Welcome back. It was an amazing break for me – about ten days off work, of which seven were spent reading and enjoying good food, some photography and generally being a layabout. With the exception of the Christmas weekend, which I spent with my bestie and his family, I was in San Francisco which tends to be a lot more low key during the holidays.
The holidays were a good way for me to try a new experiment: a social media vacation. It is impossible to live in the modern world without the network, but I have often wondered, what if I treated it as a utility much like an electric or water utility. I don’t need to turn on the lights or microwave if I don’t have to — only when I need them I can switch them on.
For a few minutes I thought I should use my flip phone, but I quickly found that it is quite arduous to make it work — I have become conditioned to use apps for things like calling cabs, ordering food and communicating with my bank. Apps are much simpler and easier to use and that’s what I had been doing until my experiment.
Amazon was my cornerstore. I ordered Uber when I needed to go somewhere, food from Caviar on rainy days and payed bills using the banking apps and Square Cash. Sometimes I paid for coffee with my Apple Pay. Once a day, I checked email. I used Telegram and WhatsApp to chat with friends and family.
When I wanted to listen to music, I turned on my Sonos music system with Spotify streaming. For television and movies, Netflix and Amazon Prime on my iPad sufficed, though I barely watched anything for more than 20-25 minutes. I used Quip to make notes, before posting them on my blog, VSCO, Priime & DarkRoom to edit photos and then backed everything up to Dropbox, before sharing them on my Photo Blog.
Internet as a utility meant not constantly using social media – Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat. I have removed the apps from my phone and have essentially found life a lot more relaxing and enjoyable. I will tune back into Instagram soon, but for now the few minutes a day of Twitter and Facebook on my laptop seem to suffice. What more, the time spent on the social internet can now be spent on writing with a little bit more frequency.
Looking forward to a great year ahead for techlandia!
January 3rd, 2017, San Francisco