some weeks ago, i wrote my first entry in my journal in my links section about a book i had read, that being cal newport's digital minimalism. for the past month since reading this book, ive been trying to actually gather the courage to do what newport calls a '30 day digital declutter'.
in this period, newport asks the reader to put aside a 30(ish) day period to step away from optional digital technologies, and spend this time instead exploring and rediscovering hobbies and passions. after this period, you are to reintroduce technology based on the new blank slate youve created informed by your values and what benefit it can bring to your life. he exaggerates the term declutter rather than detox, as a detox implies returning to the old digital habits, but the declutter will help change them.
as ive written about a couple times, i have grown up alongside social media and smartphones, and as a 24 year old woman ive been struggling for a few years to untangle how this has influenced relationships, career, and my overall development. even though i left social media 2 months ago, i have come to realise that despite the benefits from having taken this step, the problem runs much deeper and is ingrained into how i operate as a human.
ive taken social media breaks, ive implemented tips such as muting notifications and removing certain apps from my phone, ive even left the majority of social media i once used for the sake of my artwork - but where i have grown up alongside these things it has conjoined itself into my behaviour and the development of my mind. newport hammers home numerous times in the book that simply attempting small measures like i described is not enough, you need to wipe the slab clean. and so, this is what i shall be spending the mext month doing.
the first step is to identify what is considered an optional technology or a critical technology in my life. i have spent the day creating a list for myself of things i am allowed to do, for the sake of work, banking, and communication with loved ones etc on my computers and my phone, and a list of things i am BANNED from for the next month, but with a particular emphasis on staying the hell away from my computer, laptop, and phone unless absolutely necessary. thanks to years of relentlessly attempting to create a productive relationship with my technology, this list did feel like an easy thing to curate. below is the current list.
i am prepared to add things to this, however, as after leaving social media i did notice i will try and find this void with other bullshit. not everything is listen here - i have been using leechblock for a couple weeks, which allows me to block certain websites for a custom period, but allows exceptions as well. for instance, the majority of client work i get comes through twitter. with leechblock, i can block the whole website apart from the branch /messages/, so that i can communicate with my clients but if i attempt to visit home or explore, the tab just shuts down. to add another layer of staying-the-fuck-off-twitter to this, i have DMs sent to my email first so i am not constantly checking the site itself which could lead down bad rabbit holes. i feel as though being away from my computer is going to be difficult, and so is leaving spotify, as i spend an embarrassing amount of time on both lol. ill also be attempting to make my phone a little more inaccessable, for example, i currently place it on my bureau before i go to sleep, and i think i will place it there as i have dinner etc.
the second step is to "explore and discover activities and behaviours which are satisfying and meaningful". newport mentions many of his participants find the first couple of weeks to be hard, and i am prepared for them to be exceptionally difficult. ive been addicted to using computers and phones since i was just a kid...i have a list of things ive been meaning to get done but just havent which can hopefully ease the (necessary) pain im probably going to go through ive also got a list of habits id like to properly reintroduce (i am one of those people who likes habits and gratitude and waking up at 5:30am and bullet journalling and shit) which ive had trouble doing so as of late.
i have lots of books i want to get through, including another of newports publications, 'deep work'. my good friend meg bought me a knit your own mittens kit four months ago for my birthday which i havent touched. i have lots of jigsaws id like to actually get through too. ive got art projects id like to get stuck into, particularly a big one which is time sensitive as well as a film ive been meaning to make for months. i want to start carving time to refine my art skills, i want to get back into learning spanish, and inform myself of other topics im interested in. im hoping in this time i may be able to actually create something, as anyone who follows my artwork will know ive not been able to create much bar sketches ive posted on patreon and shared among friends. during this time i will also be keeping a journal on my thoughts and feelings, which i may end up sharing excerpts of here.
the final step is to reintroduce technologies - but only if they serve a real benefit to what should hopefully be your refreshed sense of what is important to yourself - but this is for future lauren on the 2nd of october to be concerned about. this is also the day i will be returning to neocities, as i shall be including neocities in my list of blocked sites. i am starting this declutter tomorrow, as id rather start on a monday than the 1st of sept. the last day will be the 1st of oct, which gives me the weekend away from work to contemplate the experience with the final step in mind. 33 days. so, i shall see you around that time my friends......who knows where this journey may take me and may take you...stay safe out there and have a splendid september...and when i come back ill sort out this blog situation that seems to be happening on my site now lol...also i wrote this in one go so sorry if it makes 0 sense..ok peaceout motherfuckers