An effort to simplify

Dear readers, most of you know that I tend to shun materialism. It’s my personal philosophy that the pursuit of shiny objects and paper with presidential portraits on it distracts us from being productive, while technology and the internet have an increasing tendency to socially isolate us. I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands and begin the process of downsizing–and in the process simplifying–my life.

I started by taking all of the apps off my phone. No more words with friends, no more Facebook, no more WordPress app. Don’t worry, I still intend to keep this blog going. But I won’t be able to check it every five minutes on my phone from now on. And as far as Facebook is concerned, I’ve already downsized that quite a bit, taking people and pages off my feed, removing my personal info, etc. I’m very tempted to just do away with it altogether, and remove all the temptation. I feel like I don’t really get anything of value off of Facebook, and everyone I care to actually keep in touch with has my phone number and can call or text me whenever they so desire. You know what? Screw it. I just deactivated Facebook.

I don’t really have a lot of possessions to begin with (thank you, school!) so I don’t really have anything to get rid of, but I have vowed to not buy anything else for the time being. The one “new” thing that I am allowing myself to buy is books. Other than that, clothing, technology, media, it’s all going by the wayside as far as I’m concerned. When I finally graduate and get a place of my own, it’s not going to have a television. I’ll have a computer with Netflix, but that’s it. No cable, no satellite, not even broadcast TV. And when I DO get my own place, it’ll be a small one.

There’s a company called Tumbleweed homes that designs these wonderful little houses, “tiny homes,” that range from 69 sq ft all the way to 1000 sq feet. I personally have my eye on a little European cottage-inspired design that clocks in at around 750 sq ft. The advantages to tiny homes are tremendous. Not only are they affordable, but they’re easier to heat and cool, solar power will take care of most of your electricity needs, and there isn’t a lot of space for needless, mindless clutter. If you’re interested, here’s a link to the company’s site: and the specific model I’m interested in is

My hope is that doing all of this will help me focus on things that truly matter and have an impact, and not just environmentally. By removing the distractions from my life (like TV, the internet, social media, etc) I’ll have more time to focus on my studies. I can finally learn Spanish. I can learn how to bake a loaf of bread or fix my car’s engine. I can spend more time outdoors with my dog, hiking. I can get back into kayaking and mountain biking. Reading will replace television. I’ll take up a craft and actually produce things I can use with my time.

I’m quite excited for this adventure that I’m about to embark upon. I’ll keep you all updated as it progresses!


4 thoughts on “An effort to simplify

  1. I am not sure I could make such a decision, but respect you a lot for doing it. I have especially thought about getting rid of Facebook for some time, but right now with the new baby there are a number of people expected pictures to be posted (I know how you hate that. lol). That being said, I do believe it is important to be disconnected from social media, the internet, etc so that we can focus on the world around us more. Good luck in your pursuit of happiness Ryan! But you definitely have to keep blogging so that we can hear about how your changes have helped you. 🙂

    1. I actually thought about starting a separate blog just to report my progress, but I decided it would be easier to just keep everything in one place. I definitely think there is value to some forms of social media, like blogging, because you get to share ideas and information. But Facebook is definitely not for the dissemination of information. I totally get that you have family that want to see the baby, and in that case Facebook does make sense. Don’t worry, there will come a time when you can unplug too, my friend 😛

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