Focus 2018

I have been a member of Facebook since 2007. The service has provided me with connection and reconnection, convenience, information, and at times, a distraction. It’s been over ten years since I joined the club and Facebook has become a behemoth, as has its Messenger and Instagram apps. While I usually limited my consumption during the day, I found myself the last few years spending more time than I care to admit on these three apps in the evening. After the kids went to bed. Or even as I sat in my bed. 2018 arrived and I decided I had better things to do with my time. I could read actual books more, you know, like I used to do. I could sleep more, which is never a bad idea, especially when I rarely hit the recommended daily intake during the week. Or, I could fill my time with other productive activities.

As January comes to an end, I am happy to report that I have spent limited time (almost none) on the apps mentioned above. I have not deleted my accounts, have not given up on smart phones in general, but have greatly reduced my exposure to social media (with the exception of LinkedIn). I still read news and attend to email, but I don’t whittle the minutes away on those sites any more.

And I don’t feel like I have missed anything (although I have missed conversations with one particular person). I have exercised more in January, have read more from actual books, have reorganized my desk and closet, and have even slept a little more this month. I am also still acutely aware of how many issues our country and world face in today’s hectic times – I’m not shutting myself out from the world – but I have controlled the source and filter of my news rather than handing it over to an algorithm.

The key from here on out is to replicate January eleven more times. If I can do this consistently well in addition to my other goals I am focusing on in 2018, I will be ready to call this year a success.