Some time ago, I removed the social apps from my phone. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter. LinkedIn. Snapchat (an app I have never entirely understood).
I removed these apps because I no longer welcome the interruptions, the notifications, or the distraction. Whatever their utility, you will not find it in picking up your phone 12 times an hour, and the small screen of infinite distraction should not have that great a hold on your limited time and attention.
I am less and less inclined to pick up my phone. Without the social apps, the phone is less of a distraction. There aren’t nearly as many reasons to look at the screen. Instead, it has been transformed back into being more of a phone, and less a computer.
The time I spend on social channels has naturally declined. I find them mostly banal and boring, and I often find myself launching Feedly and reviewing the websites that I find to provide useful content and engaging conversations. While there is plenty of material from the sources I have culled over time at on Feedly, these sites also vet links to other content, making it easier to find new discoveries without spending time browsing.
Because I travel, I have kept YouTube on the phone, especially since it is now possible to download videos to listen to when traveling. I have subscribed to a dozen or so channels, and before a trip, I download a few videos to listen to as if they were podcasts. I have also kept my podcast apps so I can listen to content while traveling and driving.
I continue to leave my phone behind without meaning to. I leave it on my desk or in the car. I walk out of rooms without taking my phone with me, and I am not uncomfortable at distances of 20 or more feet away from said phone, something that once seemed to violate the laws of physics, as well as causing an increased heart rate, profuse sweating, difficulty in breathing, and violent convulsions.
I don’t want to be interrupted 12 times an hour. I don’t want to be distracted from what deserves my attention. Saying yes to small things means saying no to your bigger goals.
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