This post is just my own random thoughts, so skip it if you want or press on otherwise.
I’ve been off Facebook for a few days now (I can’t remember how many), and it feels…really refreshing. It’s a bit hard to explain, but I live in a city with a lot of public transportation and people that walk from place to place. Korea is also pretty technologically advanced in that the majority of people (no exact numbers, sorry) have a cell phone of some sort…most a smart phone with games, FREE (have I mentioned this enough times yet?) texting and wifi/good cell phone service everywhere…which means that people are on their phones A LOT. Standing at this stoplight, waiting on the subway, shopping in the supermarket…you get the picture.
So, I’ve also gotten to that point where it’s an automatic reflex to take out my phone and scroll through the endless posts on Facebook every 5 minutes. The longest stints of time that I wasn’t on Facebook was when I was asleep or when I was at work. Yeah. Bad. But I think it’s hard to realize that it’s a problem when everyone around you is doing the exact same thing.
So, after a few days off, I actually feel free. The first day was rough and my hand seemed to keep twitching with the impulse to check my phone. Day two wasn’t as rough because I started day 1 from early in the morning, but the impulses were still there. Day 3…again, the same but less noticeable and I started feeling more free. I believe I’m on 4 now, but can’t be sure. Either way, I haven’t really thought about Facebook at all and I’m thrilled because I’ve FINALLY started working out again (er..and eating the scones I made yesterday…ah well. Carpe Diem, right? RIGHT! haha) and working out feels so good. It’s the rush that I’ve been missing.
I’ve been so lazy this summer…yes, busy with activities but not exactly a constructive life. (Includes working out for me.) I’ve actually noticed my loss of muscle and I think that was one of the driving forces behind me starting up again. That and all the extra time I now had because of less internet time. I’ve never really been one of those people to obsess over numbers on a scale, but instead my focus has been on my own feelings and my desire to create a strong body for myself. I don’t intend to be a weight-lifting champion or anything, but just to keep myself healthy (and happy–with thanks to some homemade sweets here and there) and to knock out a few fitness goals for myself.
Current fitness goals:
1. Tone up my hamstring/thigh area
2. Smash out my first pull-up (Apparently the pull-up bar I ordered was sold out and they didn’t update the inventory…so that’s been delayed, but I’m still working out without it until then.)
3. Tighten my triceps and get my arms stronger in general. They were stronger pre-Korea (biceps anyway), and I want my triceps to be a bit firmer so they don’t jiggle when I erase the board.
Not too bad. I think it’s also pretty good that I don’t care for Korean food because I’ve been teaching myself to cook, and that should help with my fitness goals too. Cooking skills are different from baking skills in case you weren’t aware.
Anyway, back to the main focus of this was the bit about Facebook, and I think it’s actually used as a filler for friends/real emotion. I’m not sure how to phrase this exactly. I think I feel connected to people through it but it’s also very artificial. I talk with people and learn about the goings-on in their lives but I don’t feel that happiness that comes after a long catch-up chat with a friend over coffee or lunch. I feel a part of people’s lives but it sort of puts a patch over that connection that is usually reinforced with touch, such as a hug or a pat on the back.
As an expat here, I’ve realized how much I miss human touch. I’m surrounded by people on a daily basis (especially Saturdays at a grocery store) but it’s difficult to forge a real connection with people.
Thankfully I don’t mind spending time with myself, and at times I actually prefer it, but it can still be rough sometimes. I come from a very close-knit family, where everyone was within 30 minutes or so of eachother. It’s not as close as that now with people spread a bit more over the globe, but that’s what happens with time I guess.
The thing about being an expat is that you can go out to this club or this event or this bar and meet people…anywhere. I think it’s just hard because expats are mostly people in transit. They’re stopping for a brief moment in time to be here in this place and then they’ll be off. It’s very difficult (and exhausting) to have to constantly make friends. You always start at the beginning and the conversation usually begins the same way with the “Hi(s)” and “How are you(s)?” Followed up by a “Where are you from?”, “How long have you been here?” an “Oh really?” and a “Do you work at a public school (EPIK) or at a private school (hagwon)?” And then the general shock and awe if someone is here doing something besides teaching.
I’m sure this comes off as whining or something, but I hope it doesn’t. I think that many people in this age of technology and instant communication are missing what relationships are essentially formed out of a need for. People want someone to share their life with and someone who understands and will listen and be able to give advice and not be thinking of other things they’d rather be doing but because they truly care about the person that is asking. To be able to let go and show their true self and not a self that was created to impress or as a mask to show to other people. To create a deeper friendship and one that will hopefully last a lifetime.
I really don’t know where this was headed…just rambling as I said from the beginning, but I just started thinking more about this as I separated myself my own online profile. I don’t think I really created my own mask (as I put it) online…I like to think that I was fairly honest and posted what I thought. But then again, there are the posts that I deleted and the thoughts that were left unsaid on this topic or that.
I just…I just wish that I was able to be home to nurture those relationships that I care about but I feel that I’m sort of…fading away in memories because I’m so far away. I have friends here as well but many people are starting to get married or people have been here for far longer than I have and are beginning to move onto the next chapter in their lives.
It’s weird because I’m not lonely or anything and I have plenty of things on my own plate to look forward to. I’m not even sure where this is going…but maybe I’ll just end it here and come back and some point if I figure out what I really meant by this whole thing. haha :)