5 days into July means 5 days that I haven’t clicked on any social media apps or websites, including YouTube. Whilst on my 9 mile run this morning, as per usual, I reflected on how the last 4 days have felt and the little changes I’ve noticed. Today’s post is going to be dedicated to the good, the bad and how I plan to continue onwards with this challenge, which by the way is going to whole of July without going on social media (exclusively Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and Facebook).
1. Clarity of thought: My brain feels less foggy and my thought pattern remains clearer throughout the day. When I finish my morning run, shower and eat breakfast, my brain has this profound clarity which I call my ‘optimum period’ as it tends to be when I am at my most creative – it happens to be when I write most of these posts. Not going on social media, particularly during this time, means that that clarity lasts. That’s not to say when fatigue sets in or mundane work based activities have to be done that I get a kind of brain fog, however none of it is social media induced.
2. Learning: The internet is full of useful, informative and incredible information but unfortunately most social media sites aren’t where this information is found. Even when I spend time on YouTube, typically I might have clicked on it for something useful or something I can learn from, but due to that addictive algorithm I often end up on a video that gives me no substance whatsoever. The time I typically spend watching Youtube videos or surfing Instagram has been filled with listening to podcasts, more specifically my favourite, the Joe Rogan Experience which is dense with useful information.
1. Connection: This week my brother moved out and although I’ve sent him a few messages to see how he’s getting on, he has a pretty prolific social media presence. He has quite a big following, particularly on Instagram, so he tends to keep it updated on a daily basis. I sort of miss just knowing what he’s up to and seeing him in his new surroundings via the Instagram Story. It’s a funny concept in that a few years ago there wasn’t even an option to view someone’s life on a almost live update. It just means there’s all the more reason to go a visit though – which could end up meaning this is a good thing.
2. The replacements: I’ve struggled the most when eating dinner. 4 days a week, I come home form the gym and typically eat dinner alone. Nobody is in the house and I don’t have much to occupy me by that point in the day – most of the time I’m brain fried from my day of exercise and work. This is when I would mostly watch YouTube videos and use it as a ‘decompression’ time. On the first day of this challenge, I just carried on listening to more podcast but by this time I had listening to a lot of podcast and audiobook. So on the second day, I used BBC iPlayer to watch a cooking show. This has then carried on for the rest of this week. However, although this is a replacement that doesn’t necessarily count as being on social media, it’s still involves staring at a screen. This is something I want to stop going forward.
The plan for the next 5 days:
Well, today is Friday, this weekend I go away this evening and will be busy/far away from screens until midday on Sunday. On Sunday’s typically I find it very easy to not go on social media because I’m busy, people are around, I go on long walks, etc. Next week could be interesting as I am only at work on Monday and Tuesday and then I’m off for summer. The number one on the plan is to stop the BBC iPlayer replacement and just switch off screens completely. If the weather is good then I might start eating dinner outside, leaving my laptop and phone inside.
I’ll keep ya updated.