It’s possible to spend a great part of your life wasting your time on social media, and then find out in the end you could have done so much more with your time. I’m not exaggerating! It’s the 21st century equivalent to toiling away in a factory, only to be too sick and weak to enjoy life when you retire.
I actually think this is a real danger. When I look back on how much time I wasted mindlessly surfing the internet ever since it came up, I feel sick. I could have found out what I really wanted, started therapy, learned a craft, whatever. But no – I surfed the internet and I remember none of it because I was never really present.
For many people, social media and the internet have become an escape route from reality, and they use it whenever they experience uncomfortable feelings. Always having the option of going online and exiting current reality means that you can always run away, but you never get anywhere. Your life and the people around you never have your full attention. And this is going to cost you in the long run: your finite, precious time and energy – your life, basically.
Because I was so fed up with procrastination, never having the weekend off and having little time for my social life, I decided that I needed to protect my time and energy from myself: I installed software that lets you lock access to the websites you’re addicted to for a certain amount of time. (There are several options, for all operating systems – just google it:)
I blocked those websites for a full weekend and felt like I was getting my life back. What a relief! In an instant, I had been transported back into the here and now. Suddenly, my attention wasn’t scattered all over the place: I wasn’t thinking about what was happening on social media and all the useless information I could research online. It’s shocking how much energy and focus are drained this way and missing in actually living my life!
Although I did feel extremely eager to get my dose of social media on Monday morning when the internet block expired (the way Gollum felt about his ring…), this was the best weekend I had in a long time. I got a lot done, rested and relaxed, spent time idling in the sun, visited my family and took time to think about my life. It was so much more enjoyable, meaningful and memorable than all the days I spent lost in the infinite spaces of the internet.
If you want to start protecting your time and living in the moment, I think you should try this! (By the way, it’s much easier to do this with the help of web blocker software than with your willpower alone.) I hope you enjoy it – let me know how it went in the comments!