With the proliferation of mobile devices – and subsequently apps – no minuscule detail of our lives is left alone, kept private. We capture and share just about everything we do, and comment on what others are doing.
This did lead to the inevitable “I’m leaving the Internet” headlines. And a lot of people have written about leaving the internet over the past year.
Then the same people have then come back to say their experiment didn’t work out they way they expected.
They thought it would result in more time, a better lifestyle. They go on to say their life didn’t change – they simply wasted time in other ways. It’s a bit like the last generation saying kids are worse now than in their day.
Throughout the last year, I also felt that life online was getting in the way of my thinking. Yet, instead of deciding to ditch it (mostly because I haven’t got a huge media conglomerate paying me a salary to write about my experiment), I took a different route.
I took the decision to stop capturing every moment I had. To stop reading every Tweet from the 300 or so people I follow on Twitter. To delete any app and social account that wasn’t valuable to me in some way.
Instead, I took to documenting the important moments in my life. Capturing is easy; a throwaway act. Documenting requires me to take the time to think about what it is I’ve seen, read, experienced or listened to.
This has meant fewer photos, but more memories. This has meant less words written, but more words consumed. This has meant less 140-character missives. This has led to more thinking. More consideration.
Consequently, I’ve not only achieved more, I’ve worked less (or not as hard I used to). I have more time. I find conversations easier – simply because I’ve got more time to reflect on things, to form an opinion of my own.
I’ve not missed out – in fact, I’d venture that life is richer. And I didn’t need to leave the internet to do it.
This is a companion piece to my previous post: Considered Content.