ertyu wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 28, 2020 3:04 am
Consider transformative fandom: fanart, fanfiction, cosplay
Interesting you should mention this because transformative fandom is actually what derailed my life for several years. I am ashamed to admit it, but I was spending hours a day on fanart/fanfiction/etc. And while it did improve my creative skills to some extent, I now regret all the time and years of my life I spent on it. It's the whole notion of opportunity cost. And at its root, all fandom, even transformative fandom, is still a form of consumerism. Consider that you could be working on the same projects that are completely independent of fandom. (Sewing instead of cosplay, writing a novel instead of fanfiction) Also consider that anything you make in fandom is essentially free advertising labor to media companies. I do agree that transformative fandom is better than pure consumptive fandom because you are building skills, but man do I regret all the time wasted and opportunities I missed from getting sucked down that rabbit hole.
(I can write more about how fandom is not dissimilar to religion in the role it plays for some people if anyone cares)
5ts wrote: ↑
Mon Sep 28, 2020 1:30 am
What hobbies do you suggest that aren't dissociative? It seems like the only hobbies that are not dissociative involve sports. Learn an instrument, build something, learn something? Everything I do is in my head. Video games, in moderation, seem no different to me than reading a (fiction) book or watching a movie. All in moderation do not seem particularly harmful, but I am willing to consider it could be if you feel like exploring this. What are you doing with your time?
I think we have to be careful with the "in moderation" argument. It's not that these things are necessarily strictly harmful, but in today's attention economy, there's a lot of effort on the part of media companies to make us believe we're all acting in moderation when we're not. And while I do engage in reading and watching movies still, I try to be extremely mindful of what I'm consuming and who benefits from the act of my consumption.
For example, older video games are less addictive than modern video games. Let's compare the original Mario game to Fortnite. In the original Mario, you simply beat the game and that was that. There was no social community around the game back when it first came out. And because Nintendo made money on just the sale of the game, their effort went into just making it fun.
You take something like Fortnite, and the entire game is based on making you play it as long as possible. They do this by taking advantage of human psychology. Loot boxes are simulated slot machines, the way matches etc are done is a skinner box.
The problem is that even things like movies have to compete with social media for your attention. An hour on Facebook is an hour you could have spent on Fortnite. Thus we have a race to the bottom of making things as addictive as possible in order to compete with each other.
I'm still trying to decide the best way to approach this problem, but so far I have found this stuff helps:
1. Slow down generally and enjoy sensory experiences more. For example, if you take 20 minutes to really savor a cup of coffee, that's 20 less minutes spent on a dissociative hobby.
2. Prefer older media. I've taken to getting movies on VHS at the thrift store or sticking with just DVDs from the library. The self-contained nature of this medium makes it less likely to "binge" on it. The movie ending is a natural cue to go do something else. This is in stark contrast to Netflix autoplay, which encourages you to watch more. Likewise, I try to listen to music on the radio instead of Spotify for the same reason. (Bonus that no one can track you!) 
3. Physical craft hobbies are great. Things like knitting, cooking, wood working, gardening, etc tend to be pretty time consuming. You naturally have less time for dissociative hobbies when you are busy.
4. Whenever you consume a piece of media, ask yourself who benefits from you consuming it and be mindful of what they might be doing to steal your attention from their competitors.
5. I try to save movies/novels for when I am so dead tired I can't really do anything else.
I'm currently reading "How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy" by by Jenny Odell. This is a pretty good box on the topic. I'm not quite done with it yet, but I've found it enlightening so far.
I'll write more about this topic as I figure out how to structure my life without dissociative hobbies.
 I'm finding VHS to be a particular fun medium due to just how physical it is. For example, I got one tape that I need to fix before I can watch it. And another warped such that it won't fit in the VCR any more. Getting these old tapes to work is surprisingly fun because I feel like I'm learning very minor mechanical skills as I go.