My client told me about some activities in her life that were clutter for her. I pointed out that while she spoke of them, she sounded tired. I said they were depleting her. She tried to defend them intellectually. I told her they were holes in her boat. Like holes that allow water into the boat, these activities were sinking her life. She understood what was happening and decided to let go of these activities.
The next day I watched a documentary on Netflix called The Social Dilemma. It’s explores the dangerous human impact of social networking. I recommend it. It was very sobering for me. I realized some holes in my boat. YouTube and Google and email.
YouTube is a time waster for me. I’ll get a thought, “Hmm, I’d like to check out a Rolling Stones video.” I’ll go to YouTube, find the video, watch it. And then a half hour or hour later, after watching a handful of other videos, I’ll feel dazed, wondering where the time went. Even though I had this experience, I repeated it very often. The documentary helped me realize that the algorithm built into YouTube was created to study me and learn what I like to watch and then keep me on that site by presenting me with irresistible options. They do this so I’m exposed to advertisements. So I’m going to do my best not to go to YouTube.
I’m not using Google as a search engine anymore. Its a hole in my boat because I’m not comfortable that they collect, store and share information about my activities. I’m private and prefer to live that way. I started using Kwant for searches. I heard Million Short is similar.
Lastly, checking email has also been a hole in my boat. I realized I was checking email too often. I don’t get much email. I don’t know what I was expecting to find. Maybe it was the mystery. Who’s going to email me and what are they going to reveal? Most of the time it’s not important and it’s a distraction. I have to check email, so what I’m going to do is put a check mark on a piece of paper each time I check email. This will make me more conscious and hopefully reduce the checking. My experience is the more aware I am of what I do, the more supportive are my activities.