I’m 13 days into my digital minimalism fast, and I’m beginning to notice what I miss and what I don’t. And … it’s actually a little surprising.
I thought I’d be yearning for Youtube and Twitter. Before going off them, I spent hours on them. Maybe not as much as other people (like those who are actually active on Twitter), but a good chunk of my 40-minute train ride to and from work would be spent on Twitter. Youtube could take up any amount of time.
The thing is, I knew while I was doing it that I was killing time with these things. I mean, let’s be honest: I like her a lot and I want her to have a job, but it’s not important to my life, or most other people’s, to know what Jenna Marbles’ dogs are doing. But that’s where I was at a few days before I went on this technology diet.
Then suddenly, Twitter and Youtube were almost off the menu, reduced to five minutes and one video per day, and I’ve found I don’t use those allowances on most days. Whenever I browse Twitter, 97% of it is noise I don’t care about. I’m still on Youtube daily, but mostly for browsing. Again, 97% of it is noise. I can scroll for minutes without finding anything I want to spend my daily allowance on. So I don’t.
Now, I’m aware I’m in a good place mentally. There will be days again when I will need the comforting Irish yellings of Jacksepticeye, just as I assume many people will get some genuine value from knowing what Jenna’s dogs have eaten today. I’m very familiar with what platforms like Youtube can give people. But right now, I’m doing fine. I look at these platforms and don’t see anything I need on there, at this point in time.
It’s not like I’m currently filled with a sense of purpose and productivity. I spent 10 hours of this past weekend binge-watching The Terror on Amazon, and I don’t regret a single second of it. But I chose this activity, not because I needed to kill some time, but because it was the best possible use I had for this time. (It is that good. It’s fucking amazing.) And there is the difference. I don’t need to binge watch anything else right now, because I’ve finished watching what I truly wanted to watch. (Now I’m reading the book.)
Anyway; here’s a list of things I actually miss:
That’s it so far. And I’m not completely sure why I miss these two. I have the slight suspicion that I remember them as better than they are, but I miss them nonetheless. Maybe I’ll figure out the reason in the next week or two.