It’s been a week since I put myself on restriction. I found myself scrolling endlessly through Facebook liking and reposting copious videos of adorable animals doing silly things and inspiring folks talking about consciousness.
It wasn’t the worst way to spend my time, but it felt like I was cheating myself somehow.
In just one week a lot of my tendencies and beliefs have been revealed to me. I notice when I want to check out. It’s often when I am thinking creatively, problem solving. I’ll reach for a distraction, my phone, a piece of chocolate, something to break up the knot of thought I can’t seem to get past.
I’ve also noticed my propensity toward multi-tasking. Women, I believe, are genetically predisposed to a certain level of activity with divided attention. What with the baby producing, cooking, cleaning and working and all.
Still, this isn’t permission to go overboard.
I cannot seem to just watch TV. (I realize this isn’t a “real” problem, but it has shone a light on an annoying habit.) If the TV is on I am inclined to do some sort of activity in tandem. Eating, ironing clothes, scrolling. It has to be mindless, which means it’s probably not necessary. It’s very Pavlovian. I do not have this tendency while engaged in conversation or reading. TV on, do something additional.
This bit about the TV had me wondering too, about how much I really like the shows I record. Or did we just see one once and think it looked pretty good so habit has us watch the rest? This will become apparent soon enough.
I made a few decisions based on the insight provided by engaging in social media less. And I have laid the ground rules that I hope will continue after the month-long diet.
Here’s the short list:
- I have removed notifications from my phone for FB, Instagram and several other apps. No more seductive red circles.
- I no longer scroll on FB. (I do have to go on periodically for specific groups and business.)
- I respond only to direct messaging or queries in the groups I host or business related pages. Again, on Facebook.
- I post only through WordPress and Instagram – usually one blog and one or two photos a day.
- I am ditching cable completely. I have ordered an antennae and will be making that swtich this month.
- I have been writing every day.
- I am spending more time outside. (Unitl it’s a thousand degrees – coming soon.)
- I no longer start sentences, “Did you see that article/video/post on Facebook…?”
Most notably I feel a lot less urgency. Sometimes this feels good, sometimes I wonder what I should be doing with myself. I always find something. I have time to read the books on the teetering stacks surround me. I am sorting through old family photos – tons of them – to create books and remember stories. The house is clean.
So far there is no downside to less phone. But then it’s only been a week.