John Mayer had a good post about a “digital cleanse.” The idea is to step away from the busy, buzzy world for a week. John mentioned four ideas, but I’m going to try just one: “no use of Twitter or any other social networking site”.
That’s right, I’m going Twitter-free for a week. I don’t really use Facebook, so that’s not a problem. The only other social networking website I use is FriendFeed, so I’m cutting that out too. To keep me on track this week, here’s what I did:
- Tweeted that I was doing the digital cleanse and changed my Bio line to mention that I was doing the digital cleanse.
- Removed all Twitter apps from my mobile phone.
- Removed the Twitter and FriendFeed shortcuts from Chrome’s new tab page.
- Hard-coded a bunch of websites so that I can’t even access them. In Linux, you can type “sudo vi /etc/hosts” and add the following lines:
What these lines say is “Computer, when you try to use the domain name system (DNS) to resolve twitter.com to an IP address, hard-code the IP address to be 127.0.0.1.” Note that 127.0.0.1 is a special IP address that corresponds to your own computer. In essence, these entries make it impossible to browse to Twitter, Facebook, or FriendFeed. You might need to reboot your computer too for the settings to take effect.
I’m thinking that I might blog a little more now that I’ve stopped tweeting for a week, so I’m doing one extra step–I’m linking my blog in Feedburner so that when I publish a blog post, it will tweet a link to that blog post. Here’s how to do it:
1. Log in to http://feedburner.google.com/ and click on your blog’s feed.
2. Click on the “Publicize” tab and then the “Socialize” service on the left.
3. Add your Twitter account and select the options you want. Here’s how it looks:
Then click “Save” and that’s all you need to do.
So far, I’ve been Twitter-free for twelve hours. In that time, I’ve
– worked out
– taken down our Christmas tree, chopped it into sections and put it out on the street
– typed in three months’ worth of data for a project that I’m working on
– taken down our Christmas lights and packed them away
– stored all our various Christmas decorations
– run a couple loads of laundry
– put out the trash
– gone shopping and had a couple meals with my wife
Oh, and written a blog post. We’ll see how the digital cleanse works for the rest of the week.