Lose 15 pounds. Read 100 books. Do something about the Minotaur.
It seems we prescribe ourselves the same lofty resolutions for change every year, and somehow always come up short. Maybe we're just too ambitious with our year-end goals, or maybe we're just compensating for all the tiny, constant opportunities at change we missed throughout the year by loading ourselves up with one or two big-shiny ones.
Whatever our goals, we can't forget that change is a daily—not yearly—opportunity. As anyone whose ever attempted NaNoWriMo can attest, missing one day of benchmarks fudges your groove for the whole week, then the whole month. Eventually it's December, and you're still trying to decide whether your love interest should be a necromancer or a time-lord, and you realize this story will never be what you want it to be by the end of the year, and that you could've instead spent the last 48 days learning conversational Swahili or setting a hula-hooping record.
Point is, overloading yourself with unreasonable goals is a counterproductive exercise. We've decided to focus on simple, daily goals this new year, and since 90% of our days are now spent connected to some sort of Internets, that's where most of our changes will be too. Here are our social media resolutions for 2013:
- I will not "share everything."
- I will let some experiences remain my own, rich with personal meaning.
- I will always share important things, like my emotions, with loved ones, in person. I will not communicate my emotions through passive-aggressive tweets or status updates, but deal with them head-on.
- I will not Instagram food, except in rare, exhilarating circumstances, like if a goat in overalls is eating spaghetti.
- I will mute and fully ignore my phone during meals, conversations, and moments with my SO. It is rude to bring the rest of the world into intimate dialogues.
- I will not pull out my phone aimlessly while the cashier rings me up, just to avoid sharing a moment with a stranger.
- I will not point out when things are "awkward," because ultimately pretty much everything human is awkward.
- I will turn my phone completely off at concerts and movies. I will remember that everyone behind me can see my dumb glowing screen, and that's not what they paid for.
- I will embrace mystery and exploration. I will use Yelp on special occasions only.
- I will occasionally remove my headphones while in transit, and let the world know I am willing to acknowledge and experience it.
- I will sometimes start conversations and not just wait for them to start.
- I will set my browser homepage to something that makes me happy, helpful, and well informed; not Facebook, Twitter, or YouTube.
- I will not take anything I see online too seriously.
- I will remember that most opinions published on branded websites are designed to manufacture controversy and earn pageviews.
- I will block, unfollow, and ignore online antagonists. I will not reward trolls, bullies, or jerks with attention of any kind.
- I will not follow my crushes on Twitter or Facebook. I will not cyber-stalk, or leave myself vulnerable to digital information that will make me upset in the real world.
- I will not use the word "hipster" to describe a person or group with tastes different than my own. This word is a meaningless signifier used to sell skinny jeans.
- I will think of more creative ways to express myself than saying "all of the ____," i.e. "OMG, I want to eat all of the chocolate right now" or "OMG, this Miguel song has all of the feels." This phrase is a meaningless place-holder for expression, literally as overused as the word "literally."
- I will support artists, musicians, and authors whose work I enjoy by occasionally trading my money for their creations.
- I will not use hashtags as a crutch when I can't think of a way to end a joke or argument online. #punchline
- I will not use fake words like "SMH" or "YOLO" in verbal conversations with people.
- I will not turn my attention to my phone while piloting a moving vehicle, because that's a super easy way to hurt or kill someone.
- I will not let the Internet be the final thing I see before I go to sleep.
That last one will be the hardest…but we're game if you are, hipsters.
Will you join us observing our social media resolutions?
What are your resolutions for 2013?