A 21 Day Social Detox

2 minute read

Social media has become a big part in how we connect with others.

For me, it’s played a pivotal role in my life as my wife, and I traveled the country as Bold&Adventurous. We’ve made new friends, and explored so many new places thanks to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

But there is a dark side to the current state of social media. These platforms are a breeding ground for negativity and a distraction from real life. Even with some heavy swinging of the Hide From News Feed Hammer on FB, I can’t escape the random political rant. This past election cycle has been rough, though. It’s made worse by the fact I am a political junky with friends on both sides of the political spectrum.

Platforms like Facebook tend to be echo chambers for our biases and don’t encourage us to think rationally or reason. It can be divisive and to easy to give an opinion on every item someone shares. It’s almost as if the platform itself encourages shouting into the void.

And it’s not just social media. The constant checking of news websites every half hour. For what I don’t fucking know. Just some new story to excite or enrage me. “Has the world ended yet?”

How many times a day do you find yourself checking the news?

So I’m cutting out digital media for 21 days.

The goal here is just to disconnect from the firehose of opinions, news cycles, and the addiction to vanity metrics (likes, RTs, favorites, follower counts, etc.).

How will I do this without cheating? Luckily, there’s an app for that.

I’ll be using the SelfControl app. You type in a website you want to block and the time for which to block it. It’s a genius-ly cruel app that I’m excited to put to the test.

I saved my block list, which you can download here if you’re interested: https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/2998668/mikes-list.selfcontrol

I’ll be deleting the Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, and Slack apps from my phone. (Yup I’m giving up slack too)

BTW, I feel it’s better to delete the apps, rather than hide them and turn off notifications. The reason is that you’ll have to redownload the app to be distracted rather than instantly breaking your goal. The extra step affords you the reminder of the goal.

If you’re feeling the same as me, I’d encourage you to come up with your own plan. Or copy mine. And join me on a 21-day detox.

I’ll be starting mine on Saturday, Nov. 19th, 2016 and the last day will be Dec. 10th, 2016.