It’s time to let go of distractions, doom-scrolling, of app checks, and likes. It’s time to prune a few branches of the tree that still has plenty of growth to do and rid myself of those things that drag me down.
Last night I deleted the last social app on my phone. This came after a rapid effort to get rid of those things that suck my time productively and make me distant, disconnected, and alone.
Social media is out, and I’m gone from those platforms.There. I said it.
I had Twitter for a long time and connected with thousands of other educators on that platform. It benefited me as a new teacher, mentor, and promoter of what works.
I ventured into Facebook, too, and connected with overseas family, long-lost acquaintances, and a few hobby groups. Orienteering was there, my USPSA buddies were there… and so was all the garbage, fake news, and loaded politics.
Need more cats and memes in your life? I used to love spending hours on Imgur, just scrolling for no reason to see the latest meme mashups, cat videos, Christmas selfies, and whatever else was promoted to the top.
It was hard to let it go. I even did a few years of Secret Santa through that app, which was fun to participate in.
The LinkedIn app on my phone? I don’t need it. I’ll still post on there but from my laptop. LinkedIn is still part of what I do professionally, but even so, I wonder about its potential.
And my last obsession – YouTube Shorts. I couldn’t get enough of “hey gym bro” or “What’s up my guys?” or learning more than I ever wanted about the elusive Rolex trade.
Cooking shorts, that guy who makes drinks and slaps each bottle with his ring, the Aussie gal who jumps rope, and a Russian bartender filled my afternoons with wasteful content I don’t need.
That, too, was pruned last night.
Now, all there’s left are apps for productivity, communication, and an aggregate news app.
Last night was the first night in many years before bedtime I didn’t spend at least 30 minutes on some platform scrolling until my eyes hurt. And I slept like a rock. I wonder if there’s a connection?
For all the connecting we seek as humans, it’s astonishing how little the apps actually do for us. The scrolling only highlights what we don’t have, what we want, and drums up that inner jealousy that leads to “add to cart” or, worse yet, divorce, mental ruin, and retreat from reality.
Social media is not helpful or productive in maintaining relationships with your spouse, your kids, or those you associate with. You can do all of that in person.
What are you pruning at the end of 2022?