I’ve been wondering recently about writers who are most productive.
In my own quest to become as productive as possible (make writing a habit, set aside time each day, make myself accountable to someone…) I have overlooked one of the things that fucks up my productivity the most; the cost of constant context switching due do social media and email.
I mean, I recently reinstalled Instagram and started posting more in an attempt to get more followers there so that (and I am maybe being TOO open and honest here) when my book came out, I’d have more people to show it to. But that is time not spent writing the actual fucking thing.
I’ve also been re-reading Cal Newport’s excellent Deep Work (which you should ALL buy and read, btw). In it, he argues that the constant dings of social media on our phones and the way the platforms are engineered to make us addicted to them mean that we no longer get long stretches of uninterrupted time in which to do meaningful work. Like write a book.
So. I am going to severely limit my social media in the coming weeks. I deleted Twitter from my phone yesterday and got a lot more done at work today.
Here are two quotes that I’m digesting as I make my decision.
What do you pay when you pay attention? You pay with all the things you could have attended to, but didn’t: all the goals you didn’t pursue, all the actions you didn’t take and all the possible yous you could have been, had you attended to those other things. Attention is paid in possible futures foregone. You pay for that extra Game of Thrones episode with the heart-to-heart talk you could have had with your anxious child. You pay for that extra hour on social media with the sleep you didn’t get and the fresh feeling you didn’t have the next morning. You pay for giving in to that outrage-inducing piece of clickbait about that politician you hate with the patience and empathy it took from you and your anger at yourself for allowing yourself to take the bait in the first place.
– From Technology is driving us to distraction over at The Guardian
To free yourself, to be more authentic, to be less addicted, to be less manipulated, to be less paranoid … for all these marvelous reasons, delete your accounts.
From Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now
Anyone with me?
2 thoughts on “Should We Delete Our Social Media Accounts?”
Yup, definitely with you here. I limit my social media by simply leaving my phone in another room when I’m writing. It’s silenced. Can’t hear it, can’t see it. Don’t look at it till lunchtime or whatever breaktime I’ve decided on for that day. Designated time for social media – since I’m an editor and have to pay attention – keeps it in its place instead of being a constant interruption. But there are days when I’m tempted to shut the whole enterprise down because what does it do for us besides make us anxious? Really.
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I guess I’m not the only one struggling with this. What’s even scarier is not being able to remember life without social media/smartphones/the internet. Are we doomed to mediocrity because we can’t focus?
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