I've come from your future to tell you there's a better way.
I unplugged from Facebook and Twitter last February with the same results you report. A friend actually quit speaking to me over it because she felt judged. I emphasized I was doing this for myself and had no opinion about what orher people should do. Oh well. For me Facebook led to outrage and Twitter led to depression. Everyone is screaming at everyone else. No one feels heard. Online rudeness is ordinary and spills over to the real world. I don’t need it. I quit it. And I’m happier.
💜LOVE💜 your little experiment! This is *exactly* why I refuse to get a phone. It's mildly irritating when confronted with the occasional QR code instead of an actual menu at a restaurant or something. However, the payoff for actually connecting with people face-to-face in real life, or simply sitting with my own thoughts while out and about, is totally and completely worth it!!! 💜💜💜
We just spent two entire days without phones (shudder) but we have Antigua SIM cards now, so all is right with our worlds again. We tried to inquire at the ticket office for the Barbuda ferry today. They would tell us NOTHING- not schedules, not pricing, not one thing except all the info we need is on the website. I guess flip phone people can’t go to Barbuda…..It certainly is a different world to travel in since Al Gore invented the internet….
It’s true ...I just did a news fast for 2 weeks because that is where I go on my phone ...And I was so much better for it
...not uninformed just not caught in the cycle of stimuli and news. And reading even before this I made a point of at least a chapter or 3 a day....I missed books at this level....we all need to slow down and be here now
Not everywhere at once
I took FB off of my phone and my last two weeks have been weirdly less stressful, even as I continue to participate in the Twitter conversation about the inevitable collapse of Twitter. I went without data on my phone almost three years ago now when I took a group of students to Costa Rica and I discovered much the same thing. I wasn't worried about things I couldn't know anything about.
I'm still hungry for knowledge about the world I'm living in, but there is something refreshing about stepping away some. In fact, I wrote this shortly after I took FB off of my phone: https://sarahstyf.substack.com/p/what-do-i-do-about-social-media
Yes! How often do you check your phone now?
That is really interesting, I had no idea it would make such a difference.
I've never had a mobile phone, because I live in an area of rural Australia with no mobile coverage, so there's no point - even if we had them we couldn't use them. We have a landline and internet (not broadband), and access Instagram or whatever on a pc. I confess I'm very happy with this arrangement!
This is the way I already live, and I have never had the slightest desire for a smart phone. I just don't get their appeal (I sometimes feel like the only person in the world who feels this way). I got a cell phone for emergencies/travel, and it spends most of its life turned off. I use a desktop computer for internet access, so I have built-in boundaries about when and how I can get online. The only downside to living this way is that the rest of the world expects us to have smartphones, but I won't switch over until it's the only way I can bank or get medical appointments. Until then, I savor my life the way it is
Good stuff again, as usual. I have a smart phone, my husband has a low-end flip phone with no internet. I like my smart phone but I can't/won't use it as a replacement for my computer or tablet. I do have my books (Kobo) and I have Feedly but nothing else like social media. I use Twitter but I don't want it on the phone and I don't use Facebook or Instagram so they are out as well. I like the arrangement because I don't feel the need to check things. I'm an old soul and I don't like sending texts or interacting on a 6 inch screen. I need a keyboard and a full size screen. That was an issue when I was working and they talked about switching people to tablets and small, light weight laptops (that's another issue altogether). Thanks, again for your (and Michael's) musings. I enjoy your site!
Dear Brent: I'm in the middle of a book, titled "The Flickering MInd". It was written by Todd Oppenheimer and published in 2003. The subtitle of the book was "Saving Education from the False Promise of Technology" Shortly before reading that book, I read yet another book titled, "Screen Schooled: Two Veteran Teachers Expose How Technology Overuse Is Making Our Kids Dumber". I'm here to tell you as a long term teacher these 2 books doth speaketh the truth. I teach here in the Silicon Valley and I see firsthand everyday I'm in the classroom the effect abundant technology has on the ability of my students to imagine, think creativity, or just daydream. The second book was published in 2018, and it shows how further down the line the "advancement" of technology has taken us. In my lab classes, many of my students showed a preference for using the old fashioned method learning, textbooks, paper, and pen/pencil. I daresay that, if I was to present a workshop on these two books where I live and work, I would probably be charged with blasphemy and labeled a heretic. Oh well. As for me, I mostly watch YouTube now for music videos. I've also reached technological overload. Take care and stay safe.
Perfect. It's so nuts because I have loved Twitter for advocacy work and awareness. But nearly all social media is headed by the very individuals I avoid. I just wish we all could go back to all having our own blogs and we simply followed/commented on each other's as a way to keep chosen community. BTW, grew up in and spent the last of the pandemic back in Seattle and was shocked at the violence ... blog post in the future on all that.
I try to check out every once in a while and now that USA elections are pretty much sorted it will be much easier as my world is not going to crash due to idiots in charge. I'm happy with where my country is and where it's going. Sigh. Anyhow, your piece really reminded me that it is great to escape from the everyday impact from bad social media. Thank you for sharing your thoughts, sanctimonious or not! Love you guys, travel safe, and keep on writing, for all our sanities.
Amen, Brent. I never was much of one for Twitter. I have been stunned by how it has silenced conversation about vital topics, and led us into irrationality. I've dramatically curtailed Facebook, and it's still not enough. More time reading has been a wonderful rescue from the lotus eating that is social media. You don't sound sanctimonious. You sound like an adult.
It would be so lovely to read all about the phones/plans you've used along the way. For instance, did you both have Google phones at one point, or always different carriers? Did Google say you could keep your plan as long as you didn't use the phone for international phone calls (just data)? I still have my Google Fi but I think I'm only able to keep it because I've never really made international phone calls during my extended time abroad, I mostly use wifi at Airbnbs, and I only used the rare data while out and about (less than 2 GB/mo), but I'm not totally sure and I'm afraid to ask Google. =)
Excellent article, and I don't think you sound sanctimonious at all. I rarely check my phone when out, but I do probably spend too much time on SM at home. Gonna do it less! Hopefully 😂
Very instructive! Thanks for reporting on your inadvertent experiment. Sounds like we all need to learn to emulate your results.
Travelling all the time sounds fun, too, if a bit exhausting. Kudos on your choices! Cheers!