Nine years ago, I cancelled cable. The next day, I came home from work and turned on the TV to hear the news while I made dinner. That was the only day I missed it. While I had it, I watched it. When I didn’t have it, I didn’t miss it (and I didn’t miss the expense).
Without cable, I appreciated having inexpensive Netflix to reward myself on weekends with a movie. Only during the stressful 6 month period before leaving WA did it become another over-used distraction. Since moving in May, I haven’t missed Netflix but I did leave a row for it in the SLSR budget.
I joined Facebook as a tool for human connection but it slowly got away from me and became an unruly feed I could never purge enough. It was easy to give up for a week-long meditation retreat but difficult to restrict my daily usage. Early this year, I deleted my account. I have witnessed a lot of good through Facebook but I needed to plug my time suck. A positive side-effect is that I eventually stopped thinking in status updates. No, I haven’t missed it for a second.
After cancelling cable, I would go long periods without hearing or reading the news, seemingly unaffected by my ignorance. But with my custom Facebook “news” feed gone, I started reading directly on news sites more often. I can still get hooked occasionally and compulsively scroll and scroll through the depressing and frightening headlines.
I postponed having Wi-Fi access in the tiny house until the end of September (after living in the tiny house for ~6 weeks). As expected, I’m finding a steep learning curve with the tiny house (I have a running list of silly mistakes I’ve made and I’m just getting started) and wanted to minimize distractions. There’s room in my day for relaxing, but not procrastination-enabling distractions disguised as relaxing.
This summer, I started listening to podcasts. I really appreciate them on long drives or when doing chores in the tiny house or when I want to sit down in the evening and listen to a dharma talk. So far it feels more edifying than distracting.
And evenings in the tiny house, the passing of time seems more obvious to me: the sunset is already in a different location. I need to turn on lights earlier. There’s less daylight for the PV panels. These changes seem to be happening too fast for me. December will arrive quickly and when it’s dark by 5PM and the evening feels long, I may find it hard not to hungrily grab at all the bright screen distractions I can find.
References and related links:
- SLSR: simpler living semi-retirement
- PV: photovoltaics. Tiny house is mainly sun-powered.
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