Creating vs Consuming - November 3rd, 2018
Have you ever pretended you have to pee so you could go to the washroom and check your phone? Ya, life is pretty weird now hey... Our attention is under siege and we have to build walls to stand any chance of focusing on the "important" things in our lives. I know, that sounds intense but, I mean, it kind of is. You have a handful of apps directly on your phone and each one is perfectly crafted to retain your attention for along as possible and they are getting damn good. I understand the irony in that you probably found this very post via social media but its not that I am 100% against it I just think we need to take back control. I felt overwhelmed by my social media intake and realized it was time to make a change. After thinking about it for a while I defined my use on social media in two different ways:
1. Conscious Use:
I am using social media with a goal in mind. i.e. I want inspiration for my new travel film I am making so I look at the Instagrams of my 3 favourite travel filmmakers.
2. Un-conscious Use:
I am scrolling social media in the hopes that I might see something I like but I have no idea what it is.
Un-conscious use is how I believe most people (including me) use social media. They don’t know what they are looking for but they are hoping to find it… It becomes pretty obvious how this creates a massive time suck. You had no idea that you needed to see a video of a baby monkey riding backwards on a pig until it popped onto your feed after 15 minutes of scrolling. If you really needed to see that video then look it up, otherwise its probably not that relevant to your life. It’s time to become more intentional with our use of social media and take back control. Social media isn’t the problem but our use of it is. I have started limiting my social media use for primarily “conscious use” with the goal to use it as a tool in my life not a liability.
These statistics on daily social media usage are pulled from. Its fucking crazy when you add it all up. Think of all the other things you could do with this time; learn a language, travel, drink many beer, take on another job or even socialize with people face to face. The average person spends 30.8 days on social media a year and because your only awake 16hrs a day its more like 40.4 real days a year spent on social media.
40 minutes on YOUTUBE each day = 242.7 Hours a year
50 minutes on FACEBOOK each day = 303.3 Hours a year
32 minutes on INSTAGRAM each day = 194.1 Hours a year
Total yearly consumption of social media = 740.1 hours a year OR 30.8 full days
DELETING THE APPS
I know, I know you need your Instagram because Becky tags you in funny videos and god forbid if you miss one of Steve’s DM's you and you don't want them to feel unloved. Its okay there is a solution. The solution is to start by deleting social media apps off your phone; Facebook, Youtube, Instagram, Snapchat (if anyone uses this one still). You can access all of them on your computer and if you chose can limit your time on them using the Chrome extension Stay Focused. For Instagram download the Flume App for Instagram that lets you DM, comment, tag and post Instagram's from your Macbook. The bonus is that Instagram looks so shite on your computer that you will have little desire to cruise your feed anymore.
Flume for Instagram on Macbook:
Stay Focused to limit website times:
News Feed Eradicator to block your Facebook Newsfeed on your Macbook (you can still message people):
Once you delete these apps off your phone it will be so boring that it will end up just staying in your pocket most of the time. When your friend is late you will be forced to spend time with your own thoughts and maybe even interact with strangers around you.
You don't need to do any of this.
I would never convince someone to do this and only put out there because it has benefitted some people around me. If you are happy with how it fits into your life then keep on trucking. Since limiting my exposure to social media 6 months ago things have been pretty great. I have read and listened to more books then I have read in my entire life (2-4 per month), feel more present when hanging with friends, feel more present while not "grabbing a shot for my story" every sunset I see and overall just feel more involved in my own life. You start to pay more attention to those actually around you and the idea of what others think about you fades into the background. After some time off social media you might realize how little it actually meant to you.
Be a creator not a consumer. Create moments, memories and art and enjoy the ride.