74% of mobile users ages 18 – 34 report an urge to immediately pull out their phone, open an app when bored. [ComScore, 2017]
The creators of the Facebook “Like” button substantially limit their own social media usage, and the guy that literally wrote the book about designing addictive smartphone apps has his home internet shut off on an automatic timer every evening. [Guardian, 2017]
Something that I’ve been doing since I came back to the US is writing out a list of novelties for myself each week. I call them my Weeklies, and on this list—I make mine on Wednesdays—I write down a recipe, a song, a place, a movie, and a non-standard task. By the following Wednesday, I aim to have cooked that recipe, learned to play that song, visited that location, watched that movie, and completed that task.
… It’s a framework for newness. And it can take a little while to get used to, but if you find yourself in a rut or a repetitive spiral, you might consider making your own list, with your own you-shaped goals, to see if it helps you diversify your growth, as well.
I love that I have the opportunity to pace my day based on what I want to accomplish. I love that my space, my apartment, is custom-fitted for me and the work I do and the lifestyle I live, rather than for guests I might someday have, or someone else’s ideas of what a space should look like and contain.
It sounds horribly anti-social, I know. But that’s kind of a loaded term, isn’t it? Anti-social?
It implies that social is what we should aspire to be, while quite often ‘social’ gets in the way of what we really want to accomplish.
Why not ‘pro-self’? Individual-focused? Me-shaped?
There are immense benefits to having a good group of friends. People you can reach out to when you want a conversation and a beer. People you can discuss heady topics with when you’re feeling intellectually stopped-up. Folks who help you track time and make memories, sometimes by just being there.
But there are aspects of one’s development that can actually be stunted by an over-focus on socializing. Not being able to be alone — and to not just survive, but thrive, as an individual — seems like a limiting trait.