Week 4 - Unplug

I will turn off all my usual digital notifications.

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Hi, my name's Dee and I'm a social media addict. I love the buzz of dopamine that hits my brain each time I get a Facebook "like" or new Instagram follower. Along with many other millennials, I have various accounts on Pinterest, Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook, Instagram and email. Sometimes my evening can be spent refreshing, swiping down & switching between these apps in search of my next "hit" - how did I survive before that reassuring "ping!" that tells me someone's commented on my latest status update? Let's find out; this week I've unplugged and turned off all my usual digital notifications.........

I'm an "all or nothing" type of girl & find it difficult to resist temptation. From previous self imposed Facebook bans, I know the best thing to do is completely delete the app from my phone. I can still access the site by using a web browser, but that 2seconds extra effort to do so may make me think twice AND no app = no notifications. Facebook deleted.

I use Twitter for work, so can't delete this app but I turn off all notifications in settings. I schedule 3 x 10minute slots per day to keep on top of admin.

Pinterest - another big black hole of time wasting - the app's deleted but my account is still there if I ever really want or need to access it from a web browser.

Instagram - I love photography and the effects this can give my photos so don't delete the app, but turn off all notifications in settings. I can choose when I check my newsfeed instead of being told when to.

email - an essential part of the modern world, but reacting to your inbox on its terms rather than your own is counterproductive. If I'm in the middle of some important work, being distracted by my inbox popping up in the bottom right hand corner of the screen doesn't help. I set myself a rule that I check my emails at 9am, 1pm and 5pm only. THIS IS LIFE CHANGING, seriously! I still get back to everyone in a timely manner + I achieve so much more in the periods where I'm not being disturbed. If I take just one thing from this whole year-long WakeUp experiment I think it will be this.

The weekly experiment itself is over but Facebook & Pinterest apps remain "conspicuous in their absence" from my phone. My self imposed email times are to remain for good and Twitter/Instagram notifications are still turned off. I DREAD to think how much time I was wasting before, responding to an inanimate electronic device every time it beeped. Social Media IS fantastic - I'm blogging on the World Wide Web right now. What isn't fantastic is being controlled by it - make the apps work FOR you....that's exactly what I'm going to continue to work at every single day.