Yesterday I blocked myself from YouTube.
This all started a week earlier after innocently searching YouTube to find out how to fix a problem with our company Webflow site.
But those damn suggested videos sucked me in. Several hours later, after watching a lot but learning very little, I had to drag myself away from the screen to look after my son.
I never finished the Webflow task.
On Friday I told Kayleigh I needed a dopamine detox. I needed to be entirely offline. No phone, no Wifi, no 4G. No kindle, no TV, basically nothing with batteries.
I'd replace that with real books, conversation, walks in the forest and internal dialogues with my ever distracted self.
And over the weekend I did just that. Started reading The Prince, by Machiavelli. Took walks with family in the forest. Played with my little son. My brain was forgiving me.
Then I notice the language selector on Webflow is broken and their resource base doesn't have the info I need. So I head to YouTube.
Hours later I'm coming out of another binge watching session. Nothing of any value (I couldn't tell you about anything I watched). What a chronic waste of my time and energy.
In 2007, while studying music at college, I rarely used the internet. You'd rarely catch me without a musical instrument in my hands - whether alone or jamming with friends. But since then the web and social media has clamped its dirty hands around all of us and it's time we took back the power and broke from its clutches.
I avoided using blocking tools for years because I couldn't admit that I lack the self-control to not watch stuff. But 24 hours since I administered BlockTime, I feel like I'm getting my time back again.
We live in a world filled with consumption. But the real joy comes from producing. The people who produce the stuff most of us consume are the ones living the lives most of us envy. And yet we'd rather watch them living their life than focus on living our own. The only way we can produce something we can be proud of is if we stop consuming other people's shit. Doing this will also allow us to find our own wants and desires.
I'm feeling calm and joyful today. I wonder what will happen if I consume only books, conversation and (perhaps) the odd great film of documentary for the next 12 months. What will that do to my life, my productivity and my creativity?
I feel an experiment coming along.