Over the past year or so, I’ve started to do this thing where I delete all my social apps off my phone. A bit dramatic I know, but in an attempt to be more present I thought I’d give it a go.
The first few times I did this, I realised how much staring at my phone had become a crutch to me. Whilst waiting for the lift, I’d find myself whipping out my phone only to realise that ‘oh, I don’t have anything to look at’ and that would make me put it away. I’d be having a conversation with someone and want to show them something I saw on social media, only to realise the same thing. Once again, I’d put my phone away. This happened a lot, and as time went by I realised my conversations would involve social media less and that I started looking around and people watching again.
Of course this also meant my general social media usage went down dramatically, but being in marketing & communications does mean that you’re never truly off social media. It is important to keep up with trends. It did, however, make me consider who was on my feeds since it also meant I had less time to trawl through posts.
I think in 2018 I deleted my apps a total of maybe 3 or 4 times in the year, sometimes for shorter periods than others. But generally for the same reason, whenever I caught myself mindlessly scrolling for too long.
Fast forward to 2019. In a bid to improve my quality (and quantity) of sleep and time spent with the kids, I did a delete again for 7 days. This time, I wanted to go a step further and change the habits that revolve around social media. Scrolling whilst waiting for friends to arrive, scrolling in bed before sleep, etc.
This time, I started carrying my e-reader around. Each time I had to wait, I’d take a moment to take in what was around me. If the wait got a bit long, I turned to my book. By day 6, I’d realised I really didn’t miss scrolling and I’m on my 7th book of the year – and we’re not even at the end of January yet!
I had as a goal to read 19 books by the end of 2019.
Is this a new habit? Can I keep it up now that I’ve re-installed the apps? Let’s see how I go for the rest of the year.