Simplify, simplify, simplify.
I think this time around my motivation to simplify and focus inward has gained enough steam so that I can free myself of the countless distractions of the digital world. To start I’m off Facebook although I still have an RSS feed on my desktop with the notifications. I’m out of the pool but a toe is still in the water.
I removed the Facebook app and any app I haven’t used in the past couple of weeks. I also removed apps that send me notifications if I hadn’t used them in the past few days. One example is Trulia the real estate app. I enjoyed looking at the houses for sale in my neighborhood from time to time but the app decided it wanted to send me notifications every other day even though I had the notification setting turned off. Bye bye Trulia.
I also gave a thought to digging out my Motorola Razor and using that for a phone but I need the camera on my current smartphone as well as maps. Those are the two critical pieces that will not allow me to go back 15 years on the smartphone I use.
I’m also contemplating deleting the news apps as the majority of articles are junk. In their place are Mental_floss, Brain Pickings, and Amazon Kindle. I also installed Reddit as it really is the front page of the internet but the jury is still out on that one.
As for turning inward I’d like to write more in my journal. In the internet world these posts would not be exciting and garner no likes. The internet has become a place where people, news organizations and such post to attract “likes” and thus the deluge of lists, titles with the words “shocking” and “amazing” or something “you won’t believe.” I never want to look at any of these types of articles again. I simply want to be present, to notice the world around me and to simply record my experiences. Sunrises and sunsets, the beauty of a crisp Autumn day or the joy in having friends and family over are the types of things that will fill this blog.
I feel as though through social media we’ve become too focused on the “I,” always wanting to attract followers and this turns into a type of addiction. Communication is now done in a public forum and with only one or two sentences which lack substance. I cannot remember the last time I actually had a deep and meaningful conversation on the telephone except for one who is a friend who shuns the internet for the most part.
It is time to slow down, to let go of always being in constant contact with everyone I’ve ever met and to rediscover myself. In the current environment everyone is always focused on others and what everyone is saying though Twitter and Facebook. But how well do we even really know ourselves? I feel technology can help with this but at the moment it is too focused on monetizing this information and every app wants to connect and know everything about your social network. I’m disconnecting from the machine.
Only by being present in the moment and appreciating life can one really find happiness and calm. Work and corporations do not help with this as it is every managers goal to get employees focused on producing more, in believing that selling a few more widgets is the most important thing in life. Their goal is to squeeze out every ounce of energy in order to make more money and advance their own career goals. Every moment in life is precious and the compensation of a few shekles is poor compensation. Our society advocates the accumulation of money in the believe that this money can be used to enjoy life later. But if we put a value on our time now how much would an elderly person pay to relive some of the days in his thirties or even childhood?
The goal should be to find a job in which one can work as little as possible while still making enough to support a family and prepare for the future. Unfortunately the current thinking is one can never make enough. Give a person the entire planet and once they have that they will want the moon and stars as well. This is a type of sickness that our economic system has created – our minds are always grasping for more and it is never enough. The internet has become a venue for commerce and accentuates this type of mentality.
For me, I’ve drunk my fill and want to stop. Goodbye Facebook friends, goodbye daily distractions. It is time to focus inward, to meditate and to spend my time appreciating life and being with those that offer me more than a one line comment for interaction.