Possibility and Probability

A Python programmer with a personality thinking about space exploration

30 November 2019

Journaling Instead Of Social Media

by Nick

Recently I’ve been reading Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport. I have been pleasantly surprised that many of the habits I’ve already adapted are discussed and recommended in the book!

I was also surprised to realize that by following some of those habits I have unintentionally developed a new habit that is probably better for me: Journaling.

Let me explain.

Digital Minimalism isn’t about giving up all things technology related, instead it is about being more intentional in using those technologies. Mindless surfing is out, purposeful growth is in.

The book does recommend taking a break from social media as a way to get some distance between yourself and the madness that is involved with the always-consuming/always-sharing mindset of most social media sites.

I am about 2 weeks into my break and I have noticed that I have been journaling more than I usually do, and at a greater depth!

Journaling is an ancient practice that many notable people have done over the millennia. I was inspired to start most recently by Derek Sivers who posted a thought provoking post about it a few months ago.

Now that I am not posting to Facebook and Twitter, when I find myself with the urge to type up some witticism, I instead turn to my journal and log it there. Today I was looking briefly at something I wrote earlier this week and it occurred to me: “This would make a great Facebook post!”

Here’s the thing: I rarely post to Facebook. Most of my network there is friends and family, but every time I go to post something I catch myself. I think “Is this appropriate to share?”

Of course Facebook would say “YES!!!! POST IT NOW!!!!”, but I know that some opinions of mine would just cause arguments, or people thinking that I was throwing shade at them. Instead, when it is just me and the journal, I find I am starting to open up more.

The funny thing is that my “opinion” will be offensive to different people every time. I don’t subscribe to on particular dogma on most topics, and a lot of people have trouble with that: They fit certain lines-of-thought into one bucket, and if you have a thought that doesn’t fit in that bucket they don’t know what to do with that!

Knowing that I don’t have to immediately defend my position, and that I can even change my mind later (SHOCKER!!!) has been really liberating. I have always worked to keep and open mind and see both sides, but I think social media use has interfered with that ability more than I realize.

So in addition to clearing my head from a lot of noise, following Digital Minimalism has also helped me foster a more creative outlet! I would recommend taking a look into both Minimalism and Journaling if you are tired of the status quo of “Quick, pics or it didn’t happen!”

I would recommend looking at a Cal’s site if you are interested in learning more. Its a good introduction to everything that he talks about in his book (which I also highly recommend!)

tags: self-care