Best. Day. Ever. (Cutting Back on Social Media)

A month ago I recognized that my best days are days with limited social media. On those days I don’t check in, post, or update much of anything and I don’t consume any of those things either. I use the internet sparingly and my phone rarely comes out of my pocket except to take a picture or look up the nearest ice-cream shoppe. Since realizing this I’ve taken some steps to optimize my use of the internet to focus only on things I want to do, the best stuff.

Here are five things I did.

1. I don’t check Twitter or email more than three times in the day. I usually check them each in the morning, after lunch, and then in the evening. Notifications get cleared from my phone and I only act on things if they are truly important, choosing instead to batch process most of the stuff during a very early or late work session.

2. I don’t follow many people. The internet is vast and I could follow so many people sharing so many good things but I don’t. I try to only find people who share a story – usually through their blog – and follow them.

3. I use many IFTTT.com recipes to send all my favorite blogs to Instapaper and then have those articles sent to my Kindle at night. It feels great to sit down with something to read in the evenings on a device only meant for reading.

4. I check Facebook once a day at the most. Through a process of unfriending people and blocking others I realized that the Facebook updates I see the most are from the people I see the most.

5. I follow a few curators. For cool stuff it’s Jason Kottke, the news it’s Next Draft, and for articles it’s Longreads.

It’s easy to think that doing more online means doing more in your life, I’m not sure this is so, Smart:

“My dad gave me one dollar bill

‘Cause I’m his smartest son,

And I swapped it for two shiny quarters

‘Cause two is more than one!

Like other posts, this one was inspired by John Saddington and his post, A Few (Somewhat) Random Thoughts on Quitting Twitter.

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