Let me know if this sounds like you. The alarm on your cell phone goes off and you roll over to hit snooze.
You grab your phone, open your email, open Twitter, open Facebook, open Instagram, open Pinterest, and your alarm goes off several more times while doing so.
What did you get out of the time you just spent scrolling through your various “streams”?
What if there was no “stream” for you to scroll through?
What if you unfollowed everyone for just one week?
The Stream Dries Up
You wouldn’t be able to waste time on Twitter, clicking through to read articles or save them for later. (Which then just becomes another list you’re burdened with reading and making it through or else you feel behind.)
You wouldn’t care how many retweets, likes, comments, or followers you have. (Which doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of life.)
You wouldn’t be able to procrastinate on social media anymore because there would be nothing to read.
Think about all the things you would spend more time doing if you just unfollowed and unfriended everyone on every social media platform you were on.
Instead of reading witty 140 character quotes you could be read a few pages of that book that you’ve always wanted to but never started.
Instead of writing replies to people’s questions that could be answered with a quick Google search you could be writing that extra blog post a week for your site.
Instead of watching the latest must-see YouTube videos of a movie parody, song cover, or kid saying the darnest thing you could be watching video tutorials on how to do that technical thing you’re using as an excuse for not launching a podcast, shooting your own videos, or making your site look better.
Unfollowing is like Unplugging
A couple months ago when I unplugged for two weeks I completely deleted social media apps on my phone and put it in airplane mode so I couldn’t access the Internet. All of a sudden, a lot of things above started to happen organically.
Without “streams” to waste time scrolling through, I read books on my Kindle that I’d been putting over for months or even years. I studied our guidebook on trains between cities in Italy so we could eat at the best places and explore the non-touristy back streets. I carried a journal to write pages of my daily thoughts instead of just in short, witty quips online.
After being back stateside for a few weeks I missed being disconnected from the stream. Even when I went back to checking email and social media each day, since I was halfway across the world, there was no use in checking it more than once or twice a day because there wouldn’t be any updates while everyone back in the U.S. was sleeping.
That meant more time for creating, exploring, crafting, loving, and enjoying my time day-to-day.
And less time for refreshing, scrolling, updating, favoriting, and saving.
I’ll take the former over the latter any day.
What if you unfollowed everyone for a while?
What could you do with all that extra time?