Sunday, June 5, 2016

Digital fasting is necessary

I have content fatigue. Is that a real thing? Surely a reliable study has been done. But even if a study hasn’t been done, something has definitely messed me up.
In the spirit of Tom Haverford, here’s a typical Internet Routine for my mornings:
·         Grab phone immediately upon waking up because my phone is also my alarm.
·         Open Twitter and scroll without even absorbing anything because my eyes are still dead.
·         Open Instagram because beautiful photos are very important.
·         Check Facebook to see if I got any likes or comments while I slept.
·         Once I’m finally walking around, I’ll check out friends’ Snapchat Stories.
·         Get back on Facebook, but this time I’m on my laptop after I’ve written my storyfor no reason at all because I loathe Facebook. Honestly, at this point Im just conditioned to open it during any lull.
·         By now, it’s time to get ready for work. I start the shower and then inexplicably stand half-naked in my bathroom while scrolling through Snapchat, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Anchor, WHATEVER. My phone eventually gets covered in steam…so I know when to stop. This is exactly the kind of moment that signals: I’ve got a problem.
A tricky place

There’s more content on the web than any person can ever consume in a lifetime. This content pile grows wider, deeper, and higher every second and there’s no stopping it. It’ll grow and grow until it becomes self-aware and eats our brains. Even after I publish this insanely valuable and well-written story, I’m only adding to a man-eating pile.
The internet can be a tricky place for those of us who get addicted to knowledge, new insights, fresh ideas, compelling stories, comment debates, and digital connections.
Some people can consistently eat up content (as well as produce it) without ever being affected or slowing down. I’m not one of those people. It all exhausts me after too long. I don’t know why that is. I just know that it is.
What I have to do
I’ll be taking a month offa Digital Fast, if you will.
From June 7 to July 6, I won’t be active on any social network. Nor will I consume any digital content.
Here’s what I am allowed to consume:
·         Music
·         Fiction, philosophy, biography, or poetry books
·         Story-driven or educational podcasts like This American LifeReply All,Stuff You Should Know, Criminal.
If you’re wondering why I’m allowing those things, it’s because those are the types of content that I never intentionally try to extract insight or knowledge from. I simply consume and enjoy the ride. However, sometimes insight or knowledge is an unintentional byproduct.
What I’ll be doing instead
You may not be able to tell from my above Internet Routinebut I do have a life outside of the web. There are few projects and goals that I’ll be pursuing like a starving predator during my Digital Fast.
1.      Getting fit. I’m going on a tropical vacation in a month
2.      A freelance project. It’s always nice to have extra cash for vacation. So I added a freelance gig to my June schedule.
3.      Finishing my all reading book. I’m avid reader. This should be easier during a digital fast.
See you in a month
Hopefully my eyes won’t be so bloodshot by then. Also, I’d love to know if anybody else experiences content fatigue? If so, what helps? Quick, let me know by tomorrow!

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