I've spent the last week unplugged from Twitter and the Internet (I mean news sites, more specifically). In this world of constant distraction, lack of focus and widespread adhd, did this experiment bring me back my clarity, purpose and meaning?
No, it didn't. It seems it will take a little more than that. But it helped, I must admit. Let me share some random thoughts about the experience.
- It was not that difficult. Apparently my addiction was not that bad.
- I hid the Twitter app and the news sites bookmarks deep in the phone, so that I would not find them staring at me, begging for love.
- One week later, the fear of missing out something interesting on Twitter has totally vanished.
- Being completely uninformed about what's happening in the world is embarrassing. I mean, when the King of Spain nominates Pedro Sanchez to form a government and you don't know anything about it you feel like a freak.
- The embarrassment fades away when you realize that everybody else is way too busy being a smartass about it to notice.
- Indeed, I enjoyed greatly asking people about their opinion and actually listening instead of trying to outsmart them with my super sharp comments.
- When you resist the urge to check your phone at EVERY SINGLE CHANCE, no matter how short the window (say stuck in traffic, waiting in line, elevator, toilet, ...) you travel back to the days of boredom... and you like it (for a change, I guess). Small things in La Vida suddenly capture your attention, and you feel more grounded and less drunk.
- Those small moments also trigger a lot of ideas. Giving your brain some room there creates a space for new stuff to come out. That's also welcome.
- I bought a magazine. A real one, paper and all. I had forgotten what it feels like to flip those pages and engage in some interesting long form reading. I tried Offscreen, and I'm enjoying it a lot.
All in all, it's a positive net balance, but I do miss finding out interesting and surprising stuff every now and then. The experiment proves that the signal to noise ratio is still poor, and that our world, bloated with information and convenience, is desperately asking for more relevance.
I'll extend my information fast still one more week (so no offense if I don't respond to your tweets) and then take some decisions, either to unfollow indiscriminately, leave Twitter, subscribe to some newsletter to be efficiently informed, subscribe to a newspaper, buy another magazine or do a Walden. I'll keep you informed.
See you next week. Cheers.