MANGIA and MANGA
I made two choices yesterday morning that were completely unrelated, but had remarkable results.
1) I decided to delete social media apps from my phone.
2) I chose to ditch work to have lunch with my 18-year-old son.
Each choice caused much internal debate. Could I really live without Facebook and Twitter on at my fingertips? How far behind would I fall if I skipped out on work for the afternoon?
Last night, I put my book down and picked up my phone to pop onto socials for a few minutes. But that’s not what happened. I scrolled through reels for more than an hour and a half. I aimlessly stared at the screen, consuming one ridiculous reel after another. There was nothing enriching about anything I watched. For 98 minutes I was suckered into watching people apply face filters, play slot machines, or the ultimate let down: I CAN’T BELIEVE I CAUGHT THIS videos of people walking into Target, or sipping a coffee, or any other mundane bullshit.
I was so angry at myself for wasting my time watching short videos. I know this is funny coming from someone who used to earn her living creating video. I’m glad I got out, because I would lose my mind creating videos that are nothing more than a black hole of distraction.
I was telling my son about this over lunch today. I picked him up after his class at the University of Calgary and we headed to a pub. Our conversation about useless video turned into a conversation about video games which led us to anime which morphed into manga. My kid sold me on the value of manga as a literary vehicle (and highly entertaining). Before lunch was over, we had connected deeply over the things he loves and he had ordered me a manga book he thought I’d enjoy.
I’m may not like the manga, but I LOVE that not once over the course of our meal did I pick up my phone to check socials. He had 100% of my attention and he engaged mine. My belly and my heart were full.
I think I’ll leave the apps off my phone for a while.