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.
I’m almost half-way through my 90-day hiatus from social media, and I wanted to focus on the benefits I’ve noted so far.
- While I never spent that much actual time messing around Facebook, for example – I get more done without the interruptions of going over for a ‘quick check’. More than that, I don’t have that escape anymore. When I get a little stuck or bored with what I’m working on, I knuckle through it, continuing to work rather than virtually checking in on what my friends are doing. Because I don’t quickly shift mental gears when stepping from work to recreation and back, it takes me a few minutes each time to get my head in the right place for what I’m doing. I am not doing that now, and it is where I’ve increased my productivity.
- I’m an impulsive guy, and when I have an idea that –sounds– good, I sometimes jump into it without thinking it through completely. That was the case with the Unplugged Project. After I committed to do it and started, it occurred to me that I had been so rash, I didn’t let everyone know I was doing it and why. It would look like I just fell off Facebook to some folks who might never check my wall, but who I do have exchanges on other pages. What I learned from this is that I can still be impulsive, but need to be more considerate of others.
- Now, rather than going on Facebook, I actually pick up the phone and call friends and family. You have to understand that I have a job where I am talking on the phone most of the day, either in meetings or directly with customers to resolve computer problems. When I get home, the last thing I want to do is talk on the phone. But now I do, and I enjoy it.
- I don’t know if this is due to unplugging or not, but in the last month, I’ve been playing games with family and friends more. I don’t mean video games. I’m talking about the kind where you all sit around a table in the same room and roll dice, play cards or move little pieces around the board. I’ve always loved old-school gaming and I’m having a blast, though some of my games are a little outdated. I remember in the 80’s, Steve Jackson Games’ Illuminati was socially relevant and irreverent. Now, it’s goofy, but still really fun. Where else can you say things like, “The punk Rockers, assisted by the CIA will attempt to control the Yuppies.”
So I’ve got another 46 days to go. Like it or not, I’ll continue to provide updates.
And now, the Unplugged Memes of the Week (triple-shot):
- Unplugged from Social Media: Day 37 (lifein64squarefeet.com)
- Unplugging from the Internet (sort of) – Week One (lifein64squarefeet.com)
- Update: Day 17 (sort of) Unplugging From the Internet for Three Months (lifein64squarefeet.com)
- Social Media: The Digital You & The Social Stalker (simplisafe.com)
- Zombiefied: Social media and the rise of the zombie culture (peddlerofdreams.wordpress.com)
- Technology: Do You Ever Unplug? (business2community.com)