Patton Oswalt has The Spurts: on signing off and social media

Patton Oswalt is taking a self-imposed ‘summer’, in a recent post on his Facebook page (which I’ve copied in its entirety below) Oswalt discusses something I have been struggling with myself; the need to find a balance between ‘real life’ and social media. When I started this blog over a year ago I was so excited and became very entrenched in all things social media, I was constantly on twitter etc. to the point where I may have lost sight of my real life and what was truly important.

At the beginning of this year I reached a turning point where I no longer felt the same enjoyment I once did for my social media life. I no longer check twitter constantly, have very rarely tweeted in fact, compared to my activity of a year ago. In the same way Oswalt has chosen to have his ‘summer’ I suppose I’m choosing to be less present virtually and more active in reality.

The novelty and gloss of social media has now worn off and I’m sure I’m not the first person to be unsettled by the very self-involved/self-important reality of most social media interactions. This is not to say I’m completely walking away from my ‘web life’,  I’m so very grateful for the opportunities it has given me. Without this blog I would never have turned some of my twitter followers into very real friends. Admittedly I still get a thrill seeing the little ‘follows you’ icon beside some followers names and really the experiences I’ve had this past year have been truly surreal. But the fact remains that a lot of the time lately I’ve met this blog with dread, and have picked up some very bad habits. At one point I was staying up late or would check twitter in the middle of the night, case in point I started writing this post at 2AM!

I shouldn’t feel stressed when my followers go down, or worry that this blog isn’t getting enough views, this was meant to be an outlet for my enjoyment, and a place where hopefully people found entertainment. So I’m finding a way to still love it but on my terms.

Patton Oswalt writes:

“Summer is upon us, and I’ve got a bad case of The Spurts.
I’ve gone down an internet/Twitter/Facebook rabbit hole and I need to engineer a summer spent in nothing but humid, skin-to-air reality for myself. If I don’t, I feel like my psyche is going to suffer permanent slippage.
I’m going to try to keep this short. And this isn’t going to be a diatribe against the Internet or the information age or Twitter or anything like that. It’s going to be a gentle, winking diatribe against myself, and my ego and its appetites.
I was reading some — not all — but some of Camus’ THE REBEL. At an airport, waiting for a flight. And this line hits me like a ton of bricks:
“Tyrants conduct monologues above a million solitudes.”
I’ve become my own tyrant — Tweeting, and then responding to my own responses, and then fighting people who disagree with me. Constantly feeling like I have to have an instant take on things, instead of taking a breath, and getting as much information as I can about the world. Or simply listening to the people around me, and watching the world and picking up its hidden rhythms, which crouch underneath the micro and the macro. But I’ve lost sight of them. And it’s because of this — there’s a portal to a shadow planet in my right hand, the size of a deck of cards, and I can’t keep myself from peeling off one card after another, looking for a rare ace of sensation.
The Spurts: I’ve aggressively re-wired my own brain to live and die in a 140 character jungle. I’ve let my syntax become nothing more than a carnival barker’s ramp-up to a click-able link where I’m trying to sell something, or promote something, or share something I had no hand in making.
So — I’m engineering a summer. From today, June 1st, until Tuesday, September 2nd. Radio silent. No Twitter, no Facebook. There’ll be a few announcements here and on my Twitter feed — mostly for shows and some movies I’m about to appear in — but I scheduled these to drop weeks and months from now, without me having to do them on the day. The chairs are up on the tables, the floor’s been swept, and I’m locking up my tiny, personal online nightclub until the leaves turn brown. If Chili John’s in Burbank can thrive while still closing for the summer, I ought to do just fine.
I want to de-atrophy the muscles I once had. The ones I used to charge through books, sprint through films, amble pleasantly through a new music album or a human conversation. I’ve lost them — willingly, mind you. My fault. Got addicted to the empty endorphins of being online.
So I need to dry out, and remind myself of the deeper tides I used to be able to swim in — in pages, and celluloid, and sounds, and people.
Another writer I read some of, before nervously refreshing my Twitter “@” mentions or updating my e-mail Inbox, was Garret Keizer. An essay in Harper’s from 2010. Luckily, Keizer writes the kind of sentences that, even in the all-night casino floor of a world we live in now, can punch through the din like God’s gun. The line that stuck with me was this:
“For fear of becoming dinosaurs we are turned into sheep.”
I don’t want to be either. But whatever options are left? They’re on the other side of the silence bath I’m about to take.
Have a good, safe, fun summer. It’s upon us. Stay cool when it comes down.”

Happy Anniversary! On Milestones and Moods

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Writing can be both cathartic and daunting, over the past few months I’ve felt an increasing pressure to create interesting content for this page and continually felt that I was failing at providing. Sadly this has led to far less posts and procrastination. Last month this blog had it’s first anniversary,  a milestone that I met with both pride and melancholy, looking back I’ve accomplished so much more than I had imagined for this blog. I’ve made friends, had amazing  adventures, and it’s allowed me to enter back into the world of the living. I spent much of my adult years sitting on the sidelines of my own life, never willing to fully take the risk of being present, thanks to my blog and the wonderful experiences it’s brought to me it’s opened me up to an entire world I hadn’t thought existed.

So here’s to another year of madness, and movement, of making new friends and falling more in love with life. Happy Anniversary to my blog and thanks to everyone who’s made it memorable.

Thanksgiving: I’m Thankful…

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Things I’m thankful for:

I’m thankful there are amazing people working to create projects that will not only entertain but educate the public on issues that have been disregarded for too long by the general public. I’m thankful for the amazing men of Astoria Entertainment for creating Thunder Road and inspiring a movement to raise PTSD awareness. I’m thankful to Charlie, Steven and Matt for working so hard and believing in a cause that is so much more than a movie. I’m thankful for being able to contribute and support something that has become more than just a fundraiser. I’m thankful for every one of the amazing people I’ve ‘met’ working on this campaign, each of you has inspired me more than you will ever understand. I’m thankful for the opportunity to learn about organizations like Honor Courage Commitment, Hico’s Hero and PedalAgainstPTSD who are trying to make a difference and the amazing people who are working behind the scenes of these organizations like Andy Nguyen and Kevin Campagna.

I’m thankful to the creative minds whose written work gives me so much to aspire to. For my favorite sites: The Rebelle Society, The Belle Jar, FANdemonium Network and TheReporterandTheGirl, thank you for writing with honesty and passion. I’m thankful for the opportunity to share the stories of others, thanks to Chris, April, Robin, Nikki and Jason for being open to letting me write about your amazing and special selves. And thanks again to Nikki and Jason for having enough faith in my writing to ask me to join them in an exciting new endeavor.

I’m thankful for my family which I know I don’t say enough, they are the touchstone that keeps me grounded and can’t imagine who I’d be without them. I’m thankful to my friends both old and new who support me throughout my many trials and celebrate during my successes. Thanks to my favorite support team: Sheena, Katie and Layne. I’m thankful for the opportunity I’ve had to attend some amazing events including multiple conventions this year. During my travels I’m ever so thankful for the people I’ve met both the actors and the fans. And especially the fans who’ve become friends. Thanks to Libby who has inspired me more than I thought one person could. Thanks to Jenn who’s amazing blogging efforts astound me each week. I’m thankful for the opportunity to spend time at the conventions with Charlie Bewley who I can’t thank enough for giving me the opportunity to be involved with Thunder Road, and I’m thankful for the support his fandom has given to me, especially Bewley Fans. I’m also thankful for the amazing love and support I’ve received by the incomparable fandom of TeamMattDallas especially his fansite: MattDallasOnly, you have all been so amazing.

I’m thankful for the opportunity to share my thoughts in a public forum, and I’m thankful that anyone cares to read them.

I’m thankful for so many things I couldn’t possibly share them all, but hopefully you’ll share what you’re thankful for too.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Military Wives…

Military Wives

I would like to recognize these often underestimated, unseen, and unheard heroes.

This is for the sad Military wives, the angry Military wives,and the strong Military wives.

This is for the young women that are waking up at 6 a.m. every morning, laying out clothes and packing three lunches for those small precious children that they have been left alone to care for.

This is for the pregnant Military wife wondering if her husband will make it home in time to watch their miracle happen.

This is for the childless Military wife, living in a town or on a base alone where she is a complete stranger to her surroundings.

This is for the women that feel like a third leg when they go out with their friends and their husbands.

This is for the Military wife that cancelled all her plans to wait by the phone, and even though the phone broke up and cut off every time you spoke to him you waited anyway.

This is a pledge to the women that cry themselves to sleep in an empty bed.

This is to recognize the woman that felt like she was dying inside when he said he had to go, but smiled for him anyway.

This is for those of you that are faithfully in that long line at the post office once a month, handling 2 large boxes and 2 small children like a pro.

This is for that woman that decided to remodel the house to pass time, and then realized that she had no idea what she was doing and sighed and wished she had a little help.

This is for all the lonely nights, all the one-person dinners, and all of the wondering thoughts because you haven’t heard from him in days.

A toast to you for falling apart, and putting yourselves back together. Because a pay check isn’t enough, a body pillow in your bed is no consolation, and a web cam can never compare.

This is for all of you no matter how easy or hard this was for you. Our soldiers/sailors are brave, they are heroes, but so are we.

So the next time someone tells you that they would never marry a Military guy, don’t bother explaining to them that you can’t control who you fall in love with. Just think of this and nod your head, know that you are the stronger woman.

Hold your heads up high, hang that flag in your front yard, stick 100 magnets on your car, and then give yourself a pat on the back.

Be proud to be the woman that you are, be proud to be a Military wife

Support the men and women who support us pledge: Thunder Road Feature Film