This podcast episode was recorded as an accompanying audio version of the Dandy Newsletter that was published on March 31, 2020.
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Yo, mental health is a subject that’s massively important, so why aren’t people talking about it more than we already are? Why is it still such a taboo subject? That just doesn’t make much sense to me at all. We need to wake up and realize that our mental health is one of the most important things in our lives. yes, even more important than sportsball or ice cream or whatever.
I’m working on keeping myself sane these days. It’s important that I don’t get too caught up in the troubles of the world. How am I doing this? Why, by ditching news! News, and especially the garbage that passes for news on social media, can be a cancer if it’s not done well. Unfortunately, a lot of it isn’t done well. Today, I’m looking for better sources of high quality information.
There’s also a brand spankin’ new blog post waiting for you. It’s called, Quick Tip: Use SVG Files to Speed Up Your Squarespace Site.
I talked a bit about wanting to have the cheetah of websites a little while ago. Using small image files is one of the best things you can do to speed up your site. SVG files? Well, they can make your images super small. They’re just little bits of code that you can place in your site. Read this post today to learn how to make good use of them today. Watch your site start zooming!
We’re wrapping things up with what I’m watching, reading, and listening to this week. It’s a great assortment of media that’s worth your time.
Links to stuff that was mentioned:
The full text
The Dandy Newsletter - 03/31/20
Greetings from my little self-isolated corner of the world!
Granted, I’ve worked from home for a long time, so I’ve been practicing self-isolation for a while. Still, the sentiment is the same. I hope you’re doing well. I hope your family and friends are all staying healthy. I hope you’re washing your hands more than you’ve ever done before in your life (but don’t forget to lotion up, too). I hope you’re staying happy and sane. These are trying, extraordinary times and I wish nothing but the best for you.
The “stay sane” part is an interesting thing to me. It’s not something people normally wish for each other. I think it should be, however. Our minds are an important, but sadly neglected aspect of personal and community health. We all do our best to exercise regularly, brush our teeth every day, and try to get a good portion of veggies inside us at every meal.
But keeping our minds happy is just as important and requires just as much care and attention. All the time and effort a person puts into making sure their body is working well doesn’t mean jack if a person’s mental health is slipping or being neglected.
Whither goest the mind goes everything else.
I’ve noticed lately that I’ve been spending a lot more time on social media and news sites than I have in recent memory. Years, I would estimate. Over the last couple weeks, I’ve found myself scrolling through Reddit and my various news RSS feeds more often and with less mindfulness. That’s happening with a frequency that I haven’t had since I used Facebook.
I’ve gone through this song and dance before. It’s not the first time that I’ve caught myself whiling away hours of my time by scrolling through feeds. I’ve “kicked” the social media addiction several times in my life, but just like addiction to real hardcore drugs, it’s all too easy to fall off the social media sobriety wagon.
Now I’ve found myself knee deep in the muck of sensationalized headlines that stoke and shout fear at the top of their metaphorical lungs.
And all I wanted to do was stay up to date with the latest information about COVID-19 and how countries around the world are managing this pandemic. Unfortunately, news organizations all thrive on clicks for their livelihoods, so it’s too easy to be tempted back into bad habits. I’m not suggesting that news organizations are to blame for my lack of self-control, but most of them sure aren’t doing anything to elevate informative, helpful, quality journalism.
I don’t like my behavior as it is right now. It’s making me feel anxious and sad during a time when hanging onto happiness and hope is more important than ever. While I do think it’s important to stay informed, I don’t think it’s necessary to scroll through Reddit/Twitter/Facebook or whatever to try to find that good information. The signal-to-noise ratio on those platforms is not great, and they’ve shown that they don’t value quality reporting and truth over profits.
What’s to be done about this? A few things, I think, and I encourage you to also consider how your life and mental health could improve by making these changes.
- Limiting or deleting social media apps and accounts. I lurk through Reddit and scroll through Twitter more often than I want to. There’s hardly ever anything of substance on there, but I keep returning because of their ability to get my blood all heated up. There are better places to get quality information that I can use to educate myself, like knowledgable friends and family. While there are great things that can be done or created on social media, mostly each platform offers the ability to lock oneself into an echo chamber of agitation. Why let myself get riled up?
- Limiting news. Screw local news. Screw Fox News. Screw CNN. Down with them all. They are not places one can go to find objective and meaningful information. Unfortunately, there’s not really anyplace you can go to find 100% objective, factual information; news organizations are still run by people, after all. However, places like Reuters, BBC, and the Associated Press can usually be counted on for plain vanilla information without the desperate need to generate clicks on their headlines.
- Listen to podcasts. Not necessarily news podcasts either. In fact, screw the news podcasts and start looking for some ridiculous, funny, weird, or imaginative shows. There are so many shows out there to subscribe to and so many offer great distractions to the mess the world’s in right now. Some of my favorites are 99% Invisible, Accidental Tech Podcast, How Did This Get Made?, Reply All, and Threedom. I tune in every single week and I always feel better after I listen to one of them.
It can be tough to stay positive when the whole world seems dead set on keeping you from doing that. It’s not impossible, though. I’m going to work on doing that for myself by limiting where I go online and listening to more podcasts. I’m not going to be perfect at that—no one’s perfect at anything—but I can try my hardest.
What are you doing to stay healthy and sane today?
Why load slow when you can load fast?
There’s a new blog post waiting for you. Huzzah! 🎉
SVG files are absolutely game changing. It’s just a shame that Squarespace makes it difficult to use them. It’s not impossible, though, and I’m talking about how you can speed up your site with great looking SVG image files on the blog today.
An SVG file is basically just a whole heap of code that tells a browser how to display an image. The real bonus comes in how small they are. Think of it this way, would you rather use an image that’s 712 kB in size or one that’s just 27 kB? Clearly, the smaller one is better when it comes to page loads, and wouldn’t you know it, the SVG file is the smaller one!
Click through the link above to learn how to start using SVG files on your Squarespace site today. This information is great for a website made on that platform, but this information can work with any website, even one that’s been coded yourself from the ground up. Give it a read today!
If you ever want to throw some suggestions my way, then send me a reply to this email. They’re always wonderful to receive.
Seriously friend, I'd love to hear from you.
Until next time, stay dandy, cat.
WATCHING: Season 1 of Dickinson
LISTENING: In Colour by Jamie xx
READING: The Stand by Stephen King