Last year more and more of my friends decided to change their approach to social media.
It wasn’t a digital detox as such, but an attempt to win back some time from the online world. In particular it was a recognition that some of their Facebook experience was not fruitful or enjoyable – for all sorts of reasons, including reading endless mundane posts or experiencing FOMO.
I’ve had other friends turn off their phone notifications in similar moves to halt online distractions and ‘be in the now’.
It’s become popular for this type of digital assessment to take place during New Year, the traditional time for focusing on your life and setting healthy goals. But as this fantastic piece in The Conversation in April last year relates, it may not be a digital detox we need to commit to, but a rethink of our relationship with technology because tech can often be good in our lives.
A piece in today’s Guardian Australia points out that we may love the online world and the person we are there – but is there a point where it is a destructive disruption, in particular for artists. “… this overlay and the constant disruption that occurs can be the enemy of creating anything of depth and substance, whether it is writing a novel or making a garden.” It’s recommended reading.
What does this mean for us?
Perhaps it means taking a moment to think about your digital world. How much time are you spending online / when / doing what / and what is this stopping you from doing? Indeed, what could your online experience enable you to do?
Could you be doing something differently online to support your learning or hobbies or careers or friendships?
Your digital 2016 might mean many things:
- Switching notifications off
- Starting a new hashtag
- Culling Facebook friends
- Checking social media only in the evening/morning
- Committing to writing a new blog
- Joining a ‘Photo a Day’ project (this year 366 for the leap year!)
- Subscribing to new spaces
So I’m not calling on you to do less online – you might do more. It’s worth taking a few minutes to think about the options and the exciting possibilities. Happy New Year.