Experiment 2: Final Thoughts

SXSW Interactive. Outside, on their phones. 

SXSW Interactive. Outside, on their phones. 

I have one more day left in my month of information detox and the only thing I'm sort of looking forward to is watching movies in bed again. 

Overall, this experiment was so so soooooooooooooo good for me! I can't even begin to explain how much better I feel having not consumed as much information as I usually do! 

Like I mentioned in the experiment rules, I planned to loosely base my detox around WNYC's Infomagical Project. I listened to their results and mine seemed to mirror their positive outcomes

In the Infomagical project, "be more in-tune with yourself" was the main reason for participating in the detox. People hoped to relieve varied symptoms like "falling asleep without taking drugs" to "turning inwards for information instead reaching for outside sources." The data results came in and information detox seemed to work. 

"Early on 40% of participants felt less overwhelmed with information, by day 5, 71% felt less overwhelmed." 

There's was also anecdotal data: 

Let me break down my own experience.

The good: 

  • I really did become more in-tune with my feelings. Early on in the month I totally had a mini breakdown. I had a good cry in the bathtub and just like the quote above, it was something I needed and would have missed if I was sitting on instagram instead (I check instagram in the tub sometimes).
  • When I did consume content, it left more of an impact on me. Instead of watching several films this month, I saw one movie in the cinema. It was a Japanese anime called Only Yesterday. The film was incredible and I still keep analyzing the meaning of the plot and underlying themes. I'm still thinking about the nostalgic elements and the beautiful imagery. I seriously cry thinking about the film. Crying seems to be a theme this month ;P
  • I absolutely fell back in love with music
  • I don't really know how to explain but a level of anxiety has left my body. I don't feel the need to reach out for information. I'm enjoying the not knowing.
  • I consumed information in real life. I spent 10 days at SXSW learning at interactive panels and discovering music.
  • I mostly kept my month of saying yes! going by engaging much more with the outside world. After my initial breakdown I had a really fun month! 
  • I made more money. I don't know if that has to do with more work/focus or it was a coincidence.
  • I spent more time in nature. 

The bad: 

  • Similarly to my first experiment, I sort of went bananas socializing and probably consumed way too much food and alcohol, oops! 
  • I have no idea what's going on in the world. I want to integrate the news back into my life because I feel like an idiot. What's going on with Trump? Terrorist attacks in Belgium? 
  • I didn't really consume less to create more. I think I consumed less to consume more in real life. 
  • I sort of feel not caught up in pop culture and I went to a brunch where I heard people talking about The Atlantic as a reference about four times. 
  • When I did occasionally cheat, I sort of felt gross afterwards. I felt like a vegetarian eating a giant bacon cheeseburger. That is both good and weird. I want to eventually have a healthy balance with consuming information. 

So, it's (almost) over! I loved this experiment and am looking forward to carrying elements of it with me throughout the year. The Infomagical experts suggest this: 

"We have to be the ones in control of the media, we have to learn when to focus and be online. It's the skill to learn in the 21st century."

After my experiment, I agree. I want to practice disengagement with media to get more out of my own life. 

 P.S. In other news I scored my first point for the Basic Pitches softball league. WHAT WHAT!