Today is Drop Everything and Read Day, which, of course, is a favorite holiday for many readers.
Today I’m celebrating it also as Drop the Phone and Read Day, after having read Cal Newport’s latest book Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World.
The idea of the book is this: reclaim high-quality leisure. Build something, join something, spend time with the people who matter most. And put down the darn smartphone.
In my case, I’ve carved out more time to read and to organize my home library. Super rewarding!
This is one of those books that prescribes a social media fast, and I’ll admit I did this only half-heartedly. And still: results!
What I did was to set these parameters for myself:
- Instagram: only when planking, stretching, or doing strengthening exercises
- Facebook: only twice a day, and for less than 5 minutes per day; moved app to 3rd screen on phone
- Twitter: deleted from my phone
Even after the first week, my screen time went down. And I felt the wonderful liberation of extra free time. It was stunning.
And as Newport cautions, it can feel a bit empty at first, when one begins setting boundaries on these apps that benefit more from our attention than we benefit from granting them our precious time. A person feels a little bit at a loss.
But I soon began reveling in the extra reading time. And I felt more calm and rested. Time seemed to expand, and that’s well worth missing a post or two by people I barely know.
Anyone else done a social media fast? What were the results?