Social media has a huge impact on the world we live in today, whether or not you agree, it dictates everything that we do, how we advertise, how we portray ourselves and most of all, how much spare time we have. One of my new years resolutions this year was to put my phone down and be away from it for one to two hours each day. For people like me who are addicted to their phones (literally, i was) trust me when i say that it does a world of good.
Once i started putting my phone down for little bits of time in January, it got me thinking about how much an online social presence effected my reading. When i wasn’t reading, i was spending all my time on social media, talking about books, researching books, promoting the blog, and it’s very true that if social media didn’t exist, i wouldn’t be doing as well with this blog or even have it at all. So in that sense, social media is a great thing that allowed me to have some place i can discuss my thoughts (like i’m doing right now, but of a weird inception thing going on) freely and share things with the rest of the world.
However, back in January i vowed to put my phone down for around an hour a day, this meant that i’d put it in a completely different room. I still now get very easily distracted if it’s in the room with me, i will always subconsciously go back to the safety of my little online world. When i started putting it away for some time, i noticed a huge difference in the amount i was reading, and more so, i was actually focusing on what i was reading.
If my phone is beside me when i read, i’m constantly checking if i have a message, if i have a Twitter notification, ‘did that seller get back to me on Etsy?’ and the absolute worst of it ‘did my phone screen just light up and i didn’t see? Should probably check that…’ I hate myself for doing this so often because it dramatically cuts in to my reading time, and means i take in absolutely nothing of what i’m reading.
Therefore, in January i had the best reading month i ever have done. I read a total of six books (which is very unlike me) and i absorbed every single one of them. I still remember the names of characters and scenes within each of those books instead of it being some vague story-line mixed in with a stream of live Tweets about a TV show.
So as much as i hate to say it, but social media really does impact me negatively when it comes to reading. I always manage to get so much done when my phone is far away from me. For example right now, i’m writing this downstairs, and i can only focus because my phone is way above me in my bedroom.
There are some huge plus points to social media when you read, connecting with others that have the same love as you do, and finding out about new books constantly, but all that can get overwhelming and addicting. I guess what i’m trying to say is that i want to use my reading time productively, i know that i’ve been slacking in reading because i’ve been slacking in my new years resolutions. I want to make the most out of what i’m reading and make sure that i’m taking in every word of a story i’m spending so much time and money on.
If you too are having trouble concentrating whilst reading, try leaving your phone in a completely different room, out of sight and somewhere you won’t be tempted to reach for it. Without a doubt, it will drastically improve your reading streak.