heard Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata in the video game Resident Evil, my kid ears never heard anything so mournful. And when I watched West Side Story for the first time around 14 years old, my brain thought: you can do that with music!? Enjoy this musical tour of my formative years. Hopefully your brain will ignite, just as mine did, when you listen.


Fun Fact: when I write, there must, must be music playing in the background.


Childhood


Heard from the video game Resident Evil:


Adolescence


Heard from the film Life is Beautiful:


I don't remember where I first heard this but this is the anthem of my late-90s high school years:

Such a memorable musical:


College


I heard this while watching a modern dance recital at Arizona State University:

From the film Marie Antionette (watch the sunrise):


Lately


This won a Pulitzer!

From the film Gone Girl:


Fantastic re-imagining based on Vivaldi's Four Seasons (listen to the original at the 00:50 mark)!



D.A. Navoti

About the Writer

D.A. NAVOTI (@da.navoti) is a creative nonfiction and poetic prose storyteller. He's a 2020 Seattle CityArtist recipient and a former fellow at Hugo House and Jackstraw Cultural Center. Read More... 

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