Hi gorgeous humans,
I’ve already about a new project I am doing – a series of 21 day challenges.
The first challenge I am doing is 21 days without social media.
- No Facebook or Instagram
- Messenger use is allowable
I began two weeks ago.
I shared my first week’s update here.
I wanted to update you with my diary entries, notes and lessons I’ve learned along the way.
On with the social-media-free show!
Tuesday 9 Feb 2021 (Day 9)
Wednesday 10 Feb 2021
- I wrote a blog post on my Thoughts On Kids & Phones
- Yesterday I had an Analogue Afternoon (no screens, just me, some books & a journal) and it was bloody wonderful AND hugely productive!
- I started reading How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price last night, and it was SO DAMN GOOD I highlighted 41 paragraphs, immediately recommended it to everyone in sight & wrote it down as one of my very favourite and most impactful books of 2021. Yeah, fuck, that’s how good it is.
These two quotes particularly are seared into my soul:
“Your life is what you pay attention to.”
“When I told people I was breaking up with my phone, they didn’t ask me what I meant, or why I wanted to do it. Instead, they said the same thing, practically verbatim: “I need to do that, too.”
More to come, clearly. Because I am OBSESSED.
Thursday 11 Feb 2021
I did homework from How To Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price.
The answers are… pretty damning.
In a word: Y I K E S.
I don’t like this. I don’t like what it’s done to me. I don’t like what it has done to my life.
More notes from Digital Minimalism:
“We didn’t sign up for the digital lives we now lead. They were instead, to a large extent, crafted in boardrooms to serve the interests of a select group of technology investors.”
“The thought process that went into building these applications, Facebook being the first of them, … was all about: “How do we consume as much of your time and conscious attention as possible?”
“It’s easy to be seduced by the small amounts of profit offered by the latest app or service, but then forget its cost in terms of the most important resource we possess: the minutes of our life.”
“How much of your time and attention, he would ask, must be sacrificed to earn the small profit of occasional connections and new ideas that is earned by cultivating a significant presence on Twitter? Assume, for example, that your Twitter habit effectively consumes ten hours per week. Thoreau would note that this cost is almost certainly way too high for the limited benefits it returns. If you value new connections and exposure to interesting ideas, he might argue, why not adopt a habit of attending an interesting talk or event every month, and forcing yourself to chat with at least three people while there? This would produce similar types of value but consume only a few hours of your life per month, leaving you with an extra thirty-seven hours to dedicate to other meaningful pursuits.”
Friday 12 Feb 2021 (12 days in)
More notes from How To Break Up With Your Phone:
“While research on these devices is in its early stages (unsurprising, given that they’ve barely been around for ten years), what is known so far suggests that spending extended time on them has the power to change both the structure and the function of our brains – including our abilities to form new memories, think deeply, focus, and absorb and remember what we read. Multiple studies have associated the heavy use of smartphones (especially when used for social media) with negative effects on neuroticism, self-esteem, impulsivity, empathy, self-identity, and self-image, as well as with sleep problems, anxiety, stress, and depression.”
“Never before in history have the decisions of a handful of designers (mostly men, white, living in San Francisco, aged 25–35) working at three companies had so much impact on how millions of people around the world spend their attention.”
“You don’t pay for Facebook. Advertisers pay for Facebook. You get to use it for free because your eyeballs are what’s being sold there.”
“It’s attention that we didn’t spend on our families, or our friends, or ourselves. And just like time, once we’ve spent attention, we can never get it back… Our attention is the most valuable thing we have. We experience only what we pay attention to. We remember only what we pay attention to. When we decide what to pay attention to in the moment, we are making a broader decision about how we want to spend our lives.”
Saturday 13 Feb 2021 (13 days in)
“[W]e must act, individually and collectively, to make our attention our own again, and so reclaim ownership of the very experience of living.”
—Tim Wu, The Attention Merchants
Two weeks without social media
I’ve still got a week to go of this challenge…
But let’s face it, my loves.
The writing is on the wall.
I’m not going back.
Nor is my business.
More details to come soon… but for now…
I am sober & free.
Big love & gladness,