The social media “black hole”
This blog was inspired by a man whom I look up to as a business owner / human in general and had the honour of meeting via attending his “Insider” seminar in April of this year, Carl Paoli @carlpaoli.
He posted about the above not long ago, the “social media black hole” or, “an endless game of browsing and scrolling with no end in sight”. This resonated with me at an alarming level, so, I set out on a week long experiment to reset myself and to see what kind of results would come from embarking on a so called “digital detox”.
Why? Running a business, studying, 3 kids and a flourishing fantasy football team in finals contention, I was looking to see if I could find more time in my day and spend it in areas and with people which will add value to my life / create better opportunities. My original screenshots of day 1 illustrated how much time I was spending and wasting on the gram especially… wow was I shocked / embarrassed.
Simple, no facebook (including The Chamber business / private page) / no instagram ( including The Chamber business page ) for 7 days. To some, easy, to me, it took effort – mainly due to business ownership and self expectations.
The Statistical Findings:
Daily screen time average:
6 hours 08 minutes per day, down to, 4 hours 39 minutes per day – 27 % decrease. Still too much but It’s a start.
42 hours 57 minutes, down to, 32 hours 37 minutes: 10 hours 20 minutes gained in the week
Total pickups per day:
190 v 188: Still too much but clearly less scrolling.
Total notifications per day:
249 v 240 – Business life?
And the culprits:
1. Messenger: 7.57 v 7.04
2. Gmail on phone: 1.59 v 2.27 (increased by 28 minutes per day)
3. Instagram: 7.42 v 0
4. Facebook: 1.59 v 0
5. Fantasy Footy: 1.15 v 1.14 (Shaved 1 minute off this terrible habit)
– I was clearly in the instagram “Black hole”. Not happy about it, recognized it, am changing it.
– Running a business, I get messaged regularly, setting parameters on when I respond ie: home time is home time, will serve me well.
– Close to 250 notifications / distractions per day.. Removing apps , or, setting parameters on apps like GMAIL will help reduce the “need” pick up the phone.
– I need to take Fantasy footy far less seriously, but I do love it
– A long way to go but a good start in a week. Under 3 hours is the goal
The stats don’t lie… over 10 hours gained in a week…. To my knowledge, nothing was lost nor did I miss out on anything? To me that equals a whole lot of freedom, the ability to be fully present in the moments that matter, and a whole lot more time getting my boys prepped for the 2036 AFL draft.
The “lifestyle” findings:
What you don’t know, you don’t know which can actually be a good thing:
I found myself as a business owner in the fitness industry mindlessly scrolling and comparing myself, even doubting myself, on how to run my business / be a good leader. With a plethora of content available at my fingertips, I was constantly working myself into a panic and thinking I needed to change / act on what I was seeing instantly. This was not healthy nor sustainable and was putting heat on everyone around me. This is my 10th year running a successful business, I / we must be doing something well? Removing myself from scrolling eliminated the noise created by outside influences who to be honest, are not always the most credible resources.
Loss of Control:
I had no idea what had been posted on our account on any platform. I purposely left notifications up to test my will. Why? I’m a control freak, and a shocker for attending to everything straight away, regardless of timing. That’s not healthy. Letting go taught me that the world keeps spinning, always. If it’s so incredibly important, the message will get to me in one way shape or form anyway. Its ok to loosen the strangle hold and release the pressure on yourself.
Mental space / clarity:
It’s amazing how clearly I was able to think minus the clutter in my head from what I would usually see and watch.. A clear head = better and more positive decision making in all aspects of business and life.
quality time spent with my family. Not worrying about my phone going off and trying to multitask. This is and always will be a battle for me, but one I am always striving to be better at. My family deserves all of me, this allowed for uninterrupted, quality away from work time. Life is short and precious, kids grow up fast, the gram can wait, Brodie Grundy will always Tone up.
Funnily enough, I feel even more confident in my abilities as a business owner and as a father…. As already mentioned, I was second guessing myself in more than one way. You have to back yourself in always.
More time for real conversations, less time for distorted conversations created by assumptions of what you have seen!
In conclusion …
This is purely my experience and what I gained from the experiment. It’s not a social media bashing. I obviously had insecurities and areas in which I have been vulnerable which have been highlighted over the past week, you may be completely at ease with the time you spend and what you view on SM and in the digital world right now. Which is A- OK. no beef from me.
Social media is here to stay, obviously, everyone is on it as it has so many upsides, especially for businesses. It allows for great connections to be made, powerful content to be created and values expressed, just like I am expressing to you write now ( how ironic hey ). As a business owner, I will continue to use it as a platform, but, at a dose that is right for me and to reach people in an authentic manner. The key word here is authentic – no BS!!!
It’s important to keep a finger on the pulse and to stay in tune with current “times” however, sometimes limits need to be set, especially on a personal level. This is completely up to me to hold my new standard when it comes to where and how I dedicate my time when it comes to al
I am glad I experimented with this little detox. It gave me a true gut check as they say. I got plenty out of it and I highly recommend for anyone to have a crack for a week. You may constantly find yourself time poor, overthinking life / second guessing yourself, or, just like me you may want to see what a week of life is like with a social media removed from it? That’s for you all to decide and apply accordingly!
My key takeaways: Don’t “buy in” to everything you see, back yourself in everyday of the week and spend more time off the grid and with real people.
Thanks for reading, let me know how you go !