Between traditional television, online streaming platforms like Netflix, and social-centric content on Instagram and YouTube, there is no shortage of content to binge watch nowaday. While I watch very little television, I am guilty of leaning on YouTube as my go-to choice of entertainment when I’m bored, stressed, lonely, content, excited…. regardless of whether I’m actually watching content or just listening to videos on the background.
To put it bluntly – I’m over it. I’m tired of the constant *noise.*
Why am I giving up streaming for the rest of 2019?
There are two main reasons why doing a streaming fast for the rest of 2019.
1 | Streaming fuels my consumerist tendencies and influences my purchasing habits in a negative way. It should go without saying that watching videos about makeup will make me want to buy makeup. In the past, pulling away from YouTube (and Instagram) made my No Buy Challenges much easier, so I will be interested in seeing if I feel the same way during my current challenge.
2 | Streaming kills my ambition. It is convenient and easy to put on YouTube or Netflix, so instead of using my time to do something more meaningful, I spend too much of my free time watching content that I am not fully invested in viewing.
The time I spent watching makeup videos could be spent working on my artistry, both in terms of makeup or other creative outlets (drawing, painting, etc.). Alternatively, as I’m in my second-to-last semester in grad school, I could use my extra time to start the job search process or to plan ahead and study for my classes. I could read more.
Just as I do with my other challenges, I will define the rules of my latest digital detox. This challenge will specifically focus on video streaming. Thus, I will not be allowed to stream movies or television shows on Amazon Prime HBO, Netflix, Hulu, or Video on Demand Channels except in special circumstances.
Special circumstances include:
If my friends and family want to watch something together, I will be allowed to partake in watching. My intent in doing this challenge is to work on my habits, not to deprive my family or friends.
When Christmas movies are released I refuse to deprive myself of the joy that comes from Christmas movies and television specials. These fill my heart with such joy that I do not see them as driving up my consumerist tendencies or frivolous.
Streaming music is allowed given that this can be played in the background without influencing my spending or distracting me from doing something more meaningful. Note: streaming music videos is not allowed (unless I am specifically trying to recreate a beauty look from a particular video).
Educational content is allowed. In other words, if I need to learn how to do something or watch videos to complete a certification this will be allowed given that the intention behind watching those videos would be meaningful.
I will allow myself to watch one YouTube video a day.
What are the benefits of a digital detox?
As always, there are obvious benefits to embarking on any sort of digital detox. In this case, I’m hoping that by stopping streaming, the following benefits will begin to manifest themselves in my life:
Education & Reading: I hope that with more time, I’ll be able to complete a few online certifications and read at least three more books before the year ends.
Spending & Shopping: I hope that by refraining from watching YouTube, I’ll feel less tempted to spend my money on makeup.
Career: My goal is to put together a target list of companies that I’d like to work for and to reach out to alumni. This is obviously a daunting and time-consuming task. I hope I’ll be able to finish this before the end of the year.
Health: My student schedule is erratic. Between blogging, my job, my classes, and job searching, I’m all over the place. I hope that by giving up streaming, I’ll spend less time mindlessly watching YouTube or Netflix and more time sleeping.
Final Thoughts on the Start of My Digital Detox 2.0
Before this challenge even started I felt like giving up. Streaming has become a major crutch in my life that I use to numb myself to feelings that I don’t want to deal with or to avoid the stress that I feel ill-equipped to handle. However, the avoidance of dealing with problems often leads to bigger problems.
I want to do more and to be better. I don’t want to waste my life away in front of a screen… watching other people’s lives play out before me. My hope is that this challenge will help kickstart meaningful change in my life.