The tech age: The struggle is real

Creating this blog and website was an exercise in adulting all its own — lemme tell you what. The last time I attempted to maintain an internet blog was my senior year of college, and it was largely just a passive aggressive attempt to say things to people I didn’t have the guts to address directly. You know, hint around about crushes or people who had slighted me. I don’t even know if anyone read it. I’m pretty sure I linked to it from my AIM profile — remember that?! I couldn’t even find it just now when I did a quick search- thank god.

In my career as a journalist, I’ve definitely had to become moderately computer- and internet-savvy. We use Adobe Creative Suite to put together our newspaper and maintain our website, and I use various platforms of social media. But my knowledge and skill set with all of that is pretty limited. HTML code… say what?! I have no idea how to do any of that.

This blog process started out as many of my ideas do: I have the idea, I get really excited, I make some lists, and then I go to execute… a couple hours in trying to figure out how to set this thing up and design it, and I’m whining to my best friend Beth, a blogging expert, about how I should just give up. I also had to bug the Word Press people (and by that I mean WHINE A LOT) because the domain I purchased wasn’t working, but you can now find me easily at alyssagoesadulting.com.

I have a website — cheers!

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So my first challenge was simply pushing through to publish these first few entries! I’m hoping to make things a little snazzier as I go along, but we’re starting with the basics right now — just me and my thoughts. Lawd help us.

It would also be great to have some readers and followers, but I’m too shy to make this super public yet. There are some people I’d prefer not see it, but as Beth warned me, “For blogs, popularity and anonymity ARE mutually exclusive.”

And it’s not about that, really… I wanted to do this for myself and I decided to put it out there because why not? But it doesn’t take long to put something out there and then kind of want someone to actually read it. So, as you can see, I’m facing some real “adulting” challenges in the launch alone!

Speaking of, at this point, can’t they just make an adulting app?! They have an app for everything else it seems. When I asked Siri, the conversation went something like this:

Me: Siri, why isn’t there an app for adulting?

Siri: OK, let me search for ‘Why isn’t there an app for Adult Team…”

Me: No— adulting!

Siri: OK, let me search the web for adult teen…

Me: Yikes, no no no! A-D-U-L-T-I-N-G

Siri: OK, let me search for ADD UL T ING…

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I feel like I’m typically one step behind with the latest technology. I’m reluctant to try new apps and ways of doing things because I’m comfortable with the old way. I was one of the first on the scene when Zuckerberg first launched “the Facebook” and it was just for college students — remember that?! — but I just joined Twitter a couple of years ago. I love it! It’s my new passive aggressive outlet for random thoughts, but I’m kind of behind the curve because everyone else has been using it much longer than I have. My hashtags are pretty lame. I have my own #shitmyboyfriendsays segment of sorts, for example… it makes me laugh, anyway. Twitter and Instagram are my safe havens since we all know our parents, even grandparents in some cases, have taken over Facebook. In fact, in talking with a friend the other day, she said her mother actually pulled her aside when she was visiting home recently to ask her why she hasn’t been liking any of her sister’s posts?! Haha, wowwwwww.

Social media has made adulting that much harder. We’re just way too up in each other’s biz all the time, and you can’t help but compare yourself (well, I can’t) to what everyone else is doing. And this is nothing new, but we all know that everyone is presenting only the best version of themselves on those platforms, be it via Instagram filters or only sharing positive and exciting news. WE ALL STRUGGLE.

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Amirite?!

I’ve tried and failed about a million times to pull back from these sites, but they’re so addicting! I’ve been noticing a lot of artistic commentary lately on the subject. A piece I recently stumbled across had a photographer photoshop people’s phones and tablets out of pictures — the results leave us looking oddly sad and detached from life. Another artist depicted what we might look like in a few years when we’re all hunched over from constant scrolling, and it wasn’t pretty.

Theses images made me feel sick and disgusted, yet I’m so guilty of it myself! Recently at a wedding reception, a friend threatened, rather violently, to throw my phone into the ocean if I wouldn’t stop messing around on it. My reaction was equal parts shame and complete panic. I put it away but checked it every time I went to the bathroom.

At a couple of recent weddings (I went to a LOT of weddings in 2015, by the way), I’ve stood up and snapped a photo of the bride and groom as they take their first steps down the aisle as husband and wife. When these shots wind up as their profile pictures in the following days, I feel somewhat vindicated — they loved it! But then again, they’re paying someone to take those photos, and I’m supposed to be sharing in the moment with them, and not behind my phone screen.

Sometimes I try to ban myself from my phone for certain periods of time. My boyfriend and I once picked one night a week where we didn’t use phones or turn on the TV, but that didn’t last, either. I’ve also found that even if I’m having a stronger day, I might be surrounded by other friends who have their faces buried in their phones, and then I think, well, I might as well check mine…

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It’s a constant struggle. I don’t know what the answer is, but I think it’s a problem, especially when research is showing that selfies are leading to more deaths than shark attacks. Are you addicted to your phone and social media? What are some strategies you’ve tried to break the cycle of scrolling and live in the moment?

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One thought on “The tech age: The struggle is real

  1. Pingback: The Ex-Files: Why I’m changing my stance | Alyssa Goes Adulting

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