YouTube detox

A month on from my last detox, that did not go that well in all honesty. My addiction to the internet, especially YouTube, has began to spike again. I find myself watching endless streams of videos, constantly refreshing my recommended tab; waiting for the next piece to catch my eye.

This has affected my health in ways that I did not know it could. I find that my screen time has increased by a large margin. Though I watch Anime on Crunchyroll, it is not as frequent as the Google site. I am now well aware of my existence, and how I am wasting it, consuming the success of others. I keep telling myself: I am better than this, I can do more. But I am always so hesitant to do so. It is like I need to go on there to be happy.

That isn’t right, I need to find true happiness within myself, not through objects. So, for the next 30 days, YouTube is off the table. I cannot go onto it for any necessary reasons.

It is time to see how strong my self control is.

My time offline…

A couple of days ago, i said that i would be taking some time off the internet to have a break from it all. I said this with every intention, that i would find happiness and joy in doing different actions in everyday life, compared to the norm.

This did not go to plan.

So, the 1st day went pretty well. I woke up on time, feeling well rested from the night before ( no phone present). I had my breakfast, and took the dog for a walk; bringing my phone in case of an emergency. It was then that i encountered my first problem, my morning routine was all over the place. See, I use my phone for the workout apps, and as a timer for meditation. Without being able to use it, i found it difficult to exercise, and as a result i ended up exercising less than usual.

However, there was a benefit. I got really into one of the books i was reading. In the beginning, it was difficult to concentrate, but as i progressed, it became easier to direct all attention onto the book. We live our lives through the process of multitasking, that we forget it makes us less productive.

Another problem occured, i felt really bored. I never realised how much my phone takes my attention away from my everyday life. All of what i do is on my phone. Not being able to blog, or practice a new skill made life pretty difficult. Regrettably, i ended up going on my phone to fulfil this need, for a limited time.

Another benefit i did find is that i had free time in the evening. So, instead of sitting down and watching TV, i jumped in my car, and drove to a nearby forest; to have a walk. It was relaxing, i felt my imagination transpire past boundaries i thought was impossible. I felt very relaxed.

As the day came to an end, i realised that i had received a message from my boss, where i needed to be online. Again, i had to open my phone to transcribe an email. Besides this, the first day and a half was pretty successful.

As i come to the end now, i do not see this challenge as a failure. Technology has grown to have a larger influence in my life, than i had previously imagined. But, this is not all bad. I use services such as YouTube for entertainment, whilst still pursuing my writing and skill-building courses.

It is all about balance. You do not need to strip everything away from your life, but to keep the essentials that you value dearly. I will cut down my screen time ( using the Apple service ” Screen time” ) but continue to use my devices to improve myself as a person.

Your turn: What could you cut back on which is not adding value to your life?

Boredom

I have had this feeling for the past couple of days now. I have done blog posts on this topic about a year ago, yet i have never experienced it like this.

When i get bored, i want to go on my computer, go onto YouTube, and watch videos to escape it all. This is because it passes the time, and allows me to consumer content whilst not having to pay for it, unlike other services such as disney plus and netflix. I am fearful, having time alone with myself because i don’t know what i will fill the day with. Will i go crazy, and watch the sun go by? Or will i discover a new passion, something i had never considered beforehand. Either way, this fear is daunting, calling me to a different purpose that i am hesistant to explore.

I completed a miniature detox earlier on this month. It was the happiest i had been in a while. It was great, to relax and enjoy being present in nature and the world around me, yet the days felt longer. Recently, i have been reading on my kindle a lot more, but i feel contorted to binge a book, to get through it as fast as possible ;just so i can know the ending, without appreciating the book for its values.

My blog on digital minimalism, was one of the most popular posts to date. The advice is very true, but it is very difficult to follow. Many bloggers outline the practical points readers should follow, but do not detail the difficulties which follow.

It is time that i try to follow my own advice. For the next two days, i am going offline. No Phone, No internet, and no laptop. The only device i will have is my kindle, where i can read books. I will have my phone on me, in case of emergencies, but nothing more.

My next post will outline what i did, and how it felt to do the detox. I hope others join me in this daring adventure!

Putting our phones down..

The phones over 94% of Americans carry in their pockets has revolutionised the digital age. Everybody is connected to everyone; all at once. Yet, the rate of happiness collected globally has seen a massive decrease. Most, if not all people would agree that our phones are a contributing factor.

Social media portrays the vision of ourselves to others that we want them to see. When I was younger, when i was having my photo taken, I would always tense my biceps; to look strong. There wasn’t much of a difference in the photo, and now I am always reminded of how I felt when the photo was taken. I wasn’t happy, I wanted people to see how strong I was ( I was 15).

3 years on from this, and I can see old classmates acting the way my 15 year old self did. The stylised, sexy photos people post to instagram and on their snapchat stories, aims to gain some sort of admiration from their followers. People want to be known, and liked by all (social validation). We think this would make us happy, but rather it does the opposite. Being constantly self aware, self conscious of how we present ourselves to others, has led to the movement of Digital Minimalism.

This art was named by Cal Newport, the author of the book by the same name. Cal states the benefits of cutting back from technology, embracing having less than more, can make you happy. Being an advocate for this, I have experienced many benefits.

For example, the purpose of social media is to keep us connected globally. I have met new friends from across the world using these sources, but not close friends.

I found I speak to my closer friends more frequently without the use with social media. I come across as less insecure, and more confident with my own beliefs.

Cutting back on using my phone has led to a creative spark within me to pursue making content. Although the blog website does not get many views, I don’t care because I enjoy making the content I publish. I am ahead of my schedule when it comes to making posts!

Finally, the main benefit I discovered from cutting back is I read more. Usually, It would take me a couple of weeks to finish a book. This week alone, I have read 2 books, over 300 pages long. I am starting to see benefits in sleep as well, which is very important.

I can’t tell anybody to do something, but if you feel as though you are too connected to social media, and your phone, it is time to pursue a more intentional life. Digital minimalism is the way.