Brain Food #655

Being offline

Thoughts of the day

When was the last time you spent a day, or even an hour, without looking at a screen? And would you find it useful or a nuisance? 

The October 4 Facebook outage, which now even has its own Wikipedia page, was an unplanned detox for many.

2020 data showed that, across the three affected apps, people spent on average:

  • 58 minutes per day on Facebook

  • 53 minutes per day on Instagram

  • 28 minutes per day on Whatsapp

That’s 139 minutes per day. Almost two and a half hours of the average person’s day are spent on these apps.

For some, the outage was a chance to be more productive. Developer analytics company Haystack published a blog post, showing how they witnessed 32% higher developer throughput during the outage. Strangely, 32% of an 8-hour working day is, more or less, two and a half hours.

For others, the outage was the chance to learn how to be alone, and learning how to exist only within our physical environment.

Sometimes, the best way to reconnect to what is important is by being offline.

“I need to be by myself to be focused. It’s best sometimes to lie flat with your eyes closed and see what thoughts come. ”

- Jenny Holzer


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