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Weekend Tales #2
Dealing with digital burnout and a bumper issue with 12 recommended reads!
I’ve been away from social media for a couple of days due to digital burnout.
I’ve always had a problem with consuming information. I love reading about new things. And sometimes, I just want too much of it.
It’s funny how in 2020-2022 I was depressed by the lack of authentic, human content on the Internet. I desperately Googled for personal blogs to read, but almost all of them were SEO-optimised content marketing stuff with a veneer of personality.
In 2023, I have the opposite problem. Between Wordpress.com’s Reader ecosystem and Substack, I have so much amazing content to read.
On the content creation side of things, it has been tough. Notes is amazing — I’ve found many new people to follow and got to know my favourite Substackers better. But here’s the truth.
I can’t keep up!
I’m the sort of person who makes the effort to respond to every comment if I can. Unrealistic? Probably. But as the flood of information increased, forcing myself to keep up with the deluge has resulted in digital burnout.
I find myself addicted to the screen, sometimes scrolling until early morning, which in turn messed up my sleep. And when I get terrible sleep, my entire day is messed up. I usually begin my mornings with a gentle walk around the neighbourhood as the sun rises, but I sacrificed that for more sleep-in time.
So last week, I restarted my habit of locking my digital devices outside the bedroom at night and imposed app locks so that I cannot access Substack or social media during working hours or after 8pm.
I’m almost back to normal again, but boy, I realise that it’s just not easy for me to balance life as a content creator and content consumer.
If you have any ideas. Let me know!
Digital burnout and recent events have dialed up my nervous system to the red zone. I really suck at relaxing. So, I got some help at a day spa. It was located in an unassuming part of town, and you’d never expect a tropical oasis there. I’m extremely fortunate to live in Malaysia where really good and affordable options exist! Speaking of which I really need to go for another pampering session today.
If you ever visit Malaysia, specifically Kuala Lumpur, head on over to the Khareyana spa.
No, they didn’t pay me to say this. I wish!
PS: I’m nearly done with the fourth story of the Distant Stars composite novel: The Prodigal. Stay tuned!
On my blog:
*Looks at the list of things I wrote*. OMG no wonder I had digital burnout! I was consuming and creating content like a demon!
Speaking of interesting tales, I hope you like my selection this week! :)
Malaysian father builds urban orchard sanctuary in KL to channel his grief, The Star. I used to drive past this cemetery, totally oblivious that a man had built a beautiful garden from an abandoned plot of land. He did this as a response to deep grief; now, the garden is full of fruit trees, guarded by 4 rescue dogs, and tilapia swim in a clear pond.
"Every tree has a story. I plant the trees in honour of someone who has died."
A really beautiful story about grief and how nature heals.
- Hands up those of you brave enough to admit this! Because I don’t want to feel alone admitting it lol. For me, I’m envious of a fellow writer’s productivity and industriousness. I struggle with a few conditions in my life that make it a struggle, sometimes, to be productive. That’s why I look forward to Cali’s issues. She reminds me it’s okay to produce at my pace — as long as I enjoy it.
- I have to admit, I did not really understand the full gravity of January 6 until later. Maybe it comes from living in a country where we had mass demonstrations demanding electoral change, so I thought well, Americans have the right to protest, don’t they? But as the mob broke in and nearly harmed the politicians inside, it quickly dawned on me that something unprecedented happened. Sarah’s account helped me understand.
- Maybe I’m flogging a dead horse (honestly, who came up with this gruesome idiom?). However, it stands to be repeated that if you’re using an artist’s name to generate art, he deserves to be paid for it.
- This reminds me of the productivity app craze. It’s just a band-aid to help cope in a world not designed for human beings. We need to redesign the way we live to suit human beings again, not adopt more self-care routines, recommended by gurus, to cope.
- (Poetry) Sharmila is the toughest, most determined person I know. I’ve gained so much from her wisdom, and she continues to inspire me. I admit that most poetry perplex me, but people like Sharmila is helping me appreciate them.
- A heartfelt letter that led me to write a response: The point of my words. Our work is important, no matter what the world tells us.
- If the leaders of the world refuse to tackle climate change, we fiction authors might as well have a go at it. Do check out Claudia’s “cli-fi” fiction Substack!
- A rip-roaring space adventure in the style of Star Trek? Sign me up!
- I was one of those who were horrified by the glee and scorn on social media after the OceanGate’s travellers were reported dead. reminded me I shouldn’t expect compassion from social media mobs. He is right, of course, but it made me realise how true it was that social media somehow makes us less empathetic.
- What will you do if Substack disappears? Or if the generous and supportive management suddenly turns mercenary and controlling, like how Reddit’s management changed its tune recently? Justin has built a lifeboat with Ghost, and I’m watching his journey with interest as I’m going to do the same, but with wordpress.com. What do you think about building a content “lifeboat”?
The sorry state of social media by SelfAwarePatterns — A good post about Meta’s Threads and why social media is mostly crummy these days.
My 2023 Depth Year effort to reduce my “to be read” pile is going slowly but steadily. I’ve read about three books from my TBR pile, and I’ve since added double that amount of new books to my library. LOL.
Currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s Warbreaker, and am enjoying it immensely.
The K-Drama, Player. Admittedly, the only reason why I was attracted to the show was the thought: OMG Song Seung Heon is so hot!
But it’s now more than that. It’s a heist show, conmen beating the bad guys kinda drama. And this drama is well written and acted.
This week’s poll
The results of Weekend Tale’s last poll revealed that more people are enthusiastic about AI than I thought! Well, well, well!
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