Is Instagram my Bad Habit?
On a quiet Sunday evening with the company of lofi beats and peppermint tea, I reflect on my relationship with social media, and try to remedy it.
So here's a fact about me many can attest to: I'm neurotic.
This can be a double edged sword in the world of medicine. On one hand, whatever it is I'm doing, I'll make sure it's done as it should be. On the other hand, when it's 3 hours past your shift, and you know you need 7 components for a complete patient discharge summary, I absolutely will not set the folder aside until all 7 components are there, neatly stapled together at the top left corner.
I'm also a rather loyal friend. This can be great if you're on the receiving end, because I would rather share the burden of unpaid overtime, than for one person to bear the brunt, because the loss it still the same, so why not work together and get some laughs out of a long, exhausting day while we're already here?
This isn't an affirmation post, although it does start strong as one. The loyal friend bit is meant to support the neuroses bit, and the neuroses bit was an introduction into my exploration as to why I'm struggling with consistency on writing on this blog, and posting videos on my YouTube channel.
Are you tired of hearing this?
I can understand, I've been whinging on about it for what seems like too long now, but look, personal development is a process, and productivity can take all shapes or forms.
I can choose to believe I that was simply procrastinating and continue down the guilt/ shame path. Or, I can choose to believe that I was taking a break to rest my hyperstimulated senses.
Rest is also productive.
In my last post, I wanted to answer the question whether or not Instagram holds me to the habit of consistently writing, or if I was merely joining in the global frenzy of "look at me, look at me". You know it's funny how I shared this question as the caption asking for opinions with a random picture of me drinking a beer while I was on a little vacation in Langkawi 2 months ago, and despite the almost hundred hearts, only one person commented.
The comment read, "narcissistic cockroach". It was from a ex-boss from when I was in my first department in Housemanship (Surgery). I know they meant no ill will because cockroach was a sort of inside joke we had, and I do feel genuinely touched that they remember this.
But still, I find Instagram to be bizarre in that it seems many people scroll endlessly, occasionally "like" something, and even less frequently comment. Rarely ever is there any meaningful discourse, and if there is, you can expect that the account has a dedicated cause which incites two-sided commentary.
This brings me to 2 realisations:
- My question needs to be rephrased. It's not about whether Instagram does or does not hold me accountable to a habit that I consider is important to me, it's about how I utilize the platform as a tool that works for or against whatever it is I am trying to achieve. I mean, why would Mark Zuckerberg care about my personal motivations to use his app? He just wants me to spend as much time on it as humanly possible on it until the algorithm knows me better than my ex, that is, if it doesn't already. It is just another tool, among many that I can use, and I will never regret my use of it because it led to amazing opportunities that I would have never stumbled upon otherwise. Which, by the way, is the reason I never actually quit social media, after confidently claiming that I would.
- It's my neuroses. I'm obsessed with timelines. Every time I tell someone a story, whether it's about a date I went on, or a patient I saw, I have to start with our very first interaction, and build on it so there is enough context for the listener to really get it. I'm not saying I need to start writing a screenplay or think about character development when I'm telling my parents how work was over tea, I'm just saying that I've caught a blip in how my existing ways prevent change. I love a good chronology, but this irritating habit I indulge must stop, where I need to upload pictures on my account according to when it was taken relative to the last, which needs a corresponding caption, and the worst part is, I have such an exuberant life, that I have a lot more pictures than I have energy to sit myself down and write.
Moral of the story: Use your tools however you want, and art doesn't need to make sense.
If my Instagram account is a just a gallery for all the gorgeous pictures that people take of me which reflects a particular period of my life, then so be it. But do the captions really need to make matching sense? Well, I guess if someone had any questions, that's what the comment section is for right?
In my next post, I want to tell you about my time in Paediatrics.