Free time with no Facebook

This week Cal Newport talked about this paper titled “The Welfare Effects of Social Media.” I don’t have access to the paper but research of this type always interests me. The social media site used on the research was Facebook and it’s not surprising to see that:

“Deactivating Facebook freed up 60 minutes per day for the average person in our Treatment group.”

I deactivated my Facebook account last year and I don’t miss it. Not having the urge to open Facebook and get lost in its endless timeline and roller-coaster of “likes” gave me more time and mental space. Time to read more books, time to reflect on what I read, time to meditate, time to do Yoga, time to do… nothing.

After doing this little experiment myself I’m sure social media, as it is available today, really hijacks our minds and changes our behaviours. It creates a weird feedback loop in which we click, click, click, get small amounts of dopamine due to its intermittent novelty and the return of our time investment is not proportional to the effort.

After I stayed away from social media for a while I realized I don’t enjoy snippets of information anymore. And by that I mean: I deactivated Facebook, I drastically reduced the number of accounts I follow on Twitter and I deleted my accounts on Instagram and Pinterest. So even the short science/educational videos on You Tube started to annoy me. I prefer now to watch a full length documentary about a topic instead of watching 4-5 short videos about cool and interesting science facts.

I’m changing the way I consume content. It takes time because all around us everybody is still on this fast-paced mode of paying attention to quick snippets of information. And the way this information is presented to us is addictive. That’s why I’m changing.

Knowing what to leave undone

“The whole point of getting things done is knowing what to leave undone”
–Oswald Chambers 1874-1917

That´s a very inspirational quote of the week for me!

I am currently reorganizing my projects and realizing that I will have to make some projects inactive in order to complete others. I apply the GTD (David Allen´s Getting Things Done) method in my life and I am now making some adjustments in my Evernote organization.

And I was completely inspired to make some major changes after I got in contact with Matt’s site After The Book and watched his videos. He uses a tag centered approach of Evernote, which works very well with GTD. If anyone has ever struggled to apply GTD using Evernote, his site is a must see!!