(This is a blog entry in progress which means anyone may share their thoughts and be included in the updated version, read on, and find out how.)
I’ve been cutting down on my social media usage, specifically on social networking platforms usage that’s why I didn’t know what “Lodi” means until last night after a millennial friend told me that it is “Idol” spelled backwards. Grrr. I think Pinoy millennials are the only ones using it on social media (and as of this writing, “Werpa” and “Petmalu” have surfaced too –ok I’ll just have a separate blog post for this.)
I am not a manic poster of stuff on social media but I feel like I’ve been around too much so I took some time off, I even stopped blogging for a while. This is not a concern for some of my friends who have actual amazing life offline, they never felt my absence but I notified some of my millennial and feelinnial (feeling millennial) friends that I’ll be away, like they care. Haha.
But here’s how my digital dieting came about. I needed time to work on a “passion project”. I looked at it as a goal, so you know, when you set goals sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to achieve them, right?
My first sacrifice was school. I gave up this semester of graduate school to have more time for my passion project. But when the time I saved out of that first sacrifice didn’t seem to be enough, my next sacrifice were the series I binge-watch on Netflix and IFlix.
The bad thing about abruptly cutting out something in your life is the take over of “withdrawal”. My experience of withdrawal came in the form of absent-mindedly clicking on social media apps available on my phone. It took some of the time I was supposed to save. Defeats the purpose of cutting out other things to make time for ‘the goal’.
I cannot totally turn away from social media because my job requires (without verbally requiring) us to be online almost 24/7 since work-related communications are done through social media chat facilities.
So there, I thought of going on a digital diet, and the idea was to just stick to the “necessities”, then everything else has to temporarily go.
My digital diet plan looks like this:
- Adjust usage frequency (Example, from 24/7 to 6 hours a day?)
- Distribute usage (Ex. 2 hours in the morning, 2 hours at noon, 2 hours at night)
- Establish a no cellphone zone (Ex. Dining area? Bathroom?)
- Establish a no cellphone occasion (Ex. During dinner with family/friends/dates?)
- Establish a whole day, or days for total social networking block off (FB, IG, Twitter, Pinterest, etc.)
- Stick to the necessities like chat facilities, emails, Tumblr (if you blog from there) and LinkedIn (because it’s a must for career-oriented people).
- Do other things, like things that don’t involve cellphone usage where access to social media apps comes in handy
The examples I cited were my actual implementations. Under the “frequency” item, I’ve also tried posting less and initiating engagement less. I still greet friends who have birthdays though, and send PMs to friends who need help or friends I ask help from.
If you can do drastic diet measures like totally turning away from social media for days, you may want to include “avoid hang outs with people who have chronic social media use problems”, and life will be a breeze you know.
I’m still at it I’ve yet to see if my diet plan worked. But I have become more focused on my goal.
Have you tried digital dieting too? How’s your social media consumption? I wish to update this blog with your own diet plan and results. Please tell me about it directly via firstname.lastname@example.org. I will cheat on my digital diet for you if you’d like to discuss with me through email. I look forward to it. How about hitting that follow button set somewhere here on my site after reading? Thankies!