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adventures of a half-chinese yalie in hollywood

How I Broke Myself of My Gossip Blog Lurking Habit

How I Broke Myself of My Gossip Blog Lurking Habit

Revealed: I used to spend an unhealthy amount of time lurking the comments section of celebrity gossip sites. I’d click that handy “expand all replies” button without a second thought.

The way Entertainment Tonight's newsroom looked in the dead of night. Give me strength, Pat O'Brien.
The way Entertainment Tonight’s newsroom looked in the dead of night. Give me strength, Pat O’Brien.
At least there were decent access perks.
At least there were decent access perks.
Oscar been doin' squats.
Oscar been doin’ squats.

But when I left a job at which I felt I was mostly just punching the clock like a drone, I began to see my time in a different way. At the desk job, I used to rejoice when I’d check the aforementioned sites and see an article with thousands of comments, because the treasure trove would represent a good solid hour or two of gleeful reading.

Back then: gossiping in the Yale Daily News reporters' room.
Back then: gossiping in the Yale Daily News reporters’ room.
(not as far) Back then: hustlin' in the Entertainment Tonight tape vault.
(not as far) Back then: hustlin’ in the Entertainment Tonight tape vault.
I brought my DSLR to work every day. Was that strange?
I brought my DSLR to work every day. Was that strange?

Sometimes I wonder what it would look like if someone filmed my entire life, then edited a highlight (or lowlight) reel of certain moments. I picture the shadowy figure working in the proverbial edit bay of omniscience, toggling back and forth over swaths of footage of the Life of Vi. Then, the editor throws his hands up in disgust, scrolling his cursor despondently across the video time bar. “Doesn’t she do anything with her time besides read AV Club comments and silently chuckle to herself?!”

Working hard, running those tapes. Free cake, constantly.
Working hard, running those tapes. Free cake, constantly.
My life was becoming a "dub."
My life was becoming a “dub.”
Shoe leather reporting, right here
Shoe leather reporting, right here
Ask Albert: Was endlessly scrolling Blind Item pages a good use of my time?
Ask Albert: Was endlessly scrolling Blind Item pages a good use of my time?

When I got that mental image, I knew it was time to take control. I’ve never had a problem ginning up thoughts. As such, when I sit down to blog, there is ALWAYS some burning topic on my mind—some new outrage I’d like to speak about, or some hypothetical scenario I’d like to detail.

Where was this guy when I needed him?
Where was this guy when I needed him?

But if I never write these things down, they’ll dissipate. With a startling shock, I lamented each minute – no, second! – I’d spent reading inane online comment threads that have no immediate applicability to my life or my aspirations. I know I’ve exercised an invaluable luxury to take a risk.

followyourdreams.gif in action -- spreading the inspiration!
followyourdreams.gif in action — spreading the inspiration!

This year, I threw my eggs into the uncertain basket of “guessing the world will love Violet if they only get to know her.” (I.e., leaving my last job, because nobody was getting to know me there.) It’s not always practical to quit that dead-end job. In those cases, judiciously spaced recreational web trawling can be the necessary release valve that keeps you sane. But right now, in my situation, I had to cut myself off. I need to produce and promote.

Also one day -- Entertainment Tonight will breathlessly follow MY every move!
Also one day — Entertainment Tonight will breathlessly follow MY every move!

One day, I’ll write the songs that make the whole world sing. But nobody will see them if I waste the whole day lurking on an unrelated comment thread.



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