I’ve made some changes in the last couple days.
First, I’ve removed Facebook from my phone. I’m not anti Facebook. I am however concerned about some habits of mine that have crept up around Facebook. I find myself looking at my phone at EVERY stop in the everyday flow of my life. In line at the grocery store, when I’m done with the laundry, while I’m walking to a meeting down the hall, etc.
I have the amazing opportunity to eat lunch with my son EVERY. SINGLE. WEEKDAY. How many parents can say that? He’s almost 16. For a very brief moment in our lives he and I get an hour alone every day. We enjoy each others company. He’s interesting, intelligent, and like all boys on the cusp of manhood, trying to find his place in the world. So last week when we were at lunch and I caught myself looking at Facebook while he was telling me a story, I realized that I’m really doing it wrong.
I’m not getting rid of Facebook. It HAS been a great tool for connecting with some old friends and family members that I probably would not have any contact with. My change is pretty simple really. I’m just going to use Facebook once a day. My day to day activities go on twitter. I am able to use Twitter without it being a big distraction. My photos will go on Flickr. The amazing service IFTTT.com will then pick up my tweets and photos and post them to Facebook for me so that my friends and family will still see what I’m doing and can continue to interact with me there. Once a day (max) I will check on any responses.
The second thing is TV.
I got my bill from DirectTV the other day and I started thinking about that too. I’m an American. I love TV just as much as everyone else. But two things about TV need to change for me. First is the $130 per month for 500 channels ($1560 per YEAR. Think about THAT). I watch maybe 10 of those channels regularly. I’m paying a lot of money for things I don’t use.
Second is something I do A LOT that probably a lot of people do. It’s that habit where you sit down to “see if something is on”. Why do we do that? There are so many things in the world to do, work on and just enjoy that they can never be done in a thousand lifetimes. Why do I need to see if “The Matrix” is on again with 100 commercials?
My TV and entertainment needs to be much more deliberate. There are 10 shows that I really enjoy. I can get season passes on Amazon or Google Play for $20 per season (oh and they are commercial free). I gain a couple things here. First is the $1360 in yearly savings without missing any of my shows. Second are the countless hours of my life that can and should be used for something else. Sometimes I forget that going for a walk, sitting on the porch with my wife, or throwing a Frisbee for the dog is DOING SOMETHING MEANINGFUL.
So we took the plunge. Called DirectTV and cancelled.
Now my challenge to myself is to see how many times my excuse is “I just don’t have enough time to workout, start that hobby, go fishing with my dad…” when there isn’t 20 hours a week of “The Matrix” and “Die Hard”(again).