I normally post a recipe on Mondays, but my schedule of teacher training, grad school, teaching and sort of socializing has finally caught up to me. Today, I’m eating a bowl of raw veggies and hummus salad dressing for lunch. So. I’ll skip the fancy photos of that, okay? Cool.
Deleting Facebook and staying off Twitter and doing digital detoxes are the new “I don’t own a TV” right? Like, that’s cool, but you’re probably that person who visits your friends and then uses their Facebook to stalk. Don’t look at me like that. I know you know what I’m talking about.
Yoga teacher training is absolutely ruining (ha) every aspect of my life, but one thing I’m becoming really aware of is my total obsession with technology. I am that person who sits across from you at brunch and scans Twitter. I Instagram the hell out of everything. I have a love-hate Facebook, meaning that I love the validation but hate it when other people post dumb things…and yet, I am obsessed.
I’m realizing how often I use the Internet to numb out from what’s right in front of me. I’ll save the psychoanalyzing as to why for the depths of my journal, but I am realizing just how often I go through life totally absorbed in what’s going on in the world of the Internet instead of engaging fully with what’s in front of me. I also use it as a way to feel “liked” and “seen” even though the things I post may be a stylized version of life. I’m working really hard on showing up authentically (I’m sorry if that just made you puke in your mouth a little) and I’m trying to understand how the Internet plays into that.
Additionally, I waste a lot of time online. I cannot even bear to think of all the hours I’d get back if I didn’t go down Internet rabbit holes. It’s absurd. Also, I find myself super irritated by petty things online. I just don’t want to be involved in petty crap, and yet…I cannot stop my compulsion to check.
I have decided to take a digital detox of sorts. I’m not deleting anything or getting too crazy, but I am hoping to cultivate a little more quiet, a little more presence and get a handle on some of my weirder Internet habits.
Here are a few of my parameters:
- No phones at meals, in the bathroom (I KNOW, I’M DISGUSTING), or when there’s a human being in front of me (even if they pull out their phone). If I’m waiting on an important text or call, I’ll communicate that, but will not actively check my phone.
- I moved Twitter and Facebook off the home screen of my iPhone and put them in a folder. I’m hopeful that this alone will discourage me from checking as often, simply because it’s not right there.
- I want to work really hard on limiting my time online at home. There are SO many other things I want to do — read books (my reading habits are pathetic these days), make things, take photos, etc. I want to try and stick to only being online for an hour at night, and then getting offline early enough to wind down before bed. We’ll see how this goes. I’d be lying if I said the Internet doesn’t bring me joy, but I’d like to do other things.
- No more checking email and social media in bed. I usually lay in bed for 20+ minutes in the morning reading things. Ideally, I’ll use this time to get in a short cardio workout and a morning meditation instead of screwing around on Facebook.
- I set my email to only be sent to my phone manually so I don’t feel pressure to check it ASAP.
- Instagram can stay…for now. I love Instagram, and I find it so much less agitating than any other form of social media. I like taking photos. I like looking back at happy things. But again, I want to work on taking a photo and then getting out of there, instead of obsessively waiting for likes.
- I’m drastically reducing the number of blogs I read. I want to remain connected to friends, but I read an absurd number of blogs just to feel like I’m hip to what’s happening in the online world, as opposed to really enjoying them.
I’m not committing to any length of time on this. I imagine that I’ll see some immediate shifts and challenges, but my hope is that I’ll get away from being so connected all the time, and break my compulsion to check all forms of social media non-stop. I want to be more invested in what’s happening right in front of me, not obsessed with things happening far away or online.
Writing this post has me feeling really nervous, to be honest. I don’t want to fail, or be totally miserable. I do, however, want to shift my habits (and I have wanted to for a long time) so I think this will be a good start. Let the great experiment begin!
Have you ever worked to change your online habits? Any tips or things I’m forgetting?