For a while now, I’ve been concerned with the amount of time I lose to mindless browsing of my Social Network feeds. I do it when I am bored, when I don’t want to do something, when I am tired, when I have a few spare minutes, when I am commuting, when I am having lunch at work. In other words, a lot of time is wasted every day due to this bad habit. Time seems to slip through my fingers, and by the end of the day I find myself thinking: It seemed to me that at any given moment I was doing something, but in reality I haven’t done anything worthwhile. Overall, I think that the fact that I can’t even remember what pictures and posts I looked at today’s morning says it all.
Today, I’ve thought of a little challenge for myself:
1. For the next 7 days starting this midnight, I will log off all the Social Networks that I am usually on. That includes: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, VK, LinkedIn (I will only log in if it is necessary for work, and then will log off right away). I will also add YouTube to the list as it is another “great” way to lose time. (Goodbye to all the cat videos and fail compilations)
2. I will keep notes daily on how the experiment is going, and by the week’s end, I will write a post about the experience: emotional states, changes, frustrations and little wins.
3. To keep myself accountable I will share this post publicly.
This challenge will be somewhat harder for me as I am currently living abroad, and many of my friends live on a different continent, and sometimes Social Networks are the best way to communicate with them and stay in touch. However, I am not here to whine, and no matter how difficult it might become, I am committed to this experiment. Also, it is not a big deal – it is just 7 days.
What I expect to achieve by going through the No Social Networks challenge:
1. Better understanding of where my free time goes, and how much of it I actually have.
2. Learning instead of browsing: I plan to fill the free time with useful activities, such as learning French, reading and writing.
3. Increased mindfulness – I will focus on the activities at hand: when I eat, I will be eating, not scrolling the feed of Facebook or Twitter. This will make the experience of life richer. (Or at least I hope it will)
I welcome you to do this experiment yourself and see if the quality of your life experiences and your productivity improves. If you have thoughts, questions or comments about the experiment, feel free to write a comment below. If you end up taking this challenge, please share your experiences and lessons learnt.
Photo by Thomas Leuthard.