I’ve spent the last 25 days off of social media.
It was glorious.
I only have one social platform, Instagram (I deleted all the others last year). Yet, even with this one platform at my helm, I felt like my time, energy and attention was being robbed by it.
Endless scrolling, quick glances, constant advertising from influencers, Insta-fame, competition, misplaced judgments and comments, poor manners and endless opinions from random people all had me exhausted.
While I truly enjoy and appreciate the community of like-minded folks and friendships I’ve created over the last 5 years, overall it’s not enough to dispel the actual robbing of my personal time, space, creativity, and energy to engage in my real life outside the social online world.
My attention span was shot, my creativity was suffering and I neglected all the little things I love - reading tons of books, writing, painting, meditating, having tea with friends and just being alone and quiet.
My average phone usage was on par with the national average of 4 hours a day and 72 phone pickups. Over 24 hours of my life a week was being spent on my phone!
Now that I had all those hours back to myself I did more human things (imagine that!). I had tea with friends, read over 4 books in 2 weeks, painted, journaled pages and pages in my notebook and gave myself time to just be alone.
I will never go back to my old habits. Social media is just not important.
My new social media guidelines
My attention and focus are back and my relationship with social media is in a much different place than it was 25 days ago.
I’ll only be posting on IG when I have something new to share. That might be once a week or once a month. The content will also coincide with my website’s Notebook (blog). And as always, there will be no outside ads, product reviews, or sponsorships. Anything I offer to you is made with my own two hands.
The Instagram app will be deleted from my phone until I’m ready to post. This means no in-between scrolling and no more liking or commenting on my part. I’ll be watching from afar.
I will only be responding to emails not DM’s from IG.
I will offer only 45 minutes of my personal time to Instagram a week.
Digital Minimalism Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World
by Cal Newport
I really enjoyed this book by Cal Newport (I also enjoyed his other book Deep Work). It really gave me a sense of direction and understanding as to why we need better relationships with our phones (and tech in general).
Part of my regaining my attention span is being able to read a book in less than two days. It’s like a restored strength.
Instead of letting smart tech direct me, I now control it.
“A small but detailed 2015 study of young adults found that participants were using their phones five hours a day, at 85 separate times. Most of these interactions were for less than 30 seconds, but they add up. Just as revealing: The users weren’t fully aware of how addicted they were. They thought they picked up their phones half as much as they actually did.”