A habit that I’ve tried to build the last few years has been to audit my daily life about every quarter.
So every 3-4 months or so I’ll take some time to think.
Even thinking isn’t something easy to do these days.
Just sit and think for a minute.
If you’re like me you’ll want to reach for your phone. It’s weird. And kind of scary.
Anyway, something I wanted to try was to remove social media from my phone.
One of the main reasons I would check my phone all the time was to check for social media updates.
To start, I should say that I have never had Facebook on my phone.
That’s the biggie. I will cop to checking my wife’s occasionally. I only have an account for business purposes. No friends other than my wife.
But sometimes she’ll post an important announcement of ours to friends and I’ll be curious to check it out.
But Facebook wasn’t a biggie for me on my phone.
However, the big ones were Instagram and Twitter.
Another thing I would check was the Golf Channel app. I would check to see if there was any new golf news.
So all three of those got deleted.
Here is what happened…
You Relearn To Think
Maybe “think” isn’t the right word.
Maybe it’s more like “daydream”.
When daydreaming, you build intelligence. You allow yourself to think about life and your place in it.
The busier your mind is doing things like checking social media the more you put off thinking about your place in this world.
That’s kind of scary.
It makes me think of this Gary V. video.
If you’re not thinking about what you want to do with your life you’re wasting it.
The Fear Of Missing Out
A big reason we use social media so much is the fear of missing out.
We don’t want to miss any updates.
From our friends.
From our favorite news sources.
All of it.
We get a taste and then we don’t want to give it up.
But here’s the thing…
After a few days I found myself simply not thinking about checking Instagram or Twitter. Initially I would catch myself reaching for my phone. But I learned quickly that the apps weren’t there. I’d move on to something else.
After a few days I nearly stopped checking my phone. I just forgot about the apps.
And the fear of missing out seemed to go away. I don’t have it anymore.
So maybe quitting social media is easier than quitting drugs or alcohol or whatever other vices that are tricky to kick.
Now, I do still check Twitter on my computer.
And I work on my computer so it’s there for me to check a lot of the time.
I don’t really check Instagram on my computer. Not really ever.
But I find myself not checking it a crazy amount. A couple times a day.
On Twitter I do try to limit the people I follow to about 15 or 20. So there really aren’t that many updates I miss or want to see anyway.
What About YouTube, Podcasts, Browsing, Email, etc?
Now this has me thinking about these other apps.
I do save long YouTube lectures and try to learn from them. But I also watch music videos and trailers.
I love listening to educational podcasts. Not sure how those fit in here.
Browsing can be tricky. I do check 1-3 sites a day for updates. I also look for answers to questions.
And email…that’s been an issue for me. I wish I could take that off my phone and only check it on my computer.
Final Takeaway: What’s Really Important
Here is my big takeaway from this experiment. It’s got me thinking about what’s really important in life.
One thing would be focusing on things that are here for the long-term.
- Knowledge from a book.
- Knowledge from a podcast.
- Great songs.
- Creating things that last a long time.
- Thinking about your life.
Not all, but a lot of information on social media has a short shelf life.
A celebrity said something?
Big deal, tomorrow another celebrity will say something else.
Life is a paradox of living in the moment, but also focusing on the long-term.
It’s about having a vision for your future. Understanding what you enjoy. Then doing that every day to fulfill your vision.
Will every day be successful? Not even close.
But working toward long-term goals is a heck of a lot better than passing time looking at social media updates.
And I’m definitely not the best person at doing all these things.
But I’m working on it…