Jul 19, 2019

Digital minimalism journey continues

Continuing from my earlier post, I wanted to share a couple of changes I made with respect to my digital minimalism journey.

I took a break from Instagram for the first 10 days of July. During this break, I contemplated about numerous ways of how to consciously use this app without accessing it at the slightest hint of boredom or be available throughout the day. I finally decided to have a dedicated time slot of 30 minutes in a day where I would install the app, share a few posts in feed/stories, respond to comments/DMs, check my timeline and uninstall the app. I usually would like to sit down and relax for 30 minutes post-lunch and so 1:30-2PM felt like a perfect time for Instagram use. For the past 9 days, I'm following this practice and it feels so much better. Instead of responding to DMs and comments as and when they come, I batch process them in the 30 min slot and this saves me a ton of time. Instead of posting a picture as soon as I take, I gather them throughout the day and post in one go. I'm still engaging with my followers and enjoying the process but it feels like I'm in control of the app and not the other way around. Not in favor of "app usage scheduling/blocking" apps, the install/uninstall option seems to be the simplest in my opinion.

For many months, we didn't have a Netflix connection at home. We took away the TV and DTH connection back in 2014. We had an iMac at home, which was used for various purposes - work, play and entertainment. Sometime in Sep last year, our 6-year old iMac went kaput and we couldn't fix it. During Diwali season, we decided to purchase a TV. So along with the TV, we got a Netflix connection too. We succumbed to the Diderot effect.

The Diderot Effect states that obtaining a new possession often creates a spiral of consumption which leads you to acquire more new things. As a result, we end up buying things that our previous selves never needed to feel happy or fulfilled.

For the first 2-3 months, I was excited to watch many documentaries and cookery shows, caught up on a few Bollywood movies that I had been wanting to watch. The husband was so happy to revisit the Star Trek series. Ofcourse, D was also watching many kids specific programmes. Last month, husband and I realized that we weren't watching much but rather just browsing by scrolling through the various lists. None of the movies/series seem to catch our attention. I can't tolerate any of the popular dark, violent series and I'm extremely cautious about not getting into any series that I might end up binge-watching. The "good wife" experience has scarred me for life 😉

We have Amazon Prime for entertainment anyway. So in a whim, we decided to cut Netflix for a month and see what happens. Turns out that we don't miss Netflix at all. This decision has helped us save a good chunk of money (Rs.800 per month is quite high by Indian standards) and most importantly, get some time off from devices.
The battle for attention is going on and only the strong willed would survive. 

So two important steps in July....and I'll continue to identify other areas where I can minimize my digital usage.

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