I started a 30-day “digital declutter” on Thursday, Sept. 1, as part of a long-term plan to better control how, when and where I use technology in my life. Here’s how my second week went. You can read the recap of my first week here.
Wins & Losses
Besides accessing Facebook and Twitter on my desktop computer for work, I have not used social media this week, and it’s been freeing. I haven’t been on Instagram at all, and I don’t miss it. I previously spent up to 30 minutes every day on Instagram and a similar amount of time on Facebook, most of that time spent watching stories and scrolling through posts.
I still miss Wordle and Spelling Bee. I did buy an old-fashioned word games book before starting my digital declutter, and I’ve been working through some crossword puzzles to fulfill that desire. I also miss podcasts. I usually listen to The Daily from The New York Times and Up First from NPR every day. I do have a radio alarm clock in my bedroom and a radio in my bathroom, and I’ve been listening to my local NPR station — WHYY — to keep up on current events while getting ready in the morning.
I did better this week with mandatory technologies by mostly sticking to my standard operating procedures for email and not carrying my phone with me from place to place, especially when I’m at home, but I’d still like to do this less than I am now.
Looking to Week 3
Heading into week three of the digital declutter, I hope to find ways to separate myself from my phone for longer periods of time. As a mother of a young child and a communications professional, I do find this difficult, as I don’t want to be caught without my phone in case of a personal or work emergency.
I have set a goal to take more nature walks on the weekends, which I can do with my son while leaving my phone in the car, but the weather and other commitments have failed to make this happen to date.
My Thoughts So Far
I’ve had multiple conversations with people in my life recently who’ve asked, “Didn’t you see my post?” When I explained I did not, we talked about the post, turning what would have been a simple “yes” answer into an actual conversation. These conversations have deepened my desire to keep social media use extremely limited after my digital declutter has ended. I do not plan to reinstall social media apps on my phone, and I think that alone will keep my use of social media, particularly Instagram, low. I likely will set some additional standard operating procedures for social media to allow its use for two things: Facebook Marketplace and Facebook Events. I prefer to buy used, when possible, and Facebook Marketplace allows me to do that pretty easily. It’s also particularly good for used kids’ stuff. I also find the events feature on Facebook particularly useful and something I can’t find anywhere else.
I continue to use the daily planner and time block. There’s way more things I want to do in the day than I have time for, and time blocking forces me to prioritize what I need to get done and how much time I’m willing to dedicate to it.
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