In the spirit of this week’s Digital Literacy lesson about Mindfulness and disconnecting and simplifying the use of internet in our day-to-day lives I did just that. I realized that I, like many of the students from Convent and Stuart Hall in San Francisco, am addicted to my devices.
These students were challenged to disconnect from tech for three days. Some students succeeded and some students did not make it the full three days. One student that “failed” said he felt “naked” without his phone and that his fear of “missing out” on social media was too great. I don’t feel that I’m on my phone all that much, but I feel more comfortable if it is with me at all times. If I forget my phone when I leave the house, I go back to get it. Even if I’m only gone for fifteen minutes… A lot could happen in that fifteen minutes! Right?
I use the excuse that because I am so far away from home and my family I have to have my phone at all times because that is my lifeline to them. Well, my siblings are all at school from 7:30 to 4:00 and my parents are working from 8:00-6:00 so I can’t really keep in contact with them during the majority of the day, so that excuse is just an excuse.
Well it’s time to quit. Now, I’ve never been addicted to anything before (coffee doesn’t count) but I hear that quitting cold turkey isn’t the best strategy so I’m starting off small and building my way up to Leo Babauta’s zen habits.
I QUIT FACEBOOK! I deleted it and I feel great. Like Babauta, every time I got on Facebook I felt overwhelmed by ads, birthdays, game invitations, and a lot of notifications. And don’t get me started on status updates. Frankly, anything I saw on there was not important and if it was, I probably already heard of it through direct contact with that person.
I DELETED PEOPLE I FOLLOW! Obviously I didn’t delete everyone, I just refined who I am following. I don’t need to follow 50 cat related accounts on Instagram and Twitter. I just don’t. I have two perfectly adorable cats under my own roof. I also deleted accounts that are nothing but noise. If an individual is posting 15 selfies a week and it annoys me, what am I missing out on if I delete that person? Well, 15 selfies, but nothing critical.
I GOT RID OF MY OWN NOISE! Do I need to post selfies or 100 pictures of my cats on Instagram? Well, if that is what I want my identifier to be, then yes. But if I don’t want to be a vain, crazy cat lady then probably not. So I deleted a ton of posts and pictures from my Twitter and my Instagram accounts.
I still need to figure out how to filter out my email accounts and unsubscribe to a few other things, but so far I feel great about the changes I have made to simplify the internet and disconnect that much more.