On #metoo

A couple of thoughts on the #metoo conversation. (Also noting: there is lots here I’m not even trying to touch on in this.)

The main effect for me so far has been to make things realer. I’ve known the general statistics for a long time, but statistics are faceless, impersonal, and hard to grasp. While I’ve known some people’s stories, #metoo putting the faces – so many faces – of women I know and like and love, all going through this shit, brought the truth of the statistics home in a new way. One that is horrific, heartbreaking, and enraging; but ultimately useful.

So, thanks to the women (and men) who’ve posted. To be honest, this is one of the best uses of social media I’ve seen. This is a good conversation to have. Many things are wrong in our world and society, and change starts with confronting and accepting truths; and speaking them.

Now that this is so far out in the open, the thing I would venture to suggest making from this moment is a commitment for this to be the last generation who could have this #metoo hashtag be a thing; in fact, for it to be unthinkable in future generations.

Seriously.

Lots of changes are generational. I’m pretty sure no one wants their son to someday become a rapist (or generally shitty and abusive to women), or their daughter to someday be raped (or generally treated shittily and abused by men) – but, if things don’t change, then that’s what’s coming, right?

The pain and damage already done to us and by us is on us to heal and repair. But doing everything we can to prevent this continuing – stopping cycles of abuse; creating a culture with consent, dignity, respect and openness at its heart, for our children to learn and inherit – is also on us.

There’s a hell of a lot of work to be done, together and individually, to raise everyone up to communicate better, treat each other better, and have a far healthier culture around sex. (And this, I think, is an important part of even wider changes needed in our culture, society, economy, and way of being in this world.) It’s a lot, but it’s the kind of thing that a generation can do.

I’ll do my part in that. How about you?

(Oh, and also: Men. Wow. We need to do better. I certainly haven’t been perfect in the past and am ever trying to become more conscious and less of a dick generally in life. But yeah. We need to own what we are doing, have done, and are allowing to be done.)

Smartphone hell (filters, part 6)

A couple of months back I got my first proper cellphone, upgrading for the first time since 2011. My old phone was sort of a smartphone, but not really, compared to what is standard today. It was running android 2.2, and most apps were beyond it.

The power of my new phone is disturbing. The thing just does so darn much. The utility is seductive.

I’ve spent years coming to grips with the distraction of social media and the internet. But this was something else.

The first month was extremely disruptive and unpleasant. And the addictive reality is clear. Other than reverting to a simple txt and call cellphone, finding a way to constrain it seems the best first step.

As a result, I have learned and adapted, and instituted some protocols/rules of thumb in self defence against the device.

1. no smartphone use in bed, at all.

2. smartphone not to be kept by bed at night.

(These are simple and obvious, but also the 80/20 in terms of effectiveness, and removing the greatest laziness danger zone.)

3. smartphone not to be used until after morning routine and most important tasks for the day are completed – basically, it is a luxury and a toy and it comes after what matters.

(Also simple, and the rest of the 80/20.)

4. smartphone not to be used while reclining on couch.

5. smartphone is to be used while standing.

(This is maybe getting paranoid. But the principle is to keep it in use as a tool, keeping it mobile, in motion, rather than getting comfortable and the brain switching off.)

Another experiment I am considering is to leave it on airplane mode most of the time, only allowing incoming calls, txts, and internet distractions at certain time periods.

Strange that so much of our time these days is spent wrestling our technology to allow us to be functional.

Having a decent camera is cool, though.