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  • Writer's pictureAnthony Zalewski

My Eyes Are Up Here...

"Social media is training us to compare our lives, instead of appreciating everything that we are. No wonder why everyone is always depressed." -Bill Murray

So this is actually my first Monologue in a long time, at least that I posted on a site. I missed these little cathartic sessions, so when I was setting up the site to go live again (eventually) I knew I had to have the Whiskey Monologues. I am not going to spend any length of time catching you up on all that may have transpired since my last post (that has been like 4 years and a ton of shit...) What I will do is take a minute to talk about the whiskey I am drinking as I type (this is The Whiskey Monologues, after all.) I decided to go with the Smooth Ambler Contradiction tonight - 92 proof blend of bourbon whiskies distilled in West Virginia, Tennessee and Indiana. My bottle is batch 225, bottled by James, so, thanks James. As always, I take my whiskey neat, with just a splash of water to open the flavor. Nice way to wind down the weekend and prepare for the work week. And, speaking of the work week, that is where the inspiration for this post comes from. As I work in a hospital, I have to wear my mask every day, as I walk through the halls. My opinions on masking and COVID are not what I want to get into right now, but I do want to write about something that has been bugging me lately with all of this. I think these masks and all the social distancing are actually giving folks a good excuse to be less cordial to one another. I am not talking about shaking hands or huddling together around the water cooler. What I have noticed is people just seem to make disturbingly less eye contact than before all this shit started. I mean I get the masks, I may not always agree with them, but I get it. But, why does that mean you cannot look me in the eyes as we pass on the street, in the halls, or anywhere else for that matter and maybe exchange a "hello"? It's as if these masks are preventing us from being human beings and showing kindness to one another. Maybe not everyone, but an increasing number. I try and say hello to everyone, especially at work, just because of this fact. It's like I am forcing you to acknowledge me greeting and respond, though some just walk on by with their faces buried in their phones. And that is another thing, I am starting to hate cell phones again. I need one for work, and I have to be accessible, I need one to speak to family and communicate, no doubt. But, I have forced myself to stop looking at social media or even posting. It all started a few weeks ago when I watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix. I came to the realization that I was obsessed with Likes on Facebook and Instagram. Those little hearts or thumbs-up were affirmation that Not My Dad Bod was well-received and Anthony was interesting or entertaining. But, social media is so misleading and I know this sounds like a... wait for it... Contradiction, that a guy who basically just posts a bunch of shit is no longing concerning himself with who is looking at it. I have fun making podcasts and I am having fun again writing these blogs. It's is actually creating something and sharing it with anyone who is interested in checking them out. But, I will no longer stress myself out, worry or even care who likes, shares or bookmarks what I enjoy doing. It's actually pretty liberating now that I have had this epiphany. So, will I ever look at social media? Yes, I still look, but honestly it has been two or three times in the past few weeks and mostly to make sure I posted and tagged my buddy for the latest Bodcast. Will I turn into one of those people who starts talking trash about Facebook or the people who get on it? No, that is hypocritical and everyone can do what they want. Besides, my wife has to have something to do (stalking) to wind down right before going to bed. But, what I ask of you is that you take the time to say Hello, even behind the mask, engage with people and make eye contact. Eventually, the masks will go away and people will have to look each other in the eye again or God forbid, smile at one another. Social distancing does not mean social isolation. Try looking someone in the eye, smiling behind the mask and saying, "Hello". Who knows, it may be contagious...

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