Detoxing

It was probably inevitable.  I’ve been struggling with ‘things’ and minimalism for a while.  I’ve largely concluded that I could survive with many fewer possessions but will never fit in a Tiny House.  That’s OK.

I’ve railed against the media machine before. (Parts of that post are outdated, but the sentiment remains.) I’ve lamented drivers’ use of cell phones, and I’ve noticed everyone around me, family included, walking through life like zombies.  Whether Pokemon or Facebook, the machines have taken over.

I took baby steps.  I resisted Facebook.  I deleted the app from my phone and tablet, and I severely curtailed my ‘Friends’ list.  I would delete my account completely, but I still have a few professional obligations.  I created and curated a block list on Twitter to remove as much politics as possible.  (Neither side is happy right now.)

It wasn’t enough.  I seriously considered replacing my iPhone with a dumb phone.  I have an old one in the kitchen drawer which is suitable for phone calls and texts.  It was very tempting, but I do use the smartphone for one or two important things at work.  Life without it would not be impossible, but it would be harder.

Inspired in part by The Minimalists and pushed over the edge by Ray Larose, I’ve embarked on a Digital Detox:

  • All social media has been deleted from my phone.  Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Flickr – all gone.
  • I’ve curtailed my apps; I only have apps which I regularly use and which ‘add value’ to my day.  (Do I really need to access three versions of online banking from my phone?  I’m never more than a few minutes away from a laptop.)
  • Craigslist, Amazon, and eBay are gone.  They only cost me money anyway.
  • I have made a vow that I will only access email and Twitter from a real computer (laptop or my desk) and no more than twice a day.
  • With the exception of writing sessions, no block of screen time will exceed one hour.

Friends and family have my phone number and we communicate primarily by text anyway.

Open-ended goals tend to fail for me, so I’ve planned to run this challenge through the end of this month.  Wish me luck!

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