Everyone has a baseline of mindless activity that they subconsciously want each day. Or at least, this has been my experience attempting to cut out social media from my life.
A few months ago, I pretty much separated from social media. My habits were a little out of control. I was reflexively checking Facebook, finding that I couldn’t walk from my apartment to my car without instintually pulling my phone out. I felt like this was having a pretty negative effect, and it was. After a few weeks of no Facebook and Twitter, I was feeling fresh and present on a daily basis. No more mindless browsing.
Until just a month later, when I realized that I had replaced any time I spent on Facebook or Twitter with reddit and Hacker News. After a while, any time I had gained back from cutting out the major social media was replaced with mindless browsing of memes and tech headlines.
Removing Facebook and Twitter had positive effects, don’t get me wrong. But over time, my brain latched on to some kind of mindless activity to escape or relax. The next natural step is to stop using reddit and Hacker News, but this comes with a different kind of difficulty than the previous activities I cut out.
To stop using Facebook and Twitter, you just delete your account and remove the apps from your phone. Simple as that. To stop using reddit, I have to actively make sure that I don’t use it. I have to admit, this is more difficult that I thought it would be.
In the end, I feel it will be worth it based on my experience quitting Facebook. More presence, more fulfullment, more energy to direct to the things that matter.