Over the past few weeks I’ve been trying to be more mindful and considerate of where I spend my time. As such I’m not on Facebook all that much, I find Twitter holds less and less appeal, and only Instagram remains as my main ‘idle scrolling’ habit these days.

I guess it’s easy to fathom why, with so much going on in the world and each new ‘moment’ compounding the last, I’ve found these places less and less appealing to visit not because of the content I’m seeing there (although for sure it doesn’t always help) but because the level of my interaction has gotten so fleeting and sparse and light that it feels out of balance.

That’s entirely because the value I place on my time/interactions on Facebook and Twitter has dropped significantly, so I’m just less and less inclined to spend time on those platforms right now. It’s a little bit self-fulfilling I’ll admit but the more I consider it the less bothered I am by this.

I’m not leaving either platform but my usage of them is shifting from casual fun places to something with a little more weight.

Facebook remains a good place to keep in loose touch with friends and family, and is also where I look for local businesses and groups. I’m slowly leaving various interest based groups and unfollowing pages that are mostly about getting hits.

My Twitter usage is much more focussed on news and current events now, and whilst I push things there I don’t tend to follow up on them, popping in now and then to skim, retweet, then leave.

And I have to admit I’m not missing either platforms at all.

So what am I doing with all this extra free time I have? Well a whole lot of nothing in particular and that’s kinda been the point.

Actually that’s not true; I’m reading more books and articles. I’m exercising more often, meditating more often, journaling more often. In short I’m focusing on me more than I ever have.

Of course it’s all about balance, but I’m lucky to have an amazing partner who supports and encourages me, and it finally feels like the myriad of little things I both wanted and needed in my life are falling in to place.

Ultimately it feels like I’ve got a new focus, or at least I’ve regained the ability to focus clearly again. I feel healthy, I’m eating well, sleeping well, losing weight steadily, and every day I find myself more and more grateful to the home I live in, the partner I share it with, and can see our future unfolding in front of us.

Whilst all of this is not COVID related – as you know, dear reader, it’s been a long slow aim of mine to find a way to spend less time on social media – it does seem to have given me the kick I needed.

The world will always be in some level of chaos and the more I free up space in my life, in my brain, the easier I’m finding it to cope with. I’m not sure where this new focus will take me but I’m excited about the possibilities.

Stepping back it feels natural that this is happening now, with or without a global pandemic as a back drop, I wonder if really this is all just a result of the steps I started taking a few years ago, deliberate choices designed to give myself more physical and mental space, choices which were not always easy but which are now coming to fruition.

I need to revisit some of these steps – the gradual creep of consumerism is a hard one to fight – but that’s all part of the journey. I feel much more able to focus on things that matter to me, and much more connected to the wider world around me.

This hasn’t been an epiphany, far from it, but for the first time in a very long time I find myself considering the things I’m grateful for and being happy and content are regularly at the top of the list. It’s taken a lot of work to get here.