Lately I have been thinking more deeply about my life and its content. I guess we all have these moments, when perspectives change and things that have seemed less important, suddenly becomes your focus. Eventually you find yourself contemplating, if you haven’t already, what makes you happy and what really is important.
As social media became intertwined in our daily lives, I embraced it. Not so much as the active content creator, more as an avid consumer, commentator and lurker in chief.
I was never afraid of trying out new things – always positive about the outcome of development and change. And I must say, fundamentally positive about the power of the internet to make people come together, inspire to new things and being the most amazing platform for innovation and business growth.
But for me personally I was getting tired of it. I had become something that I consumed without consideration of what effect it had on me.
Intuitively, in discussion, I realised that social media might be a hidden source of enormous energy drain for me. So as a snap decision, four weeks ago I decided to delete Facebook, LinkedIn and Instagram from my iPhone (I still use Twitter – and I get to why later). At first it felt weird, but as the week progressed there was a sense of lightness that came over me. It wasn’t that I all of a sudden started reading novels and endlessly reflecting over life. But once the sensory impulse to fire up that app had gone away, small pockets of air started to seep in to my day and I started to see and do other things.
There are two main reasons for why I did this – the first has to do about consumption that you aren’t in control over. You don’t even enjoy it; you just consume it because you think you need it. You even tell yourself reasons you need it when in fact you don’t. But the problem with that consumption is that is so utterly fragmented, that even when you try to take a bigger bite, you can’t, or at least, I couldn’t. You end up seeing a lot of tings, and remembering nothing. For all the good bits, I consumed endless amounts of trash. I even saved tons of articles for later consumption, that I was to stressed out to read at the moment, that I then never read. They’re still there – waiting to be read.
You end up seeing a lot of tings, and remembering nothing
I wasn’t about to stop consuming media, but I started to choose my media more wisely and more purposefully, with original apps, going straight to the best sources. BBC, Politico, The Atlantic, Quartz, The Guardian, WaPo, The Financial Brand, American Banker, EFN.se etc, etc – i could go on. I also started to listen to music, and podcasts again. Pods are great. You choose what to take in, and you need to spend the full hour or so. You can do something else while consuming, like grocery shopping and you don’t just mindlessly keep on scrolling.
The other one thing had to do about how I felt from this consumption, what it unconsciously did to me.
I love all of my friends, acquaintances and social media-buddies, and I cherish all accomplishments, luck and fortune they have in their lives. I truly whish them all the best. But consuming that every day didn’t make me happy.
It’s not you – it’s me
Let me explain. It’s not about envy, or jealousy. It is about constantly comparing yourself to others. It might not be a person’s finest trait, but I think fundamentally, that’s how many of us function. And when we start doing that without reflection, it goes too deep. It’s almost like inspiration that has gone overboard. Once in a while it feels good to be inspired by something, or someone. It just makes me feel liberated, not unconsciously comparing myself to others all the time.
For me it meant I stopped thinking about what I have accomplished and feeling satisfied for trying my best and working hard on that. Instead I started to devaluate what I had done, constantly depreciating my own work, and at the same time glorifying others. I forgot what my own goals where and what was important to me.
I’m still not really sure what they are, but I feel more confident that I will know eventually, if I’m not constantly confused by other people’s achievements and goals.
Conclusions and saving clauses
This is an open-ended experiment – meaning, it don’t now when or how it will end. For now, I’m more conscious about what I consume and I have more space in between to reflect. I don’t need to fill every single dead moment in my day with social media.
The irony here, lost to no one, is that I post this link on social media, awaiting your like-love…
Ps: even though I don’t spend much time on LinkedIn my inbox and phone are still open
Ps2: I still use Messenger and WhatsApp for direct messaging and direct contact
Ps3: I still use Twitter once in a while, because it is a platform for my interests and professional curiosity – i.e. banking, finance, investments, fintech, digital business development, us-politics (seeing your childhood super power-nation, fucking it all up, handing the baton over to China is something that you can’t look away from) etc.
Ps4: if you ever do the same experiment – or if you totally disagree with me, drop me a line on Messenger, WhatsApp (as Carl Bjurling) or email; email@example.com
Love – Carl