I am on a journey to consciously reclaim focus from the shambles of the distracting digital world. As part of the process, I have started actively following one more routine – I log out of every social media service once I have used it.
I have, since long, not had any social media apps on my mobile device. This has helped me reduce the subconscious pick-ups of the device. At the same time, it was really easy to access the service in a browser. Especially because it is just one tap away in my favourites. That’s as good as having an app on my device.
To deter these, I now log out of every service from my browser once I have used it. So, every time I am tempted to access any of these services, an additional step of logging in is needed. There’s also an added barrier of two-factor authentications for the services that support it. Cal Newport aptly captures this sentiment of mine.
By removing your ability to access social media at any moment, you reduce its ability to become a crutch deployed to distract you from bigger voids in your life.
All and all, this one step alone of logging in every time is enough to fool my lazy mind to stay away from these “crutches”. And hence not subconsciously spend any time on the services.
Update: I have already gotten rid of every social media platform I do not need (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat). I am active only on Twitter and Micro.blog. To reiterate, my logout routine is applicable to every site that serves feed of some kind. Including email, feed readers, instant messaging platforms etc.
Besides, I have started accessing these social services only at my desktop browser in Private mode (the Incognito mode in Firefox). So even if I forget to logout, it does not matter. Once the window is closed, all my session information is lost.
I believe this change should also help me from a privacy perspective. The belief is the cookies from these data-hungry social media services would not follow me as I browse around the Internet.
Can’t they? Won’t they? That’s a whole different discussion. But overall am spending a lot less time absentmindedly scrolling these stupid feeds. I feel a lot less burdened thanks to that.