One convincing argument made by Nassim Nicholas Taleb (author of The Black Swan and Fooled by Randomness) is that we intuitively misjudge the importance of the newest information, which is actually the most likely to be trivial and wrong. I wrote about this before.
It’s an especially important point in the Trump era, where I can easily get into an endless cycle: Washington Post, The Guardian, National Post, Slate, Twitter, Los Angeles Times, CBC, BBC, Twitter, etc.
Quite a while ago, I took email off my phone and have found it a big life improvement. I definitely don’t need to be instantly notified every time I have a new message. One slight inconvenience is that I often use email to send information and to-do items to myself. That’s pretty easily addressed, however, by saving them into Google Calendar instead or using the BuryCoal.com contact form.
Yesterday I went a step further and removed Twitter from my phone as well. It’s a bit of a harder case, since I do genuinely learn things from Twitter that I don’t see elsewhere. It’s where I learned about divestment at Laval, for instance. At the same time, the huge majority of what I see on Twitter is a waste of time and it’s an easy reflexive form of procrastination. I still have an account accessible via Sasha’s iPad Mini and my computers, so all told this should be a helpful move.