Kourtnie.net

Kourtnie McKenzie-Williams. Writer. Artist. Educator.

Today’s Self-Pubs & Reduction of Notifications

Neither Chase nor I got much sleep last night, so today started slow. However, I still felt determined to finish the goals I set for myself yesterday.

Today’s Goals & Self-Pubs

Social media goal: Half hour (and no more!—practicing consistency and moderation) of organizing my wedding Pinterest boards into sub-groups for easier navigation.

Complete!
💙 Face Lift 💜

✅ Blogging goal: Update Wyvia with 15 dance songs for the DJ.

Complete!
💙 Wedding Music for the Dance Floor 💜

Bonus Page!
💖 1 Million Words 💖

Wattpad goal: Originally, I’d planned to update Rydia’s Last Cure, but instead I made an outline in a Word doc.

Reading goal: In a Word doc, critically analyze “Life on Mars” from Tracy Smith’s Life on Mars, one of my favorite poetry collections.

Postponed till tomorrow.

Cleaning goal: Unpack two bins so they’re empty to repack stuff at Dad’s.

Postponed till tomorrow.

Social life goal: We weren’t able to go to the courthouse today; sleep deprivation makes me more prone to migraine and shut/meltdowns; it also increases Chase’s likelihood for seizure. (He’s napping in the back room right now. Hurray!)

Today’s Self-Improvement Mod

📴 Before starting the checklist, I turned my cellphone notifications down to necessities; now my notification settings only allow banking, phone, text messages, and reminder apps. (Is there a better reminder app than the Apple one?)

📳 The feather-on-the-camel’s-back for silencing notifications?—Since we didn’t make it to the courthouse today, I set a reminder for us to go on Tuesday (I’m going to Fresno State Monday); neither of us are good at remembering things, but that’s okay, because the reminder will ding at 10PM Monday night.

😱 Except, what if I don’t hear the reminder?

😰 My notification settings had evolved into such madness, I was missing integral dings! in a rush to silence the ding! ding! ding! that collapse on me like an avalanche.

😵 The set-phone-face-down-on-desk tactic wasn’t working anymore—the very tactic I use to teach my iGen students how to combat cellphone addiction—because my iPhone liked to prod me with a thousand needles.

🤔 Yet that’s incorrect, and anthropomorphic to say; it’s not the iPhone that appreciates notifying me to numbness, as much as displacing my own faults for how I use my tool onto an imaginary phone persona. Like a spear, my tool can be used to hunt or stab fellow cavemen. Like a stove, my tool can be used to cook delicious and healthy meals, or fried food till my heart explodes.

😶 Anyway, I developed the bad habit of silencing my phone completely.

😖 Then I’d miss phone calls from parents, notifications from my bank, and other important this-is-not-a-pixel-art-request stuff. How frustrating!—and how doubly frustrating when I’d have to answer to, Why can I never get a hold of you?

🤖 Robo-callers threw another wrench into it.

😎 Now my phone is in the next room—so I have to physically get up to use it or check it—and it’s not allowed back in bed; only Kindle is allowed before bed; but to compensate for this distance, the volume is turned up to max, with the caveat of lowered notifications, so that it has very little room to shout, Come here! I need you!

😉 Gone are the days of social media ding! ding! ding! distracting the task at hand; gone are the days of iPhone games screaming, Play me now; gone are the days of photobook and coupon apps tempting me with limited-time deals I can’t afford (that’ll get replaced by other limited-time deals I can’t afford tomorrow).

🤗 In are the days where my reminder app goes off, and I notice it instead of silencing it; in are the days where I check social media once a day, on my drumbeat, as I decide to check it—not when a notification tells me, You should check this.

🤓 And most importantly: in are the days where I’m not tethered to my phone.

😏 I want to be bound to my Muse and future husband; I don’t want my daily choreography bound-and-determined by the anxiety of my technological tools. But I also don’t want to abandon technological tools that could help that choreography.

😐 Daily choreography is important to autistic people, due to the intertwined nature of sensory overload and routine. I feel sick when I don’t know something is happening until it’s there; and if everything is a blur of notifications and brain fog, I often don’t recognize something until it’s landed in my lap.

😑 I know I can self-manage and self-regulate better than this.

🙂 I deserve to manage and regulate better than this.

❄ However, without notice, planning, foresight, and thought, I get caught in a freeze loop. So I have to proactively work to stay out of that freeze loop. I have this phone that could help; dare I say, it was designed, it was envisioned, to help us; if only I used it that way.

🌐 In an increasingly technological world, our tools are made to streamline us through processes that were once slower, so we don’t get blindsided. So we can prepare. So we aren’t left behind. They are meant to be used that way.

☢ Phones weren’t ever meant to tell you when to play video games, when to update social media feeds, and when to feel choked by the yank of your boss.

🧠 Sometimes I wonder if this is a Millennial-only issue (born 1980-00), or if Gen X (65-79) or the iGeneration (01-present) are also worn thin by the addictive and dark side of otherwise beneficial technology.

👵 I know Baby Boomers (45-64) and the Silent Generation (25-42) have a harder time fathoming why we suffer from technological faults; and I can understand how brains that weren’t raised with the same smoke-and-mirrors, Internet-scaffolded environments would be mystified by 21st century technological challenges.

📚 Nicholas Carr wrote two books, The Shallows: What the Internet is Doing to Our Brains and The Glass Cage: How Computers are Changing Usthat dive deeply into this gap. But my favorite exploration is in Rereading America: Cultural Contexts for Critical Thinking and Writingthe textbook I often assign to my college courses.

👾 We are neurally networked differently.

🧐 Now I’m trying to hack into my differently networked neurons.

Today’s Research & Prewriting

3⃣❎ videos watched to warm up…

3⃣❎ online spaces read, preparing response to Life on Mars

  1. What is Consciousness?” from New Scientist
  2. Finding Solace in Tracy K. Smith’s Prescient Poem ‘Solstice’” from The New Yorker
  3. Goodreads discussion of the poetry collection

 

3⃣❎ societal conversations explored in American Cateye

💚 Ending on a Good Note 💛
Pinterest Board on Calming Visual Stimuli

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