Hello beautiful human being 👋
how is your technological addiction going this week?
Oops…. did I use the word addiction? Sorry, I meant your “social media habit”.
A couple of weeks ago my girlfriend and I had dinner with a couple of friends in Pisa (Tuscany, Italy).
What do you think we did, whilst eating gorgeous Italian food and drinking amazing local wine in the centre of one of the most artistically renowned cities in the world?
Yep, we kept checking our phones compulsively.
I don’t know what snapped in me that evening, but after that episode I’ve spent a considerable amount of time reading and researching about technological addictions and questioning my own use of technology.
“Yes, Facebook is evil and makes me less productive. Delete my account?! Of course not, other people are addicted, not me!”
“I think I’m wasting a lot of time on Instagram and it actually makes me feel sad. Everyone seems to have a lot of fun but I know it’s fake. I thought about cancelling my account but not now… now I got to watch these funny videos.”
You know it’s an addiction because we are ashamed of it but we don’t want to do ANYTHING about it.
The biggest problem with addictions is that they don’t look like addictions for those who are addicted. Indeed, people will go the extra mile to justify and rationalize why they keep doing something that harms them (trust me, I’ve been a smoker for 10 years.)
The result is in front of everyone: we are not in charge of our relationship with technology anymore. It controls us and we know it.
“Ok, but what can I do?”
This is the question I get asked the most when I raise my concerns.
I don’t know what you can do but I can tell you what I’m doing:
- I’ve removed all social media apps from my phone (eliminating the temptation to open them when I’m bored)
- I’ve turned off ALL notifications on my phone
- I’ve started using a chrome extension that literally blocks me from accessing certain websites except for specific times of the day I set. (eg: I can only access my inbox twice a day)
- I’ve stopped using Slack because it made focusing impossible (instead I’ve switched to Twist, which promotes a calmer and more mindful communication)
These are little steps, but we can all do something to help ourselves. Little steps. How about no phones in restaurants/theatres/cinemas or just anytime you are with somebody else? The first person who checks their phone without a compelling reason, pays the bill.
Whatever you decide to do, simply thinking about the problem is already a step forward.
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