March is my Digital Detox Month

Howdy, everyone! Patrick and I are heading home from Key West, Florida where we attended a lovely wedding on the beach and soaked up enough sunshine to make my freckles come out. On the way home I finished reading Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism.

The book was helpful, even given that I’m a minimalist already. Quitting Facebook and Instagram last year reduced my stress and improved my mood, and I don’t feel nearly as tech-addicted as I used to. (Hooray!) But I struggle with mindless internet browsing, so I’ve decided to follow Newport’s suggestion and do a “Digital Detox” by eliminating optional technologies from my life for a month.

Here’s my detox protocol:

Always allowed:

  1. File Syncing and Cloud Storage

  2. Research (see below)

  3. Blogging, Writing, & Publishing

  4. Navigation (Maps)

  5. Texting, Email, and Calendar

  6. eBooks, Audiobooks, and Podcasts

  7. RSS and Pinboard

Not Allowed:

  1. Social media (Twitter)

  2. Web browsing (including Reddit)

  3. YouTube

  4. News browsing

  5. Mobile games

Note: I’m allowed to watch PBS Newshour, movie trailers, and John Oliver on YouTube. Those are my exceptions. 🙂

Research vs Browsing

Every day, I munch articles on the Internet like a hungry cow grazes on grass. It’s gotten bad enough that I was tempted to avoid all browser use during my detox! But sometimes I need to look things up, for work or travel or making plans. So this month I’ll search for information on the internet only after I write down the query, in my paper journal. I expect this little mindfulness check will help me avoid dumb-browsing.

Blogging vs Social Media

Because micro.blog is a hybrid between blogging and social media I wasn’t sure how to treat it during my detox month! In the end, I decided to blog/publish whenever I want but to stop checking in for replies. I’ll rejoin the social aspect of Micro.blog in April, so apologies in advance for being unresponsive for a while. (Feel free to email me if you need something!)

And as for Twitter, I’m entirely offline this month, although my blog posts will auto-publish there. Easy peasy.

Why Bother?

I tend to pull out my phone and browse at night while watching TV, or whenever I feel momentarily bored, like when riding the bus. This habit bothers me, a lot, and I’d like to break it. And I bet I’ll get a few other insights from the detox process, so why not? I’m curious to see how it goes.

That’s all for now! I’ll check in later to describe how my detox-month is going. And before I go to bed tonight I’ll delete my Twitter and Reddit apps…

WAAAH 😭

Just kidding. I’ll be fine.


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