I’m giving up social media in October. It’s a decision inspired by reading Irresistible by Adam Alter and Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. Both books focus on how the internet, social media, and digital technology are causing our brains to change and the longlasting impact this could cause. Reading these books has forced me to look at and evaluate my consumption of digital technologies. For example, last week, I used my phone in some capacity for at least three hours every day. And that includes Friday when I was working an eight-hour temp job.
In Digital Minimalism, Cal Newport recommends doing a “digital detox” and going without any optional technology for one month. He defines optional technology as anything you don’t need. For example, if you need to use email for work, you can’t use the digital detox as an excuse to not reply to colleagues. Mainly, the detox is to help you reboot your brain.
Recently, I’ve become very introspective. I’ve begun to look at how I’m living my life and where I could stand to make improvements. The biggest thing I noticed was my addiction to social media in addition to the knee-jerk reaction I have as soon as I wake up to grab my phone and check my email and social media feeds. My alarm goes off and my hand is automatically unlocking my phone to see what came in while I was asleep.
This dependency on being plugged in at all times hasn’t affected my work and social life. Yet. I could see it becoming an issue if I wasn’t so aware of it being a problem.
So, for October, I’m not going to check my social media feeds. That includes the big three: Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter; as well as, Reddit and Tumblr. My goal at the end of this is to create a more manageable schedule for using social media and curb my compulsive phone use.
I’ll be posting in the days ahead about what I’m filling those 3+ hours of phone use with. I expect it will be a lot of writing since National Novel Writing Month is around the corner and I want to start prepping my novel for November; a lot of reading since I have a backlog of books I’ve been meaning to get to; a lot of working on course work for my editing program; and hopefully, a lot of exercise. I want to get into a regular exercise routine again and expect that I’ll be so bored that I’ll have to go for a walk or hop on the Peloton.
It’s going to be an interesting journey and I’ll hope you’ll come along for the ride!