Aziz Ansari

This is some of the smartest stuff that Aziz has ever said (or at least the stuff that I’ve heard him speak about):

He’s off social media. He deleted the Internet browser from his phone and laptop. No e-mail, either. Technologically speaking, he’s living in, like, 1999.

Really…? As the writer ponders, did he unplug or “unplug”?

Whenever you check for a new post on Instagram or whenever you go on The New York Times to see if there’s a new thing, it’s not even about the content. It’s just about seeing a new thing. You get addicted to that feeling. You’re not going to be able to control yourself. So the only way to fight that is to take yourself out of the equation and remove all these things.

So, he has removed them. Entirely. He continues:

What happens is, eventually you forget about it. You don’t care anymore. When I first took the browser off my phone, I’m like, [gasp] How am I gonna look stuff up? But most of the shit you look up, it’s not stuff you need to know. All those websites you read while you’re in a cab, you don’t need to look at any of that stuff. It’s better to just sit and be in your own head for a minute.

Man, I love that. The result? Less toxicity in his life:

So if you take yourself out of it, you’re not infected with this toxicity all the time. Also, guess what? Everything is fine! I’m not out of the loop on anything. Like, if something real is going down, I’ll find out about it.

I can dig that, 100%. And, this was personally very challenging. As a result, I’ve removed more than a few apps from my own phone, like Reddit which is a total time suck.

And so this is going to be the beginning of an interesting experiment. I’m going to go through my phone and remove a ton of apps, many of which are useful but not necessary. The line in the sand between these two can be fuzzy, I’ll admit, but, already I’m seeing some nice results.

It’s also worth noting that I experimented with an idea of not checking anything on my ride back from San Jose on the Caltrain for 90+ minutes. The idea here was to go into “deep thinking” instead of the candy that is my iPhone and the many apps and news outlets that I could be reading.

The results were very positive and that was enough kick for me to expand the experiment quite a bit. I may report back in a bit but this is in line with my paring down much of my life and social engagement and just focusing on what really matters.

I love that.

Also published on Medium.