Like an increasing number of people in the social media age, I spend far too much of my time consuming online content. It’s an addiction; an addiction to likes, swipes and retweets - it’s a waste of precious time and attention. The designers and engineers who built these systems talk openly about how concerned they are about the habits that people are forming (here’s a great article on the topic). I think the concept of the ‘Attention Economy’ is really interesting and I’m glad it’s increasingly becoming accepted as a societal issue in the digital age. So important is this issue that Apple have included controls in software to give insight and restrict how much time is being spent on our devices - that in itself shows just how important of an issue this is.
I’m going to begin to stamp it out. Inspired by my Year of Smart and CGP Grey’s similar ‘Project Cyclops’ approach on the Hello Internet Podcast I am going to better invest my attention. I don’t want to be a crazy person and cut everything out, but I do need some ground rules… The below will take effect immediately, cold-turkey style.
To avoid any confusion: Stop will mean I remove the application and don’t access the site at all, my accounts will still exist. Control will mean I increase awareness for my use of the service, perhaps implementing restrictions around the number of times I check per day or only using in certain situations. Continue is self-explanatory, I hope to improve the amount of time I spend reading and writing blog posts as that’s a positive use of time (typically!).
Wish me luck!