Exiting the information superhighway
I did it when I realized I had more than 15,000 unread emails in my email inbox.
Then I went and deleted a bunch prior to a certain date, and trashed contents of entire email folders.
I am down to just under 4.000 in my inbox, which is still far too many but at least my email client works.
The main bonus for me is that I am not getting more emails in a day than I can read without having to scroll or search on my computer, or without having to “load more” on my phone (since it only shows the most recent 25 messages).
If I unsubscribed to two local newsgroups, I’d probably have the equivalent influx of email to what I had in 1995, which is hardly anything, which is partly because so many people send text or Facebook messages nowadays.
About Facebook. Sometimes I imagine how simple my life would be to just quit Facebook. (I pretty much quit Instagram and never really got too far with Pinterest.) While I do treasure and need some of the connections I have on that platform, the real world awaits. The real world is not going to stop spinning if I don’t look at all my notifications right away, or if I don’t calculate every post precisely with the right emojis to the right target audience at the right time. I am thinking of my direct sales business here, and while many people choose to market their businesses on social media, I am thinking about taking a step back from that and doing more IRL, the way network marketing was originally designed. Sure, it’s good to keep your business presence online, which I intend to do. But I cannot keep up a rigorous six-times-a-day posting schedule on my profile, on my two pages, and in my two groups — see, even that is excessive and I have thought about scaling back to simplify, but am advised against it.
I remember when blogging was just about telling stories online, not figuring out how to get more followers and ad revenue. Sure, I would like these things, but not at the expense of actually writing what I want to write about, or writing at all. I have found myself paralyzed because I haven’t taken the time to get, optimize, and tag the perfect picture or figured out the right keywords, or created catchy subheads to break up my post because no one has more than a five-second attention span. I am not sure every post can be a literary masterpiece. Let’s get real.
For the past couple of days I decided to walk my dog in the middle of the day, and get out in the real world. I started playing a meaningless game on my phone when we were on vacation rather than look at Facebook. (I think it may help to sharpen some critical, mathematical thinking skills that may have been lying dormant, though, so perhaps not completely insipid.) I realized there are a lot of people I haven’t even seen on Facebook in a while (one of whom I found out bought a house!) and I don’t know if that is because they have exited the information superhighway, or if has something to do with a new Facebook algorithm. My Facebook notifications have become white noise to me because I have joined (or been added to) too many groups.
My brain hurts. It’s time to make sure to declutter my mind, and take a break from the constant influx of information. It’s okay if I miss something! If it’s important, I am sure I’ll find out about it from someone, which is what happened when I quit watching the news and cancelled cable TV. I need to slow down and travel on the information back roads for a while.