It’s been more than a year since I decided to try my best at Digital Minimalism and recently I’ve found myself discussing my efforts with non-believers. Reviewing the resolutions described in the afore-linked article, I noticed a considerable level of progress on two of them in particular:
- I don’t use RSS feeds any more
- I check Letterboxd sparingly
The first one may come as a surprise considering how highly I think of Elfeed. The problem is not the tool one uses to collect updates, of course. The problem is how pervasive they had become. I felt irresistibly attracted to the news provided by my collection of RSS entries, pulled into my Elfeed buffer over and over again. But was it worth it? How many times I was just marking an entry as read before reading it fully? This can be very subjective, sure, and the beauty of an update speaks more about my taste in RSS feeds than the actual content. Not to mention the simple fact that one could just learn to set their priorities and schedule feed-checking at precise times.
Nonetheless, this is why I dropped Elfeed entirely and subscribed to a handful of weekly and biweekly newsletters. I still want to be informed and I still like to read about Emacs, philosophy, literature, cinema, and music, but the information should not overwhelm me and be a distraction.
As for Letterboxd, it has sadly become another digital addiction which in return has been giving me little. Partly because one of my favourite film critics has vanished from the website and partly because most of the recent films I watched barely moved me, I’ve been neglecting my cinephilia in favour of books. As a result, constantly browsing Letterboxd has developed into seldom visiting the website to register my viewings. Unfortunately this also means my other blog misses me, but the love for cinema is still strong, so it’s only a matter of time.
For someone working in IT it’s kind of ironic to write about detachment from technology, I know. Rest assured, I am not working my way to the life of a farmer. At the same time, though, I’d be lying if I say that having more time for other things isn’t what I was really looking for after all.