Over the past few weeks, I have been taking a break from social media. It was just coincidence that the #deletefacebook movement happened at the same time. What I was concerned with was less with whatever data facebook has on me (probably a lot), and more with how I choose to use my very limited resource of time. I realized that every time I had a few seconds break at work or at home, I would check social media. This would amount to checking maybe 10-15 times a day. And sometimes, those few seconds turned into a few minutes, and before you know it, I would be scrolling through feeds for 20 minutes.
Now, 20 minutes, in the span of most lives, is a relatively short time. But whenever I die, whether it be 20 years from now or 20 days, I don’t think I’d ever say that I regret not spending more time on social media. So instead of turning to my phone in moments of boredom, I wondered how much reading I would do if I opened a book. For years, I have been meaning to read Moby Dick. It is very hard to get into. Many people have told me that it gets better, but I’m currently on the chapter about whale taxonomic classification, so here’s hoping!
I have also started to get out more books from the library. I read the New York Times every day (and have found it’s a better source of news than facebook). I subscribed to The New Yorker magazine and read that while commuting instead of holding my phone. I still like to read books digitally, of course, but have begun reading on the kindle app of my computer rather than my phone.
This change, admittedly small, is only a month old, but hopefully will continue. And I’m still only 24% of the way through Moby Dick.