On May 3, I decided to go three months without Facebook, Twitter, Pintrist, Reddit or Goodreads to see if removing these obvious distractions from my routine helps me focus and be more productive. Here’s how it’s gone so far.
When I decided to do this, it was an impulsive decision. I had taken stock and realized how much of my valuable “personal time” was being spent in “unproductive” activities like browsing Facebook. I had drawn a conclusion that these activities were unproductive because I was not producing anything (other than smarmy posts\comments on Reddit or maybe a picture of my meal\family\pets on Facebook or Twitter.)
What I failed to acknowledge was that I spent my entire day – every day – producing something or otherwise occupied with a choir, task or work item. This time I was spending on social media was maybe one-two hours a day, and it was my downtime. It was time where I caught up with what friends and family are doing. Sites like Facebook afford that. It’s not quality time – like spending the evening with them would be – but liking the picture of my nephews playing soccer keeps some facsimile of connection with my family in California.
I’ve severed that. Cutting off virtual connections with friends and family wasn’t intentional, but it was to free up time in the evenings and weekends for selfish reasons. Specifically, it was so I would have time to write. It was time for me to work on my novel or create new fiction.
I have failed completely and utterly in this goal so far.
I do write fiction and have been diligently working on Find My Baby (soon to be renamed something else), but not more than I would have anyway. I have yet to turn the reclaimed social media time into “productive” time. But there are 53 days left to go, and I am determined to make this experiment a worthwhile one. Time to turn this thing around.
Next week: So far, my updates have only focused on the negative and neutral of Unplugging from social media. Next week, I plan on focusing on the upside, highlighting tangible benefits, and there are some, but they might not be what you expect. It wasn’t what I expected.
And now, the Unplugged Memes of the Week (triple-shot):