It's that time of the year again. Ash Wednesday is tomorrow, which signifies the start of Lent. And that means it's time to go through another Digital Declutter phase. I would like to invite anyone who reads this to start their own Digital Declutter.
If you don't know what a Digital Declutter is, it is an exercise I read about in Cal Newport's Digital Minimalism book. It's almost like a Digital Detox or a Digital Sabbath. The main differences are that you do it for at least 30 days, and that you are replacing addictive digital activities with analog activities. For instance, instead of browsing social media at night, you read books, or learn a new craft like cooking, or learning to play a musical instrument like the guitar, etc...
I suppose the easiest way to understand it is to look at the Digital Declutter rules I'll be using to guide me this year. I'm using the same rules from last year. The main highlights are that in addition to not using social media at all, there will be no blogging done as well.
Of course you don't have to follow the same rules I made for myself. You can create your own set of rules and do it at your own time. My main motivation for this post was to invite people to give Digital Declutter a try. If you have any questions regarding this, you can find ways to contact me on this page, but sending an email is the best option.
Have fun going offline, I know I will. Peace be with you and see y'all online on Easter Sunday.
This is a list of rules that I'm going to follow for the remainder of Lent. In hindsight I should have started this as soon as Lent started, but oh well. Better late than never.
These rules are based off v2.0. There's not much modifications from the previous rules I had. The biggest change in this set of rules, is that I'm not allowing myself to do any blogging whatsoever. I already feel anxious and excited about that one. It will be a good challenge.
And so without further ado, my Lent digital declutter starts now. You can find the rules below. See y'all online on Easter Sunday.
There it is again. That feeling of dread. Or anxiety. That feeling of a burn out that doesn’t want to go away. Like there’s a hole in my chest that I can’t fill. I can’t quite describe it. It comes when I’m not distracted. When I’m alone with my thoughts. And it lingers unless I push it out of my mind with prayer.
I was fine during my digital declutter. But as soon as it ended, it came back slowly. Whenever I think about what to write next, I get overwhelmed. And I can’t explain it. I’m making my online activities a scapegoat here, but I have no other explanation for it. The only thing that significantly changed for me this week, was me coming off my digital declutter.
And so I’m going into digital declutter mode indefinitely. I’ll probably keep posting entries to this journal. But I’m going dark on the rest of my blogs and websites. I don’t know when this new digital declutter will end. Maybe it will become my new normal. Maybe not. Either way, I once again need a break from all the stuff I do online.
I know I said I'm going dark on the rest of my blogs. But I might make an exception for my music blog.
Before we get to the new set of rules, here are some notes on the additions and changes I've made for this new version.
I'm allowing the use of Facebook Messenger
This is the main app that my friends and I use to communicate with each other. I don't see a need to cut myself off from my friends this time around.
I'm allowing the use of Safari and Feedly
One of my goals in this second digital declutter is to catch up on my readings of articles and blog posts. I have so many open tabs of articles and posts I want to read in Safari right now, it is not even funny. So, I'm allowing the use of Safari this time around to help me get through all those tabs. That also means catching up on my unread items in Feedly.
Not allowing Micro.blog and Sunlit apps
I signed up for a Micro.blog account just last month. Great service. I love what they are doing for blogging and personal websites. I use the official Micro.blog app and the accompanying Sunlit app on my phone. However, I will not be using those apps during this digital declutter to see what effect they have on me.
I bought the Digital Minimalism book to try and find more ways to curb my smartphone addiction. It is an attempt to regain control of my attention and time.
Okay so here are my notes, findings, revelations, thoughts, etc... on how it went:
I had so much extra time to read books during this phase; I finished reading 3 books and I wasn't even trying to finish books. Finishing 3 books in a 30 day period is amazing to me, I never thought I could do that. Here are the list of books I finished reading during the digital declutter phase:
These are a list of rules that I'm going to be following during the 30-day digital declutter phase. I'm already trying to follow some of the rules on here, but I think I will officially start it on the 20th for a good round number.
Text Messages/iMessage: Allowed
Facebook Messenger: Not allowed
Groupme: Not allowed
Mobile Phone Apps:
Outlook: Allowed (needed for work) but can only be used during daytime, except on support calls.
Yahoomail: Allowed (needed for two factor authentication) but can only be used during daytime.