We are so accustomed to social feeds – and the mindless constant scrolling – that our brains find it hard to think outside that feed box.
Whether social media streams or RSS readers, the convenience of aggregated content brings efficiency. You consume content at speed and at scale – like your brain is a multi-core computer!
But this has problems.
I know from experience that my eyes fluttering over hundreds of headlines and titles also brings fatigue. It’s mind-numbing.
There’s often a feeling of low-grade background anxiety induced by web feeds. I’m sure you’ve felt it too. I sometimes experience a nervous angst, needing to read everything. It makes my brain feel scrambled sometimes. Overwhelmed. All that to hopefully find rare diamonds of information.
Fasting From Feeds
So as part of an experiment, I’ve decided to try living without any feeds!
This shouldn’t be too hard since I’ve been practicing #socialmediadistancing for a few weeks now – and I’m enjoying the calmer and simpler life. I deleted Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and WhatsApp from my phone, plus their bookmarked icons from my browser’s toolbar. My accounts are intact but inactive. It’s a 30-day trial.
Starting July 1st, I will delete the Feedly app from my phone. I will avoid the Reader tab in the WordPress mobile app. And I’ll turn off the Google feed on my Android phone.
Instead, I will manually click to websites or blogs like a net-surfing neanderthal from the 1990’s!
One challenge I foresee here, beyond overcoming the reflex to check feeds, is being forced to slow down. Clicking through several websites will take more time and be tedious. It’s less efficient. But as I’ve written recently
, slowing down like this is usually beneficial.
Another drawback to this will be ads. My feeds don’t show ads. But the websites or blogs I like to visit are ad-supported, not subscription based. So I must face obtrusive and distracting ads. I’ll look for ways to mitigate deleterious pop-ups.
The point of this experiment is to see how my brain is affected by starvation of aggregated content. Can my thinking improve if it’s not inundated with hundreds of lines of disparate texts to process? My guess is that the slower pace will cause my mind to relax into deeper, stronger thinking.
After this 30-day experiment runs the month of July, I may post my thoughts about any results.What do you think?