This resonates so much with me lately. Attention is an obligation, but also a luxury. I don’t know if it’s my lapsed Catholic upbringing, but no matter what I choose to pay attention to (even my own kids), I feel some degree of guilt for not paying attention to something else. The demands of social media exacerbate this even more, and that breeds resentment (which is one reason why I infrequently blog any more, as do you).
Aging is probably part of it, or at least awareness that I’m sliding towards 50. Can’t let that become crippling anxiety, though. I’m finding myself more drawn towards both historical work (in media archaeology) that provides a longer, deeper picture of our personal and social relationships to information, and to contemporary critical work that refreshingly skewers some of the sacred cows of our “open,” “free,” “democratic” digital moment. I highly recommend Astra Taylor’s The People’s Platform (2014), and, on a more philosophical level, Doug Rushkoff’s Present Sense (2013), along those lines.
We’re all trying to figure it out as we go along, and things (and expectations) keep barreling along. I’m finding the key is to take a few deep breaths, get your bearings, and give deeply of your attention as much as you can. Meditation and journalling, as you suggest, certainly help, as does taking time off from screens and notifications. This is an ongoing experiment (as is life itself), so we all have to keep adjusting. Good luck!