Social Media Replacement

One good thing leads to another and deleting social media apps on my phone Alhamdulillah leads me to read more (also to be more focus at work and generally more productive).

On mid-December 2018, I deleted social media apps on my phone. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Then a few weeks after, the Linkedin.

It wasn’t so much of a sudden change for me because I still have other sources of entertainment on my phone such as Spotify (music and podcast), Youtube, Google and WordPress Reader.

And I can’t say that I quit social media entirely because I still log into my accounts via the web browser. That way, it needs more steps, so it is harder and tedious. I ended up scrolling feeds once every two to three days (at first). Now it’s safe to say that I scroll once a week. But hey, I still have those accounts (I’m not a weirdo)

On first January, like all other people I wrote down my annual resolution. Everything on my list sounds like the previous year’s except one. To read more.

My main objective is to improve my writing as well as to be more mindful about how I spend my time.

I picked up a book that had been long sitting inside my Kindle apps since two years before – and I finished it. Then I bought and downloaded a few more other books.

Kindle can be synchronized with Goodreads, and God that is brilliant.

Goodreads is a social medium too, as you can add and follow people on that platform. It is to-update-reading-progress-and-share-good-books kind of socializing. I’m currently Malaysia’s top 50 readers, top 23 librarians, and top 32 reviewers easily. Getting that, I don’t think many people (in my country) are on that platform compare to the other main players i.e. Facebook and Instagram.

When I first started using Goodreads, I courageously write down 12 books in my reading challenge for 2019. At that time, I wasn’t so sure about it because for the year before, I probably just read two to three books.

It is mid-February as I’m writing this and I already finished 9 books and I feel so grateful and accomplished for that. Alhamdulillah.

See, I don’t just read books all the time. My time in the day and the commitments I have are still the same.

I go to work 9-5, pick up my kids after I leave office, feed them, and then spend some time playing and drawing with them before bedtime. Other than that, I also have some other responsibility like going to the halaqah weekly. And socially, I am an introvert but I’m not anti-social. I have family (parents, siblings), and friends that I’m committed to talk to and meet regularly.

I watch Youtube all the time and oh I sleep a lot – I just need it. (I’m not ready to delete Youtube apps on my phone.)

Do I have more time than you? Probably not.

I just change the habit of scrolling social media to reading. The time I usually use to launch Facebook, after Instagram, and after Twitter – I launch Kindle. I also bring one physical book around all the time. (Last weekend, I went to the public library and borrow six books.)

The reading time is the chunk of time I claim here and there (just like how you do it with social media scrolling). It’s the commuting time on the train for about 15 minutes on the way to the office. Then, another 15 minutes on the way back. Any idle time like when I’m on a queue to buy food or at the ATM machine, while waiting for my friend, and at night before I go to sleep.

If our social media feeds come to us in a form of a book, I guess we’ve read millions.