So as you know, I’ve written about deleting social media off my phone to Reclaim my Attention and Focus.
Yesterday, I received a notification on my phone to say that my screen time had reduced by 62% this week. Bonus!
It was the most exciting piece of news I had received all week.
Added to that, I looked over to my knitting and in comparison saw that I had more than half finished the cowl I started.
Before we went to Hawaii, I had deleted all the social media apps off the phone. During the time away, I uploaded them again as a way of communicating with friends and family. The same day we came back home, I immediately deleted them all again. I said goodbye to:
- Facebook & Facebook Messenger
- Instagram & Instagram TV (good riddance)
The only ones I’ve kept are YouTube and Snapchat. I’ve downloaded Pinterest again but that’s because I’m taking a more active interest in this app in getting creative ideas although I don’t always like the articles as there is a tedious ‘sameness’ about them. You know, 5 tips to look good this winter; 7 ways to wear jeans etc. Boring as bat shit. Pardon my French.
However, what I have taken to is just SAVING photos and not the articles. I think Pinterest is a whole other playing field of creative collections of content but frankly, it’s not a priority for me to learn – just yet.
Well anyway, what are some of the things I’ve noticed in my behaviour since getting rid of social media?
- My attention to detail and focus on long reads is back!
- I have started a Bookmark List on my browser on Weekly Reads so that I can capture articles that interested me during the week so that I can mull on them and then write interesting blog posts once something really resonates with me.
- Mark Storm (@marksstorm) has a great buildup of excellent articles that take me down a rabbit warren of wonderful reading that is not necessarily related to work and learning. (Trust me, even though I love learning and development, nothing bores me as much as just reading about this topic alone. I NEED and CRAVE different articles in the realm of history, science, arts, architecture to read. I find I get far more personal satisfaction about stories of people who, through adversity, achieved something than reading pages of learning and development reports. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll read the reports like everyone else but what stands out is that everyone else is reading the same report. You can read their interpretation of the said report OR you can just come up with your own and meld it with links, connections, patterns from history, science, art etc. I’d guarantee you that no one else is thinking this way)…
- I don’t pick up my phone to take photos or videos anymore to share them instantly.
- What this means is that much of the time, I’m in the moment. I’m not thinking “oh I should tweet that now!” or “I should put this photo online”. Thing is, you’re in the moment but when you do take a photo or video, you’re going to make sure you want to keep it. That is, you think twice about capturing the moment and when you do, there may be a question of you NOT sharing it to social media therefore, that moment is for you alone.
- For example, today I BLASTED a lady in a car in front of me. She wanted to turn left and missed the turn so she decides to reverse and nearly backed into me. As a Greek, I have no problem putting my hand down on the horn and letting it sound for a LOOOONG time. I gave her a shock that’s for sure but she was causing traffic chaos. Anyway, after I parked I thought “I should tweet about what happened”. My next thought was “Why do I have to tweet that? What am I possibly adding to this?” so I let it go. Moment lost, forgotten and not shared.
- I blog a lot more
- This is exactly what I wanted but I know full well that hardly anyone is reading it and you know what? That’s TOTALLY OK. This is more of a sense making activity for me as I just want to keep writing. Many people blog for the purposes of business or lead generation but this is not the purpose of my writing at all.
- I consider who and what I’m reading
- Already I’ve noticed that many people who used to blog in the past don’t blog anymore. Also, I use Twitter Lists to filter who it is I’m reading. People who inspire me or who share wonderful reading, I will continue to follow. Those who only share stuff related to their products and services, I will not. Once again, I’m more interested in reading the wonderful, curious, interesting stuff, stories and anecdotes from them – their ideas and insights. I save these into Feedly collections that are as “Important Reads” that I refer to and later make notes to write about later.
- I don’t engage on all posts
- Particularly for LinkedIn, I have been scanning some articles that are of interest to me but I haven’t always engaged. There just comes a time when I think “is it worth it?” and on the whole, it isn’t. If the article doesn’t provide me with a level of excitement because it’s inspired a new idea for me to apply or do, I’ll leave it.
- I’ve been texting and having phone calls more often with people
- This has been lovely actually. It’s made me realise that there’s a whole new friendship level when your network contacts you by your phone number and not through social media.
- I’ve watched movies during the day and was delighted to learn about The Big Lebowski – and then introduced to more Coen Brothers movies.
- Yes you read right. I watch movies during the day – and I DID NOT PICK UP MY PHONE ONCE. I laughed, hollered, cried and really got swept up in them without any distractions – except for a couple of dropped stitches of my knitting.
So there you have it. Will I continue? I think so.
I’ve come to the conclusion that I spend a lot of my time in front of a screen and this must be reduced because I’m not physically doing anything else with my hands or resting my brain. It’s important for me to also not think about others for a while – my community, my network – and think for myself and my family and friends who are present with me in person.
The way I make sense of stuff is having the time to PLAY, to REST and to SLEEP. I like my sleep and have no problem with it thankfully.
I felt that being “ON” all the time was dulling my brain and my senses and most of all, I wasn’t respecting others around me. Similarly, I noticed that I was talking ONLY about work, ONLY about social media, ONLY about learning. OMG, I was putting myself to sleep.
The holiday in Hawaii and my change in mindset from last year and this year about the hours I work and how much I spend thinking and doing work related stuff to the detriment of my own personal health and well being was a wake-up call.
I don’t want a life where I’m ONLY thinking about my day-to-day work or learning and development.
I want a life where I can muse over the questions of the impact of luxury shopping malls to age-old Middle Eastern bazaars because frankly, it’ll make better dining table conversation.