How a Career Change and a Dash of Minimalism Rescued My Love of Video Games
Jason Evangelho
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(Whoops… long response… good, though, it’s a good response)

Good for you, man! Yeah, it’s a definite hazard in today’s world that, without realizing it, you can be completely inundated with information, and keeping up becomes mentally exhausting. Facebook and Twitter don’t help with that at all.

I went through something like this a while back. My wife and I enjoy going on vacations to Disney World, and I found Disney asks something of you when you arrive: to let the world go and be immersed in the Disney culture. More than any other vacations I’ve been on, Disney World is pure escapism. Sleeping in tree houses, walking 15 miles each day and seeing fantastic sights and shows, being transported by monorail, having amazing food and paying for it all with a flick of the wrist, all while enjoying the company of loved ones. It asked for immersion, and the only real way to enjoy that immersion is by giving in and giving up your daily rituals. Checking Facebook, seeing what all your friends are posting, keeping up with the news, etc. Forget them.

Coming back to reality, then, is a hard smack. But being without those little rituals and what you survived without for a week leads to a clarity. That social anxiety of needing to keep up was gone. Suddenly if I miss a friend’s Facebook post, it was no big deal. If I didn’t catch every news story, whatever. It’s always there, whether you’re there or not, so the choice to be there is fully on you and you don’t have too choose it. If someone gets mad at you for not seeing their post, they’re the ones being unreasonable, as communication is not third-party reliant.

I still keep up a FB and a Twitter, though my use of them now is for my own entertainment and is ephemeral. If I give them up for a few days, I don’t feel left behind.

It’s that social anxiety that drives the world today, though, and once you realize how to see it and how to control it, from everything from game and movie releases to the latest must-have object, you realize how to stop it’s hold on you. And stopping that hold leads to a huge feeling of relief, a huge stress off your shoulders, and the feel that control has returned to your life.

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