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Information Diet

How I Survived One Week Without Social Media

One week has passed since I started my information diet and I'm happy to report that I was able to stick to my plan and did not cheat. I have not consumed social media throughout the whole week. Here is how it went:

Saving a lot of time

First of all, my morning routine has changed. Usually I wake up and grab my phone and stare at the screen, reading social media. So I woke up on Monday, grabbed my phone and tried to open the Facebook app only to find out that it was no longer installed. I read some emails instead (which I also always do) and went to the bathroom. This saved me easily 15 minutes of time.

After wakeup I always walk to the local Starbucks, eat my breakfast and stay there for a few hours, doing the first half of my workday.

Usually I would read even more social media while having breakfast which prolongs the whole breakfast ceremony quite a bit. Without social media I just mindfully eat my meal (it really tastes better when you concentrate on it) and start working right away. Another 30 minutes saved.

In the same manner I also saved 15 minutes during lunch and 30 minutes before falling asleep, so all in all that's about 1.5 hours saved every single day. Just the time I need for reading books, playing basketball and doing meditation.

There is another thing: Sometimes I read so much social media, follow links, bookmark posts, soak in "more knowledge" that it almost feels like real work and makes me feel tired and exhausted. I would lie to myself and pretend that I have already done some work and deserve some rest with the result that the real work that needs to be done gets procrastinated even more.

What did I miss?

The answer is: Nothing at all!

When I finally logged in to Facebook and Google+ on Friday, I had 52 unread notifications on Facebook and 14 on Google+.

On Facebook only two of them were relevant in that they notified me that someone mentioned me in a post, but as usual those mentions were rather lame and there was no need to answer at all.

Same situation on Google+: All but one notifications were irrelevant. In that one case it would have been nice if I had answered faster but it is not the world's end.

Now think about it: That is a total of 66 notifications during five days. That's roughly one notification every hour of my waking time during a day.

A small distraction every single hour!!!

Remember: During those five days I did not interact with those networks at all (well, almost: I posted two links) so that number of 66 notifications would acutally skyrocket if I took part in the social media game - in that case it would be more like one small distraction every five minutes.

I think that's actually quite scary...

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