Does it ever feel like the noise is too much? Not the actual noise, the noise made by social media.
After reading an excellent post by Mark Manson (author of The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F**k), I gave some deep thought to the amount of time I spend on social media. It’s too much. Manson is doing The Attention Diet. It involves a lot of little things – getting rid of online relationships that aren’t good for you is one. They add up to living in the moment and not letting the noise distract you. It looks incredibly difficult and Mason writes that it’s supposed to be that way. Anyone who’s ever fallen down the rabbit hole of watching “related videos” on YouTube knows how easy it is to lose part of a day.
When I left full-time radio, I deleted the Facebook app on my phone. That helped. I changed my Twitter bio in the hope that fewer “sincere and lonely” men would contact me out of the blue. That hasn’t worked. (They do it on Facebook and Instagram too, and I assume they’re scammers.) I’ve purposely left my phone at home during short trips and it’s almost always on mute. I’m trying. But I’m not yet winning. When I think of something random while writing an article, I’ll generally look up that random thing, thereby taking my focus away from my task. It’s a societal version of Attention Deficit Disorder. Everything is at our fingertips and it wants to suck us in so we view the ads and read the garbage stories.
I’m not up to doing the full version of Manson’s Attention Diet. (Diets don’t work anyway, am I right?!) It requires unfollowing all news and media outlets and using only Wikipedia for information. That’s like eating only grapefruit for a month. But I will cull my friends and follow lists. In fact, I started doing that before Manson suggested it. Anyone who manufactures drama or attempts to reframe something I’ve said in a way that I didn’t mean it has got to go. But I can’t promise that I won’t get lured away if someone posts a video of cats overreacting to cucumbers.