At the start of August I looked around at the state of the world, took a peek at state of my brain, and made the conscious decision to try and curate my online space to be somewhere as peaceful and calm as I could make it.
That isn’t to say I decided to wash my hands of what’s happening both in the UK and globally. It’s the opposite in fact. I realised my mental energy was being sapped by what I was seeing online about things I could not change and that mental malaise was physically draining me and stopping me actually doing things about the issues I could directly affect. It was lose/lose situation and I refused to let it continue.
Since my most used social media forum is Twitter I focussed my efforts there; curating my lists to ensure that I could check in with my friends and favourite art/craft/writing accounts without having to run the gauntlet of my full Twitter feed. I did a big clear up of my follower list at the end of last year and didn’t want to unfollow anyone else, so lists were ideal for limiting what and who I’m seeing.
I also limited how much time I spent scrolling each day. My phone and tablet have a time limit function that works over both of them and across all social media apps. I gave myself hour a day and no more. At first it was a surprise how quickly I reached the limit but now I’m generally not hitting it at all, which I think is a marked improvement.
As well as changing how and what I consume I also shifted what I put into the system myself. There were two main strands to this:
1) not retweeting or quote tweeting anything that I didn’t find interesting, beautiful, amusing or calming, and
2) sharing some new content every day (or at least every day I open Twitter) that, whilst it might be small, brought me joy.
Those tweets are usually based around a photo and accompanied by the hashtags #SpreadingJoy and #TheSmallThings. So far there have been twenty eight of them and I’ve pulled the photos all together here so that anyone who doesn’t use Twitter can also enjoy them.
My intention is to keep doing this for as long I am enjoying it (I suspect it will carry on for the remainder of this year at the very least) and to post a round up here on the blog at the end of each month. This isn’t going to replace my “This Sparks Joy!” series – I’m just finishing the summer edition and it’ll be up in the next few days – but feels like a much needed corollary to it.
If anyone else is inspired to do something similar to change up their online experience do let me know as I’d love to see.