I’m currently reading Jeff Tweedy’s book, How To Write One Song, and came across this wonderful section, “…most of my time spent creating is not actively in pursuit of writing the greatest song in the world. I’m more focused on just being very satisfied with the idea that I’m not hurting anybody. It’s a process, and whatever happens, that’s great. I come out of my creative state at some point to look through what I’ve created and find enough pieces that make me think, ‘That’s really good. I should share that.’ But all the time spent creating, if I’m in the right frame of mind, is not really so much about ‘Is this good or bad?’ There’s just a lot of joy in it, in having created something at all. I don’t feel as bad about other things. I don’t necessarily feel high, or overly joyed. I just feel like, ‘Oh, I’m not wasting my time.'” (Emphasis mine.)
I found this humorous since right before the new year, I felt I was spending way too much time on social media. I am an out of sight, out of mind, type person, meaning, if I don’t see the apps on my phone screen, I most likely will not click on them.
So I took all of the social media apps that were annoying me the most, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn, removed all notifications and placed them in a folder called Time Wasters.
I hadn’t read Jeff’s quote about not wasting time before I made the folder!
Every year I try to spend less time on social media and it usually starts out strong and then I get back into scrolling for no reason. What this allows me to do is check everything maybe once a day to see what the notifications are about on each platform. So far I’ve just checked those and closed the app shortly after.
Another reason for me to spend less time on social media is I find that people start annoying me with their posts. (I can only image how much I annoy other people with my posts.) I wouldn’t be annoyed spending time with this person so the idea that their social media feed is causing me to see them in a negative light is not good. This is a sign it’s time for me take a break.
How long will this system last? I hope it lasts much of the year. I really only use Facebook for buying and selling on Facebook Market. For me, LinkedIn has become kind of a lame self-congratulating platform for professionals. Instagram is where I find myself mindlessly scrolling. Twitter is still awful and I only love it for the local emergency weather account I follow!
The key to success will be replacing the time wasted on social media apps with something more creative like Mr. Tweedy has. I don’t see myself writing many songs this year but I would like to get back into collage and photography. Those always scratch my creativity itch.
For now I’m using the time to read a lot and build up my Discogs store with records I have to sell. That feels a lot better than mindlessly scrolling on my phone.
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