June 2021 Experiment Inspired by Prince

‘Cuz they say…
2000 zero party over oops out of time
So tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1999

I was dreamin’ when I wrote this
So sue me if I go too fast
But life is just a party
And parties weren’t meant to last

War is all around us
My mind says prepare to fight
So if I gotta die
I’m gonna listen to my body tonight

Have you ever read the lyrics to Prince’s 1999 song?  Read them, not what you think he is saying, but actually read them?  It got me thinking back to a New Year’s Eve party in 1999 where the whole world feared Y2k.  Like the world was going to end.  Computers couldn’t handle the change.  We thought we would wake up to total destruction.  I was 17 years old then.  I didn’t think of what could go wrong.  All I cared about was what I was going to wear on New Year’s Eve 1999 to dance the night away.  No worries.  No cares.  Just dancing.  Maybe I thought about blisters but that’s it. 

There also wasn’t social media or smart phones.  Cell phones weren’t very popular.  We had dial up internet at home, AOL instant messenger was popular, and if you were lucky you had your own phone line where you could leave AOL instant messenger up all day long.  I didn’t have my own phone line.  Friends did and they let me have my own AOL name at their houses.  I think mine was PinkIceKream29. 

Anyways, our technology has sure changed a lot.  Now we are glued to our phones.  We pull them out whenever there is 3 seconds of silence.  Basically we can’t function without our phones.  Could you believe all of the changes in personal technology alone since 1999?  I’m shocked!   Here is a timeline of social media.

1999 – Weblogs and blogs gained popularity
2002 – LinkedIn was founded
2003 – MySpace launched – Hi Tom!
2004 – Facebook started in a dorm room
2005 – Reddit started the rabbit hole of reading
2006 – The first Tweet happened
2008 – Facebook allowed non-college students to join
2010 – Instagram vs. reality started
2011 – Snap that Snapchat
2016 – Tick, tick… TikTok started

Today I streamed a yoga class on my cell phone.  Used my phone to update my blog.  Posted about my new blog post on Instagram.  Checked my email at least 15 times today (it’s only 10:30am).  Took my pup for a walk and took a picture of him for his Instagram.  Scrolled through Instagram during breakfast.  Updated our grocery list on the Walmart grocery pick up app.  Checked my bank and investment account balances.  Looked for a book on Overdrive.  Couldn’t find the book on Overdrive and went to the web on my phone to see if my local county libraries had the book.  Nobody has the book so I added the book to my Goodread’s app.  Called Mr. BMM on my way to work just to chat.  He wasn’t available so I started the recent She Run’s Ultras podcast episode.  Checked the weather when I got to work to see if I could leave my windows up or if I had to close them.  It’s going to rain so I closed them.  I checked a couple “to-do” items of my Reminder’s app.  Probably checked my email another 15 more times.  And as of 10:32am I have spent 1 hour and 22 minutes on my phone.  In the past 5 days I spend 22 hours and 14 minutes. 

clear hour glass with brown frame

What the hell!  That’s nearly a FULL DAY on my phone.  Well I did listen to new Leslie Jordan “How Y’All Doing?” audio book during work so that’s 4-5 hours.  Well SHIT, that’s still an awful lot of time to be on a freaking cell phone.  Instagram has taken nearly 5 of those 22 hours.  DAMN, I don’t spend 5 hours running or exercising or relaxing.   What the hell am I doing with Instagram for 5 hours?  Let me just quick check to see if I got more likes though.  One minute.

SEVERAL MINUTES LATER…

This month I’m going to dig really deep into my memory of reading Cal Newport’s Digital Minimalism because spending nearly 24 hours on a cell phone is absolutely freaking ridiculous.  Hmm is the audio book available through my library?  And BAM I just looked at my phone again.  No it’s not available. 

WHATEVER!!!

Here’s my plan:

Week 1 – Delete all apps beside phone, messenger, maps, podcast, camera, grocery pick up, notes, reminders, and fitness related.   

  • Email can be checked on a computer.  I can borrow books through a website on the computer.  I can check bank and investment accounts on the computer.  Basically anything I can do on a computer, will be done on a computer.   I can come up with a million exceptions and reasons why I should veer away from the “anything I can do on a computer, will be done on a computer” but that really defeats the purpose of this challenge. 

Week 2 – 4 – Deal with all of the mental and physical stuff that comes along with Week 1.  I’m going to have a lot of known and unknown habits to break.  No more scrolling through Instagram on the toilet.  Don’t even shake your head.  We all do it! 

Have you ever done something like this?  Besides Prince, I was motivated to ditch the phone after reading Give it Up! by Mary Carlomagno.  Then earlier this week EaseYourFinancialPayne wrote an article about ditching social media.  How to be a Minimalist Podcast went through her digital minimalism update.  I don’t always listen and follow the signs given to me but let’s just say MESSAGE RECEIVED on this one. 



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