Let’s call it an experiment. For the next 30 days I am going to avoid as much online consumption as I can. It’s a social media fast.
I spend a lot of time consuming things online. By the time I’ve read all my feeds for the day and caught up with 500 people, 140 characters at a time, there’s little time left, and I still can’t stop. The social media addiction is so very strong, and I’m all in. A junkie.
Time for an intervention.
To fix the problem I could reduce the amount of time spent social networking. Easy, right? Easy yes, but the problem with simply cutting back is that it doesn’t last. It’s too vague. Have I cut back enough? I can trick myself into anything, so to avoid any mamby pamby ambiguity, I’ve decided to go cold turkey. As of right now, and until the end of June, I’m shutting off every time-sucking, attention-grabbing bit of computer distraction that I can reasonably live without. No more Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, RSS Feeds, Forums, or other things where too much time is spent aimlessly consuming whatever it is they’re feeding me.
So what now?
I enjoy writing, drawing, and taking photographs, yet I barely do any of those things. With all of my new-found time I should be able to something, right? I recently bought an easel, some acrylics, brushes and canvases. So far I’ve succeeded in painting one of the canvases blue. It’s been almost 2 months. That can’t even be considered a good start. So more painting would be nice.
Writing doesn’t come easy for me, and I’m not getting better by not doing it. To that end I’ve decided to write no fewer than 500 words per day for the next 30 days. It doesn’t matter what I decide to write about – it’s all part of the exercise.
And photography? We all know that I love taking photos. And yet, my cameras can sit idle for days at at time. That’s just silly. How about shooting 2 rolls of film per week? That sounds easy, and much more fun than reading 1000 inane comments on Techcrunch.
What then is acceptible? Email, of course. Movies I consider life-sustaining, so those are okay. Posting to Flickr and my Blog are fine, since that’s a form of creation. Also posting to Twitter is fine, but only using Birdhouse. With Birdhouse I can broadcast updates just fine without being forced, or tricked into reading everyone else’s tweets. It’s only selfish temporarily. If you DM me I’ll get an email, so feel free.
At the end of the 30 days I hope to have created a few things instead of blindly consuming them. Should be fun. In the meantime, I’ll be where I always am: firstname.lastname@example.org and (616) 723-0910. Talk to you soon.