30 day challenge: Media diet

For the month of August, I'm going on an information diet.

Media like Twitter, Facebook, and Reddit are sugary snacks. They provide quick, tasty hits of information (and dopamine!) but are ultimately unsatisfying and unhealthy. I also have a somewhat dysfunctional relationship with my RSS reader. Though I've reduced my number subscriptions quite a bit over the past year, there are a lot of blog posts that I only read because when they appear in my stream, it feels like there's an obligation to do so. This is the equivalent of eating because something looks good, not because I'm hungry.

Clay Johnson has written about this extensively, and while I haven't read his book, here's a 60 second summary that gets at how I'm feeling_

Going completely offline isn't really an option, given the nature of my work, but I've blocked a bunch of sites from my browser, and deleted the apps from my phone that make social media just one click away. The plan is to use the time I save in all sorts of productive ways. I'm going to read some real books, do some projects that I've been putting off, and generally focus on being present and thinking more deeply, instead of skimming along the surface of the information stream.

So far, it's been really liberating. Come September 1st, I'll see how it went and evaluate which, if any, things I want to re-introduce.


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