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Rich Living: Away From the Screens

I have an iPhone. I do not complain about this. I’m slowly learning Spanish with Duolingo, and I was able to lose all the weight that medication had put on me with LoseIt. But social media was threatening to become my downfall. I was checking things constantly and ignoring the world around me, which made me a bit of a hypocrite in terms of Presence. There was also a compulsive quality that I didn’t like about it. I’ve had soft addictions like that before, and eventually they stopped making me happy. It’s one of the reasons I left Facebook.

So I decided I needed to do something about it. I offer it to anybody else who would like to cut down on their social media intake and spend a little more time in Presence.

Before I had an iPhone to fill in the dull moments like waiting in line, I had a catbook to write in.  I still do. Any time I venture into the world, I have these four things in my pockets or purse–keys, wallet, iPhone and catbook. (I once explained my habit to a friend of mine by putting the catbook on the bar we were sitting at and saying “These are my cigarettes.” and then putting the pen next to it and saying “This is my lighter.”)

This is what I do–I stop myself from going through my social media streams by barring myself from doing so until I have written something in my catbook first. Or written anywhere–my diary, one of my blogs, a Sub-C session, or one of the composition books where I hash out notes for novels. I also use my ToDo app to earn a round of social media. I have tasks that renew daily ranging from “exercise” and “take meds” to “work on current writing project” and “practice guitar.” If I perform one of those tasks, I get to check my streams.  If I do two things in a row, I do not earn two sessions back to back–I get to do one, and then I have to earn a fresh one before I can go at it again.

When I’m out, I pretty much stick to the catbook to earn my social media session, except in emergencies like being in a dimly lit club where I can’t see the page clearly. Then I use Day One to pour out my seething brain. You can also use whatever kind of note-taking app that comes with your phone, if you’d rather not spend the money.

With the time that’s freed up, you can enjoy your surroundings and talk to the people in your vicinity. Unless, of course, they’re bent over their own phones.

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