A Social Media Vacation

When something stops bringing you joy, maybe it’s time to stop using it – and so it has become with my social media feed (at least for now).

Recently, I found myself enjoying my social media feed less and less. Despite scrolling past all the negative comments and the bad news, I still couldn’t help seeing it as it went by – and just the sheer volume of negativity out there was starting to be come unavoidable, even if I just perceived it subconsciously. As a result, instead of feeling happy at the cute pictures I was seeing, or excited about people sharing photos, or talking about that neat thing they saw on the way to work or the latest thing about their favorite show or movie… instead, I was feeling angry and stressed – and I was feeling it more and more.

As a result, I decided to take a vacation from social media.

This wasn’t something I did lightly – I enjoy my social media (which for me is primarily just Twitter and its semi-replacement, Mastodon) and seeing lots of cool art, pictures, funny stories, and of course hearing how other people are doing. But between the “algorithms” as they are these days, and also just the nature of the world at large, my feed – though carefully curated – still became a source of anguish for me, rather than joy. So taking the stance that if something doesn’t bring me joy it shouldn’t be in my life, I logged out and committed myself to taking a break from using social media for a time – until perhaps I think the situation has improved or until I feel like I don’t miss it anymore.

“But Keith,” I hear you say, “isn’t this blog a kind of social media? And didn’t I see this posted on your Twitter and also on Tumblr?” Ah yes, well, that’s just the magic of cross-posting at work. I haven’t deleted my accounts or anything, after all. I also do still use my Instagram, since that is basically just photos.

And all silliness aside, I do still like to let people know that I’m still here and doing well – I’ve seen too many other people disappear from social media without a trace, and I’m always left thinking, “I wonder how they’re doing these days?” But with their accounts gone silent or deleted, I’ll never be able to find out.

So, that’s the story of why I’m taking a social media vacation. We’ll see how long this “vacation” ends up lasting, but thus far it has been all right. I’m actually hoping to blog more – less time spent scrolling feeds will hopefully mean more time to write for myself. I still find myself reflexively reaching for those apps on my phone from time to time, but the urge is declining steadily as each day goes by.

In any case, I hope you have a great day and thanks for reading!

Living with Bunnies: So much for “low maintenance”

With Easter coming up, I thought I’d do a series of posts on what it’s really like to own a rabbit (or to be a “bunny slave” as they would put it) – just in case any of you see my photos and think “gee, bunnies sure are cute – maybe I’ll get one for Easter!”

A lot of people are under the misconception that rabbits are a “set it and forget it” type of pet – but this couldn’t be further from the truth.

Those of you who follow my bunny photos on Twitter, Instagram, or Mastodon, will probably notice that I often post the most photos in the morning and I sometimes refer to this as “morning playtime.”

This is because rabbits need exercise just like any other pet. If you keep them in an enclosure (as I do), you have to let them out to run around – just as you need to take dogs for a walk if you keep them inside.

Most rabbits are much, much bigger than hamsters, gerbils, or even guinea pigs, so unless you have an absolutely enormous enclosure for them, you’ll need to let them out to play and run around. And unless your rabbits are very well behaved, and your house perfectly bunny-proofed, you’ll also need to spend that same time watching or supervising them as they play. Bunnies have a natural instinct to chew on things (much like how cats have an instinct to scratch) so you need to keep an eye on them in case they do something naughty.

Some rabbits can be placated with chew toys (much like how you’d give a cat a scratching post), but not all can – different rabbits have different personalities and respond to things differently.

With my buns, I generally let them out for about an hour in the morning and again in the evening – and during that time I have to stay and watch them pretty closely, as they still haven’t quite learned not to chew things (mainly biting at the carpet).

So, unless you’re willing to spend that time with a rabbit each day (or if you can afford to give them enough space – like an entire room, which also needs to be protected from the rabbit’s instinct to chew things), maybe a rabbit isn’t for you and you should consider another pet – or just get a chocolate or candy rabbit if you’re thinking about Easter.

Stay tuned for more insights as to the “true” experience of being a rabbit owner!

Living with Bunnies: Shedding (aka the Furpocalypse)

Living with Bunnies means dealing with the inevitable “furpocalypse” that comes with almost any animal that sheds fur.

With Easter coming up, I thought I’d do a series of posts on what it’s really like to own a rabbit (or to be a “bunny slave” as they would put it) – just in case any of you see my photos and think “gee, bunnies sure are cute – maybe I’ll get one for Easter!”

Being fuzzy animals, bunnies shed their fur just like dogs and cats do, and as a result they need regular grooming (brushing). But in addition to the regular shedding of fur, bunnies also go through periods of heavier shedding (sometimes called “molting”), usually in line with the change of seasons (although not always).

Now, the severity of shedding for any bunny depends somewhat on the size and breed, but all sizes and breeds need at least somewhat regular brushing sessions. And different kinds and sizes of bunnies will require different kinds and sizes of brushes, too – long-haired bunnies will need a different kind of brush than short-haired breeds.

This is the amount of fur I got off of my bunny Chuck after just 2 minutes of brushing.

Still, no matter what kind of bunny you end up with, there will be a fair bit of brushing required – and that means a lot of fur, as well.

Both of my bunnies are relatively short-haired breeds, yet even they produce copious amounts of fur (as you can see in this picture). If you have a long-haired breed, you can expect even more fur.

Even aside from the fur you get during brushing, there’s the fur that just naturally comes off of bunnies all the time – this fur will float on the breeze and settle all around your house. (Trust me – bunny fur will find its way everywhere, even into places you can’t imagine.)

So if the idea of that much fur floating around your house isn’t appealing, and you don’t like having to brush an animal frequently (and collect and dispose of all that soft, fluffy fur), then maybe think twice before getting a bunny – especially if you’re thinking of getting one for Easter. (After all, chocolate bunnies don’t shed!)

Stay tuned for more updates and stories of what it’s like to live as a “bunny slave!”

Living with Bunnies: Litter boxes

With Easter coming up, I thought I’d do a series of posts on what it’s really like to own a rabbit (or to be a “bunny slave” as they would put it) – just in case any of you see my photos and think “gee, bunnies sure are cute – maybe I’ll get one for Easter!”

People are often surprised when they learn I let my rabbits run free around the house (under supervision). I often get asked things like “don’t they poop and pee everywhere?” – and then people are shocked to learn about how rabbits use a litter box.

One of the ways I describe rabbits as pets to people is that they are kind of like “vegetarian cats” – and that goes for their litter box habits as well. Rabbits naturally like to go in one place, so they can learn to use a litter box quite easily (especially once they’ve been spayed or neutered). Like any animal you’ll have some accidents while they are young, but it’s not hard to do and they generally learn pretty quickly.

The dark side to using a litter box of course it that you, as the rabbit owner (or “bunny slave”) then have to clean said litter box… and this is something not a lot of people talk about.

I have 2 rabbits, one of whom is quite large (13 pounds), and they share a single litter box – so it gets quite dirty quite quickly, which means I have to clean it very frequently. I usually clean it at least once per day – which means once per day I:

  • Take the dirty litter box out to the garage (possibly also spending some time on my knees to scoop up hay and poops that may have gotten scattered around the litter box – just like cats, bunnies sometimes scatter stuff around their box when they jump in & out)
  • Either scoop out the soiled litter (the buns usually use just one side of the litter box) or sometimes I just empty the whole thing into a trash bag
  • Fill it with fresh litter
  • Put a big pile of fresh hay at one end
  • Bring everything back out

Depending on how many rabbits you have, and how large they are (and how large your litter box is), you might have to do this more or less frequently than I do. You may also want to clean the litter box more frequently if you’re sensitive to the smell – rabbit poop doesn’t smell, but their urine does have a bit of an odor – and there’s only so much that odor absorbing litter can do. Again, this will depend on your rabbits and also on where you keep them – if there’s good ventilation, for example.

Cleaning a litter box like this isn’t something people often think of when they think of keeping a rabbit in their home – but just like with a cat, it is something you have to be prepared to do. So if the thought of having to clean a litter box every day isn’t appealing to you, maybe think twice before bringing home a rabbit – especially if you plan to bring it home as an “Easter bunny.”

Stay tuned for more on what it’s like to be a “bunny slave!”

Desktop Madness: Vol. 107

A few more wallpapers from the anime series “Yuru Camp” (or “Laid-Back Camp”).

Here’s a few more wallpapers from the series “Yuru Camp” (or “Laid-Back Camp”) because honestly I can’t get enough of this show – it is just so enjoyable and relaxing to watch (and the music is pretty catchy, too!).