If you’re like me, you like to keep up with what’s going on in the world. What used to be keeping track of the news changed into news + twitter, then news + twitter + facebook + instagram, then news + twitter + facebook + instagram + snapchat, then news + twitter + instagram + facebook + snapchat + slack. You get the idea – it’s getting a bit silly isn’t it!

Here is what I look at on a daily basis

  1. BBC News
  2. Twitter Stream
  3. Snapchat stories
  4. Instagram feed
  5. Instagram Stories
  6. Facebook feed
  7. I keep an eye on a few work based Slack channels on top of that
  8. Emails (obviously) Work + Personal

Too much distraction

I’m guessing you have a job, like I do. Some of you may have full-time employment, some may work from home and some may work from their own office.

If I’m busy at work I tend not to check any of the above aside from Emails and Slack. I feel like I need to keep on top of the whole list though every day so I find myself swiping through various apps on my iPhone trying to make sure I’ve not missed anything exciting in the world and any important news from my friends and peers.

I don’t do any of the above until the kids are in bed, so instead of talking to my wife we both end up trawling through updates on our phones and then quickly watching some TV before going to bed.

At which point we then get into some deep conversation about life or work or both and go to bed too late.

We wake up tired the next day, ready to rinse and repeat.

Is it worth it?

No. It’s not. We’ve become lazy in communicating. We think we’re communicating more but we’re wasting our time putting out content, expecting our followers to see it which half the time they probably don’t. There is too much digital noise so I still miss important news from friends and peers.

Cutting out the noise

Over the past week I’ve decided to not only cut out the noise for me, but for the people that follow me too. I haven’t put out a Facebook status, I’ve only tweeted a couple of times directly to people, I haven’t created any Snapchat or Instagram Stories and I haven’t posted anything on Instagram.

On top of this I haven’t checked Facebook or Instagram Stories, I’ve only watched the occasional Snapchat story and only looked through the standard Instagram feed for a fixed time period.

If I don’t get back down to the Instagram post I was on yesterday, who cares! It wasn’t meant to be.

The reward? Time, Productivity, Human Communication and Rest.

Time

I’ve got back at least an hour a day, probably two if I’m honest. It is time I can use to talk to my wife, my parents, my friends, catch up on work bits if I need to and go to the gym.

Productivity

I’ve got through a lot more work, even leaving time to go to the gym most days. I’ve been able to discuss new business ideas with my business partners. I’ve spent less time distracted with my family.

Human Communication

I’ve talked to my wife earlier in the evening so we get to bed earlier and feel better each and every day. I’ve managed to phone my parents and my sister in the same week, which never happens!

Rest

On top of the above, some nights I’ve just switched off my brain and chilled. I’ve gone to bed earlier each night and I’m feeling better and better each day with more time to recuperate.

Priorities

I’ve always said family first, but all this other chatter distracts from that. Not doing it has made me feel more human again. I’m pretty sure the extra sleep has helped the most in that department.

We don’t have to keep up with everything, there are going to be more social networks out there it is never going to end.

Listen to yourself

We’re told to keep releasing content, we’re told to be consistent, we’re told to keep going until we make it.

That is absolutely fine, if you really feel that way. But make sure it is you that feels like that and you’re not blindly following someone elses advice. Let’s look at Instagram for example; We’re posting the same shit every day, we’re even re-posting shit that people have seen before. I’ve seen maybe 10 posts in the last week of someone on holiday with the caption “I wish I was still on holiday” – yes I remember you posting this picture when you were on holiday about 6 weeks ago.

What’s the point! We’re littering social media!

I’m going back to the old addage of:
Don’t say anything unless it’s worth saying

In Summary

  • Only follow people on social media that you have a genuine interest in.
  • Talk to people and meet them – don’t forget about actual physical human interaction.
  • Live your life and not someone else’s.
  • Don’t feel guilty and don’t have regrets.
  • Life is too short so go out there and do whatever you love (and I’m pretty sure that is not scrolling through endless social networks).