Last Sunday, I started reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. It is a 256-hardback book (excluding notes and index), I finished reading today. It’s the first time in YEARS I’ve finished a book that quickly. And it was an amazing feeling. To some people that may not seem like a big deal, but when you factor in the fact that I am a single parent of two, I work full time (remotely) and my kids are schooling remotely, I feel good that I was able to enrich myself by completing this book. I’m also motivated to enrich my life in other ways I’ve historically claimed I didn’t have time for.
It was also a great book. One that philosophically and emotionally supported my social media detox. But most importantly, I believe the main factor that supported me finishing was that I a currently not on social media. I remember pausing and pondering all the off-line analog activities I could have missed out on with my social media and digital usage. I didn’t stay with this regretful thoughts for too long. I intent to use the inside gained from this experience/experiment to be a whole lot more guarded about my attention and my time.
One of the chapters in Digital Minimalism addresses reclaiming leisure, something that is becoming something of a lost art in our current social reality. This chapter was one of my favorites because early in my decision to come off of social media for a 30 days, I had to get over the initial hump of mild feelings of withdrawal and a sense of feeling lost. I eventually redirected my energy and mind to the question, “What did I do before I became so plugged in?”
With that question in mind, I have been exploring the following activities:
Exploring water color and Gouache
Blogging here every day
Talking on the phone with friends
My plate is pretty full with my interests. It’s a wonder that I ever had time for social media in the first place. But now that I am taking a step back, I am able to complete things that had gone to the wayside. My focus has also improved-one of the benefits I’ve observed in myself recently.
This 30-day (maybe more) experiment/experience just keeps on revealing its gifts. I’m very excited about starting my next book tomorrow.