Monday, 4 June 2012

The Less Social, More Sleep Challenge - part 2

MoCh - Challenge #2 May 2012 - The Less Social, More Sleep Challenge

The Rules
The challenge had two simple rules:

Less social:
- Do not use or log into Facebook, Google+, Foursquare or any other social media on the phone, computer or what have you got (Twitter, Instagram and Blogger are allowed).

More sleep:
- Be in bed by 10 pm before every workday. I can read but have to close my eyes by 11pm at the latest.

The first rule was easy to follow, the second rule a lot harder.

Less social:
I did some preparations for staying away from Facebook and other social media sites. It has been liberating, specially staying away from Facebook. I've never been a fan of Facebook due to the way they do handle your data. With Facebook your private data is not that private, that is my issue. Some old posts that shows my concerns about Facebook:
Facebook never won my trust.
The "quit Facebook day".
Operation Facebook Clean-up.

Lately though I went back to using Facebook more and more, hence the "Less social" challenge. Except for a couple of occasions I found it very simple not accessing Facebook or other social media sites. The only time I did wish I could use Facebook was for contacting people whose name I knew, but email addresses had not gotten.

Overall the "Less social" task gave me more freedom. Not having all those social media tools on my phone felt great. More and more people today totally miss what's going on around them, due to having their noses stuck in their phones.

Another concept that should not be forgotten is self surveillance. The more social media services you use, there more info there is "out there" about you. People should be aware of what they share, or add to any server on the Internet. When it's first uploaded there might be no way for you to remove it again. Everything on the Internet can be used against you. If you're interested in this topic, read my relevant post "I've sold my soul to Google".

Less computer?
It's interesting to see how the "Less social" challenge has affected my time spent in front of the computer. Of course there are other factors, like holidays and weather, that affects this result as well. If I'm on a holiday I don't get as much "computer time", and if the weather is nice I spent heaps more time outside in the sun. For comparison I'm looking at March, April and May both this year and last year. For tracking all my computer time I'm a subscribed user of (yes, I am actually paying someone for tracking everything I do online). Note that both work time, and time I spend on my own spare time is tracked. Since I do work in front of a computer the total number of hours is high (frighting high actually).

March 2011 (6h 40m):
In March last year I spent 6h 40m on average in front of the computer.
March 2011 - overview.

In total 1 hour and 21 minutes was spent on Facebook in March 2011.

April 2011 (6h 2m):
In April 2011 I spent 6 hours and 2 minutes on average in front of the PC.
April 2011 - overview.

In total 5 hours and 32 minutes was spent on Facebook in April 2011.

May 2011 (7h 39m):
The May 2011 average is shockingly high. 7h and 39min on average in front of the screen.
May 2011 - overview.

In total 7 hours and 2 minutes was spent on Facebook in May 2011.

March 2012 (5h 36m):
In March I spent 5h 36 min every day in front of a computer. What is worth mentioning about March is that I spent five days doing a work related seminar, hence no computer time at work those days. That, next to brilliant weather, caused a lower average than normal.
March 2012 - overview.

In March I spent a total of 8h 55m on Facebook.
March 2012 - Facebook usage, top 10 entries.

April 2012 (6h 28m):
I spent 6 hours and 28 minutes in front of the computer, on an average in April.
April 2012 - overview.

In April I spent a total of 6h 58m on Facebook.
April 2012 - Facebook usage, top 15 entries.

May 2012 (5h 42m):
Despite this average being higher than March, it is lower than usual for being me. I do think it is safe to state that I have spent less time on the computer in general, due to my challenge. In May I spent 5 hours and 42 minutes in general in front of the screen. Emailing, blogging and other writing is what consumed the most of my time.
May 2012 - overview.

In May I spent one minute (!) on Facebook, in total. Strictly spoken that is one minute too much. However I just "had to" drop by for checking out one person's picture, which took 11 seconds. The rest of the time was spent on enabling my Chrome extension for blocking the site. Hence I only "failed" by 11 seconds.

Now what?
I will try to keep limiting my Facebook usage, and time spent on social networks in general. Maybe I'll just check Facebook once a week, next to posting links to my blog. Or maybe once a month is sufficient, and no linking to blog posts at all. When I'm writing this I'm already four days into June, and has felt no need of checking my Facebook account yet. I might start a new challenge later to limit my computer time in general. It is shocking to realise how much time I spend, sitting still, in front of a monitor. Is that what is called living?

Did I miss anything?
On the 4th of July, when I did log into Facebook again, for the first time in more than I month, I could not see that I had missed much. 10 friend requests, 2 messages and 4 notifications. That was all. I don't think I've missed any wild parties nor awesome social events either. At least, I don't know of them.

10 - 2 - 4, not much activity for me.

More sleep:
I failed badly on the more sleep challenge. It was not the right time of the year to have this challenge either. We had some beautiful summer nights in May, which made it not only hard, but stupid, to be in bed by 10 pm. I only managed to be in bed by 10 pm two nights. The rest of the time I found an excuse not to go to bed.

Bed times for May, including excuses:

1/5 : 22:02 - a bit slow
2/5 : 22:29 - a bit slower
3/5 : 22:55 - even slower
6/5 : 23:45 - råskinnet blog post + feed problems
7/5 : 22:00 - yay, finally I made it!
8/5 : 00:31 - visited Mr B at the hospital
9/5 : 22:11 - close!
10/5 : ??:?? - visited Mr B at the hospital + home office the next day
13/5 : 21:53 - double yay, second time I made it in time!
14/5 : 22:34 - darn, I got lost with Lost
15/5 : 23:00 - tough session at the track, plus Lost
16/5 : 01:33 - day off (national day tomorrow)
17/5 : 00:13 - home office
20/5 : 23:40 - nice weather, got home late
21/5 : 23:49 - The Walking Dead
22/5 : 00:53 - full of adrenaline due to track session
23/5 : 22:48 - summer, too nice weather
24/5 : 01:46 - summer, too nice weather
28/5 : 23:20 - The Walking Dead
29/5 : 23:30 - (but found songify and didn't sleep until 00:25)
30/5 : 23:55 - The Walking Dead
31/5 : 01:04 - adrenalin high due to track session

What this challenge did do though, was to get more attention on getting enough sleep (“Happiness consists in getting enough sleep. Just that, nothing more.” - Robert A. Heinlein, Starship Troopers). My goal is getting 8 hours of sleep a night. That is hard though, however May was not a bad day for sleeping. I'm using the great app Sleep Bot for tracking my sleep. Below are some charts showing that May, sleep wise, was not too bad.

Recorded sleep times from 1st of March till June. The horizontal line is marking my goal of 8h sleep.

Lines shows when I've been sleeping. In May I've more often, compared to previous, been sleeping before midnight.

My average sleep time as gone up, and is now close to 7.5 hours.

Overall the May challenge was both interesting and fun. I would recommend more people to use social media services less, and in stead focus what is going on around you. I would not recommend many to try to be in bed by 10 pm in spring. However getting enough sleep is very important to live an healthy and sound life. Tracking your sleep is not a bad thing.

June Challenge 2012:
The name for the new challenge is "The Leave Phone Home challenge". The challenge is related to the May challenge. I've noticed that I'm using more and more time on my phone. When I'm on a bus ride I'm playing with my phone in stead of looking out the window, or at the people around me. When I'm walking I'm sometimes looking at my phone in stead of where I'm walking. When I'm at restaurants I sometimes take up my phone to check my email. It's not healthy at all, and I'm not alone with this habit.

Something that I really do hate today, is people at the movies turning on their phones. That I never do though, and I feel like smacking those who do. I never want to become like that. I think that this trend will turn though. I hope, and think, that being that addicted to your phone in the near future will be looked down at.

I will write more about this later though. Here are the rules of the challenge:

- The mobile phone has to be left at home for the entire month. You can not take it outside your apartment.
- You are not allowed to bring, or use, other mobiles phones at all in this period.
- You can forward phone calls, but only to landlines.
- You are allowed to "forward" text messages to a computer, and answer text messages from a computer.

- If there are important meetings or events, where being available on a mobile phone is crucial, the phone can be brought outside your home. These occurrences has to be documented and published as part of the summary of the challenge. 
- If you go on holidays you can bring your phone. However, the phone has to be left behind at your hotel, or where you do live.

So far
We're already four days into June, and I had to start this challenge with one exception. That was due to me taking over my new apartment on the first of June. I needed to bring my phone since the seller was going to call me. The next days though has been "phone free". And what a feeling. It was hard at the start, but I'm already starting to loving it. Freedom!

More info about this challenge will come. Stay tuned.

Last but not least
Thanks to Mr SL who came up with the idea for the June challenge. He is actually doing the same thing as well this month.

Links | part 1 of the challenge | other challenges |

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