Digital Rest Days
AKA Sexy Sundays.
To solidify Channel Void’s integrity as a self-development and healing platform, we have developed Sexy Sunday; a movement with no expiry date, devoted to digital rest and freedom from the shackles of an internet reality. We believe it is essential for our personal and collective development as humans, to deeply and completely re-connect with the real world at least once a week, every single week. CV storyteller, Luca Young, takes us on his journey of disconnection and ultimately, re-connection.
For all who saw The Social Dilemma, and for all who didn’t, I feel like deep down we already knew applications like Facebook and Instagram were designed to keep us on them for as long as possible. But even though I’m aware these applications largely control my life and the lives of others around me, I still submit to the social media overlords. Tristan Harris is one of the stars and creators of The Social Dilemma, and he suggests that one way to build a healthier relationship with your phone and social applications is to take a clean break once a week. So join me on my sexy phone-free quest, as I learn about myself, my habits and how to get the most out of living days in the real world.
Sexy Sunday 001
The normal routine for Luca on a Sunday morning consists of jumping into his social media wormhole pretty much immediately after his eyes open, but when he sets himself a challenge, he commits, so his first Sexy Sunday morning was particularly interesting.
My first train of thought upon waking, was considering all that I could do and achieve on this day free of socials. Lying there and thinking with no distractions was actually overwhelming, it took me close to three-quarters of an hour to decide what I wanted to do first. The initial and consistent mannerism I noticed throughout the day was how hard it was to maintain focus. I recurrently found myself in trance-like states, stopping work in my studio, walking upstairs, going to my room, picking up my phone and only there waking up and being like, why am I here?
Lessons learnt for next week: Create a list of things I would like to achieve on my day of sexiness as a guide to maintain productivity.
Level of obsessive and anxious thoughts in relation to social media: 7.1/10
Sexy Sunday 002
This week, Luca woke up slightly hungover. For any that don’t know, being slightly hungover and scrolling one’s feed endlessly is a powerful combo, so it was particularly straining for him to remain Instagram abstinent.
Even though I stayed away from socials, I feel like I didn’t really reap any of the mental benefits in the morning as I binged Star Trek until midday, but in saying that, I was definitely more invested in Star Trek than any of my previous viewings.
The afternoon showed many challenges as I went out to socialise. It was very difficult not to check Instagram as I waited in lines outside the event, getting drinks from the bar and in moments when I was kind of singled-out of conversations. I actually found myself opening Instagram in this again, trance-like state, to which I immediately responded and closed it. But ultimately, I did break my abstinence when a friend DM’d me asking for my location at the event, which then led me to habitually watching a couple of stories.
Lessons learnt for next week:
+ Delete the applications (actually).
+ Create a list of things I would like to achieve on my day of sexiness as a guide to maintain productivity.
+ Have the mobile number for everyone I might need to contact on my day of sexiness.
Level of obsessive and anxious thoughts in relation to social media: 5.5/10
Sexy Sunday 003
Taking notes from his partial failure and struggles over the previous two Sundays, Luca wanted to come prepared to the third. Firstly, he’d delete the damn apps. Secondly, he found that his biggest hurdle was having trouble getting productive and into his flow state upon waking up, so the night before he wrote a list of what he wanted to achieve with a loose time schedule. And thirdly, he wanted to identify what was his motive when he felt the urge to go onto social media, so throughout the day, when felt this come up,, he made the active intention to recognise his true motives.
This week, I felt immensely clearer in my intention for the day, in comparison to the previous two Sundays. I read for an hour with no pauses or loss of attention, which beats my personal best by around 50 minutes. After breakfast, my Mum and I went for a walk in nature followed by a swim at the beach, and I did something that I haven’t done since the beginning of my marriage with mobile phones. I intentionally left my phone at home.
As we drove away from our home, I did feel quite naked without it. My mind was filled with ‘what ifs’ like, “what if my friend needs my help?”, or, “what if there is a pack of dolphins doing a rare mating ritual that only happens every 30 years and I don’t have my camera to capture it?’’ But, about 20 minutes down the road, those thoughts seemed completely ridiculous, and I proceeded to have genuine quality time with my beautiful mother. I continued home to complete all the set goals for my creative projects, which for me personally is one of my greatest sources of euphoria.
Lessons learnt for eternity:
+ Create a list of things I would like to achieve for any day I want to be productive, before the day.
+ Delete the applications and be sexy at least one day a week.
+ If I do fall into prolonged screen times, recognise why and address it.
Level of obsessive and anxious thoughts in relation to social media: 1.8/10
In conclusion, the most valuable knowledge I gained from these three Sundays, was being able to truly recognise social media as a normalised addiction. I compare it to consuming concentrated sugar. It feels sweet in the moment and there are almost no immediate negative side effects after using it, but if it’s not consumed with consideration, it will rot your soul.