This week my brother and I have been on a few walks. I don’t really love walking in the cold and drizzle, but to spend some extra time with my big bro and to get some fresh air isn’t a bad activity (I guess). Usually, when on a walk, I crack out my RunKeeper app (laughing because as if I’m going to run) to track how far I’m walking. I do this to see my route, how many miles I’ve hit and to ultimately turn my walking efforts into a statistic I can screenshot.
Recording statistics and detailing every changing factor of our lives has become a big trend over the last 5 years. Fitbits have had their time, bullet journaling is the new best way to live and the rise of social media has had us number-crazed for a long time. Jotting down statistics every day and making a judgement on how we did that day is the new norm – but what if we want to stop subscribing to this way of living?
The last few months have seen me recording barely any part of my life. The last few months have also been some of the calmest I’ve had in a while. Calm in the sense of taking each day as comes, forgetting the need to compare today’s number of likes to yesterday’s and walking as far as I want – not stopping as soon as I surpass the 2-mile mark.
Phasing out the practice of recording every detail of my life wasn’t necessarily a conscious choice – more of the first thing to go when something had to give. At one point in my life, I was keeping tabs on everything – water intake, what I was eating, how much I’d walked, exercise stats, interaction levels on my social media platforms, blog stats… literally everything I could record, I was recording. Not only was it taking up an insane an amount of time, but I don’t think it was necessarily healthy either.
Wanting to do some yoga is different to doing yoga so I can get that tick on my monthly fitness chart. Posting an Instagram that I know will be popular (pretty flat lays usually) over the natural lifestyle shot I got a few hours ago because I want to hit my monthly followers goal. Drinking a glass of water because I need to drink another rather than feeling thirsty… None of that is healthy, feeling-driven behaviour.
How much do we really need to know?
You know how they say that parents shouldn’t know everything about their children, I kind of feel that it should be the same about our own lives. If we can’t remember how many glasses of water we drank yesterday, do we really need to remember? Likewise, with anything we feel we need to record, it suppresses the whole ‘listening to your body’ thing. Just because we can see that we drank 6 glasses of water yesterday, doesn’t mean that we’re not thirsty anymore.
Knowing everything and keeping hold of every little bit of information is surely just a massive waste of time when we could be using that time and utilising that memory to actually enrich our lives.
When I’m arguing with Jonathan he always cracks out the line, “I don’t need this”. That’s exactly how I feel about all this stat-tracking and recording of my life. I don’t need it anymore. For now, I’m perfectly happy with a kak-handed to-do list each morning and to tick each thing off as I go – even if it’s not the trendiest way to go.