Digital Declutter

Effective immediately, I am beginning thirty-day break from social media. I just finished reading Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism and I liked a lot of what I read. The only way to know for sure if it will work for me is to give it a try, and so that is what I am going to do.

Why? There’s no reason other than the fact that I feel I want to scale back. Eleven years on Facebook is a lot, and I’m tired of it. The time I spend on social media can likely be put to better use. I also want to see if a month entirely off social media will give me a generally better sense of well-being.

A few things that I took away from Newport’s book that are important to note:

  1. The thirty day break is a break from optional technologies in my life. Right now, I see those things as: Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. It does not mean giving up digital technology as a whole.
  2. Along those lines, I still plan to writing blog posts during this social media break. My blog is setup to automatically announce new posts on Facebook and Twitter. Those announcements will continue, although I will not be monitoring Facebook or Twitter for responses. I will be keeping up with the blog, and will respond to comments posted here.
  3. I am also trying to get into better habits with email. To that end, I’ll be checking personal email first thing each morning, and again in the evening, but not in-between. Keep this in mind if you email me and don’t get an immediate reply.
  4. When the 30-day break is over, I will start to look at Facebook and Twitter again, but only from my computer, and only once or twice a week. I’ll see how I feel about them at the end of this break and decide if I will be actively using them at that point.

This is something I have been thinking about doing for some time, and is part of the reason I decided to read Cal Newport’s book. I was impressed by his arguments, but need to see for myself if I get the benefit he suggests comes from digital minimalism.

This is something I want to do because I think it will be good for me. I may or may not write about the experience, although I’m leaning against writing about for one simple reason: it has been written about by many, many people already and I’m not sure I’d have much to add.

I am happy to answer questions about this experiment, however, so if you have any, drop them in the comments.