Digital Detox 2.0 | Why I’m Giving Up Video Streaming for the Remainder of 2019

Digital Detox 2.0 | Why I'm Giving Up Video Streaming for the Rest of 2019

Did you know that the average American now spends nearly 6 hours a day streaming video content?

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.

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.

Digital Detox 2.0 | Why I'm Giving Up Video Streaming for the Rest of 2019
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What are the Rules of my Digital Detox?

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.

Other exceptions/nuances:

  • 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.
Digital Detox | Why I'm Giving Up Streaming
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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. I use to to numb myself to feelings I don’t want to deal with or to avoid 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.

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Do you want to set healthier digital habits this year? Check out this post on social media toxicity or this post with tips on reducing screen time.

What is something that you spend too much time and effort on? Have you ever given up streaming before? Please let me know your thoughts in the comments below.

5 thoughts on “Digital Detox 2.0 | Why I’m Giving Up Video Streaming for the Remainder of 2019

  1. Oh this is an interesting detox! I feel like I normally stay away from Netflix/other movie streaming sites. I constantly want to be doing/working on something, and watching Netflix doesn’t really allow me to do that.

    Even though I like making YouTube videos, sometimes I even stay away from them too. The key is probably balance, and if you’re watching one YouTube video a day, that’s definitely a lot better than hours worth of content. Normally I do try to watch a few though, especially since I can kind of look for things (video editing/idea wise) to try out in my own (and I know a few YouTubers and want to support them and see what’s going on in their lives). Plus, I get motivation and tips for life in general. But YouTube can definitely make me want to buy more things, because I enjoy watching reviews and hauls too. 😅

    Good luck with your digital detox! And the rest of your semester!

    1. Thanks girl – you are totally right about Needing to strike a balance. My habits weren’t so lopsided until I went back to school & changed jobs … I think YT became a crutch bc I was feeling so tired and anxious all the time.

      I need to focus more on doing things that bring me joy and help me learn, rather than making excuses that I don’t have time.

  2. A while back, I decided to unsubscribe from a lot of (beauty) youtubers and only keep subscribed to the people I really love and where I watch all the videos from because I just really enjoy it. I think I ended up with only 12 subscriptions (and this even includes artist’s YouTube channels such as Beyoncé and Justin Bieber who don’t upload frequently) and I decided to subscribe to channels/people who post videos about productivity, minimalism, motivation etc. And I would truly recommend that if you decide to start watching YouTube videos again.

    1. Thanks for sharing this advice – it is helpful to know that I’m not the only one wanting to cut back. 💜

      Until this year, I actually never subscribed to anyone (just watched content signed out of YT). But I think unsubscribing is a great tip! I’m subscribed to less than 20 channels right now but I tend to watch a lot of content from people that I’m not subscribed to.

      When I did my first digital fast (in 2018 I think), I stopped watching YouTube and deleted IG off my phone for like 3 months. When I came back, I only watched minimalism content but it also made me feel bad but in the opposite direction kinda.

      I think I need strike the right balance of how much I watch and what I’m watching. I really just want to watch less overall bc lately I watch even when I don’t feel like watching.

      My schedule has been so weird since going back to school and changing jobs and I think that has been a major contributor to my unhealthy streaming and spending.

      As cliche as it sounds, I know I’ll feel more motivated and determined come December break / New Years!

      1. I recognize watching even when you don’t feel like watching, I have that too lately.

        It truly is about finding a good balance, it shouldn’t be unhealthy streaming. But it’s hard so I totally get the struggle!

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