It’s been well over a month since I posted about starting this loosely planned digital detox. I thought I would give a little update on how things are going. I’ll spare you the mundane details as you can read about those universal benefits everywhere. Instead, I’ll just mention a few actions, uses, and where I go next.
Stopping the scroll and diving deeper
In the not so distant past I was a serial searcher. I’d have an interest in a subject and then become relentless about finding resources and experiences from others regarding whatever I decided to search for. On the surface this may seem to be a good habit to practice, but in reality I was gathering very little authentic, genuine information for the sake of numerous shallow dips.
The ironic thing is that I stopped seeking anything insightful from social media, but still treated my searches like short, trivial shots of dopamine. This needed to change if I was to develop a deeper understanding of a subject.
I shifted to not only seeking longer forms of qualified content from reputable sources, but also started becoming a bibliophile of sorts. Reading more books allowed me to not only educate myself more completely, but also created more of a welcomed distraction-free environment pulling me further away from my reliance on frivolous technology.
I had not perused the likes of Twitter for some time from my dormant account. Once I logged on after a stint of curiosity I quickly and abruptly came to the definitive conclusion that it had to go. I only followed around a dozen accounts mainly out of interest categories, had a private account, and never posted.
Even though many of the accounts I followed are fitness/writer based I found the vitriol of politics bleeding into every other post. Tweets, retweets, suggestions by the algorithm, and other sidebar nuances gave me an overwhelming and creepy feeling as if I was starting to get dragged down into a never-ending void of negativity.
I pulled the plug and will have to wait the requisite 30 days for total deletion.
Will others find themselves on the chopping block?
Current digital use
Furthermore, I’ve curated, cut, and categorized other platforms, resources, and practices.
Inbox: I’m a bit of a email newsletter fan. I only allow practical, informative, and entertaining emails to make it to my inbox. The curation process is ongoing and I’ve got a pretty good handle on things. If I do subscribe to something new, I give it around three or four editions until I decide to keep or scrap.
Kindle books: My habit of reading books has only grown. I have a myriad of interests and this is where I do deep dives into subjects that interest me. Two main areas I’d like to improve here are reading more fiction and biographies. But, as I’ve touched on before, this is an ever-evolving, welcomed process. I’d also like to migrate to real books eventually.
Facebook: I don’t post or even view my feed (thanks News Feed Eradicator!) and only check from my laptop–no apps. I also only check for anyone looking for me and the occasional update on a group or two. I’m finding groups to be less and less active though. If not for those minimal things I would have deleted long ago. But, there’s still a chance!
Instagram: Pure entertainment. Nothing more. I look at dogs, national parks, and check out some writers I follow. I find Instagram to be a lot less intrusive and addictive in nature. I think the secret is the fact that you can’t share posts. Again, I don’t post, keep it private, and only check from my laptop.
Youtube: Only for entrainment or the occasional lookup of DIY projects and how to fix things. I am, however, very aggressive about how much time I spend and curate what I follow very intensely.
LinkedIn: I’ve tried to make something of LinkedIn for real-world application, but it just seems to be many things but useful to me. I would delete it tomorrow, but I keep seeing job announcements that want to see my profile. I’ve been told to set it and forget it. Oh, how I’d love to get rid of it though.
What about new players?
Of course I’m always interested where all this stuff is headed. I like to relegate myself to more of a spectator than a participant since I have no interest in new platforms (I’m looking at you Tiktok). I read a lot about people leaving this platform for that platform, but I believe there’s a growing number of us who just want to delete, leave, and get back to the real world. Social media has become tired to me with nothing left to contribute. New platforms are not going to provide anyone with anything new. The sameness is shrouded in a thin skin of novelty disguised as innovative and unique.
There’s much more to do. Things change and so do our habits, but one thing is for sure, I intend to keep advancing and prioritizing how I spend my time with technology. I refuse to go down the wormhole of always having some sort of device at my fingertips 24/7. I’m still a human and need to connect with the real world while still utilizing tech in a responsible way.
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