50 Comments
Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Infinite game does make sense - that’s how mark and I frame our relationship. We’re not trying to one up; we’re trying to keep playing

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Also what a treat to be early to the comment section and fill it up as BAT’S NUMBER ONE FAN

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I am not nirvana but I am at least Dave grohl

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

serious question: do you think the desire never to be too optimistic that you reference wary in the essay is related to the stoicism from your parents coming from Ukraine/Russia?

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

Toaster strueds are ELITE

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honestly sort of shocking how little toaster strudel discourse there's been in response to this post...makes you wonder if Big Pillsbury is involved

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I don’t think feeling bored and distracted while playing games with a toddler is any kind of a failure. A lot of toddler parenting is straight up boring! We do it anyway but that doesn’t change the fact. As a stay at home parent before cell phones were in wide use, I often felt like I was going straight off my nut in desperation for anything not toddler-related.

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An escape room is a cool metaphor. It works on several levels because you are also the creator of this escape room. So you know what all the passwords are, and where all the keys are hidden, and why there are all the weird statues. You just have to remember the whats, wheres, and whys, and you're out.

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I read this in three parts - part one, a week ago while brushing my teeth, part two - this morning in the grocery store line today (you beat out the tabloids, @Alex Dobrenko and one of the headlines was about Prince Harry and Prince William's major rift - I'd calling that winning), part three - just now while eating lunch in front of my computer.

Yes game makes sense.

I try and put my phone away when I get home until the kids go to bed. That and letting go of the idea that I need to constantly entertain them. All hard but getting better.

The cinnamon buns that come in that pressurized can (white icing included!!!) that is oh-so-satisfying to open.

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There are no infinite games. This shit-show only ever ends one way. Now that I'm within, oh I don't know, 15 years of lights out? Ten? But you are in what, your thirties, I take it. I remember that. It seemed like it would never end. Now that I'm like, oh yeah, there's the end, funny thing is I'm not afraid. I no longer have to get up and go to work each day so I do whatever the fuck I want, and if I don't want to do it I don't. Well there are limits. This house won't vacuum itself. As a young man I dreamed of becoming a professional musician. Here I am in retirement and most of what I do is prepare and perform music, and I even get paid sometimes. A friend told me recently I'm having more fun in retirement than anybody she knows. My boss used to tell me when I turned 65, "Paul, why the fuck are you working? I got guys who, their job is all they got! But you! You have your music, theater, you've even got frickin martial arts! At that time I did anyway. After the pandemic I gave up martial arts. Some things didn't survive COVID.

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Nov 18, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I’ve been doing the same and really kicking it up the last month or two. The difference is remarkable.

Like you’re saying the difference in family life is enormous. Those changes are difficult to quantify though, so I’ll give a more dramatic one: before I got off my phone I was reading a book every six weeks. 9 or ten a year. Now I’m closer to a book a week. This opens up worlds of stuff.

One other thing: I’m not sure social media is the root of the time suck; I think it’s just the phones. Im not on any social media but staring at my phone - Substack, Spotify, game sites, porn - eats (well, ate - not as much now) an insane amount of my day. Like you the worst part is the seconds I spent on my phone when I should have been paying attention to my kids just because. No good reason. I don’t do that now. It’s much better that way.

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

I paid money for this handy app called Freedom where I can set a schedule for when I can/can't use certain things across my phone and laptop. It can range from "block Instagram for an hour" to "remove access to all social media from 9PM-11AM" or things like that. I have some schedules and also sometimes do an ad-hoc "don't let me on anything!" block session. Sometimes when my brain gets too latched onto checking things, I'll start a block session spontaneously and immediately be annoyed with myself, but it's really effective. The underlying message behind this is "I am a toddler with no impulse control" but hey - it does work well!

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the Infinite game thing makes total sense. we all playing the game and (meme voice) we cannot escape we cannot come out

Instagram is my prison. these last few weeks I have experimented with using FACEBOOK META BUSINESS TOOL of uploading and scheduling my posts. So I don't have to get on the app to post, in fact, I can delete it, and reply to any comments/messages on Instagram in my browser. This has been quite nice. It really is weird how when you pull back from being online you get less engagement to come back to tho. It's like the talons start to un-sink in.

I'm also a member of a Twilight Shitposting group on Facebook which I cannot quit but it's something I allow myself lol

I have been drawing a bit more this week which is my happy hobby entirely unrelated to anything else I do and I wanna do more of it! being off the internet helps.

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Please, yes, let us hear from the enlightened people who are on the other side of this. Cillian Murphy, who if the memes I've seen are correct, doesn't even know what a meme is, that blessed man? Or is that more internet propaganda?

Failure is all I've got, as in, if you fail repeatedly at all forms of social media, if you lose the game, eventually it does start to become sort of boring. That's it! You have to make the game boring by losing repeatedly and perpetually. Luckily, I'm seem to have a talent for that.

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Damn it, Alex, you are making it impossible not to subscribe. Reason #4 is especially compelling.

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Nov 16, 2023Liked by Alex Dobrenko`

The infinite game is making a lot of sense to me, it really is like a little trick my anxiety is playing on my life, as does the game “No matter what you do, you lose” it is crazy how the mind works. I also like Lauren’s views on this, it is an experiment, and your willingness to try it out is half the battle! My no social media has been going well in terms of my main goal when starting this, I went on twitter briefly last night as a little treat to myself for being off it for a week and I honestly scrolled for no more than 5 mins before I was like, there is really so little on my feed that truly interests me here, which brought a kind of sadness and the thought of “what the hell was i wasting so much of my time on here for” but it has been tough in other ways, even though I am not using these social media apps I find myself trying to waste time in other ways on my phone, I can spend hours just looking at all the photos on my phone, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when looking back on fond memories, but it can also turn haywire when I yearn for those times in the past and feel disconnected from the present. And I have developed a new mortal enemy… youtube shorts. I never watched one until this week, and brother when I tell you it has become a problem, IT HAS BECOME A PROBLEM! Initially I thought oh this is actually not as bad as TikTok or Instagram reels because I am getting a lot of space/science/brian cox content, so at least i’m learning something, right? WRONG! The only thing I have learned is that I am able to stay awake until 5.30am watching clips of Brian Cox explaining facts of our universe to me. That being said, I think my next step in this experiment is deleting youtube from my phone, I thought I was safe from the doom scrolling but it has erupted in a new fashion. But alas, we keep going! I went to the library and got a book on The Twilight Zone and it’s philosophies, which has kept my hands away from my phone and my eyes away from staring into nothingness. I’m proud of you brother and each post you share keeps me going strong, you’re awesome and you are doing awesome!

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