The Slow Life - Dump Your Smartphone and Camp!

For 2023, I will dedicate part of my time to advocate for better mental health by reducing time on social media and promote activities that appeal to me - film photography, 50cc bikes, and typewriters.  That’s me.  Whatever works for you to become aware of your addiction, reduce time spent CONSUMING media to lower stress levels is your best medicine.

There’s a great documentary on Netflix called the ”The Social Dilemma.”  It’s been on Netflix for several years; definitely worth the watch to understand what really is behind all this mind control for advertising.

Yesterday, two friends and I decided to go camping in TOKYOJAPAN.  It’s kind of odd to hear “camping in Tokyo,” but there’s a lot of nature in the fast west areas of Tokyo.  

I never went camping / hiking / climbing until years after graduating from university and well into adulthood. I never had the desire to experience the outdoors or endure the process of planning a trip, prepping / eating a meal while sitting on a rock, as well as the hardships of sleeping in a tent; especially in winter. I used to think “What the hell for?!” And then I learned humility and an appreciation of being independent from comfort; to temporarily suspend the ease of living with running water, a warm room or car, electricity, and enter the world of a seemingly stressful way of life.

Since I discovered the outdoors and now 50cc bikes, I regret not having done so while I was a student. My only hardship and stress then was studying and being poor. I had to live off a loaf of bread and jam for a week at times when I was an undergrad and grad student. I can only imagine students now with studies, future career, and mind-melting, un-productive social media addiction. Yuck.
Last night’s sudden camping trip with Bahag and Tricia highlighted pure adventure (went to campsite by Super Cub), and good conversation without all of our faces buried in a smartphone screen. Yes, I’m guilty, too. Life stress levels went from 100% to 10%. The only worry then was whether or not I could get a comfortable sleep in minus temperatures. I couldn’t due to a malfunctioning heater.  I had to rely on my back up plan - USB heated vest, but it still wasn’t enough.
Although yesterday’s trip was a temporary escape from usual life, “living together;” sharing stories, and laughing our asses off was every bit worth it.  I brought my iPad to get some get some work done Part 3 for “Things I Wish My Professors Had Told Me When I Was a Student” series (Part1Part 2), but I had a ZOOM meeting about my YouTube Channel.

Moral of the story - get out of your comfort zone. Have an adventure. Read a book. Pick up a film camera. Tell stories.

Here’s my 2008 Honda Super Cub (Press Cub) 50cc.  This is the type that’s mainly used by newspaper delivery or noodle delivery riders.