A lot is said about the perils of social media. There are countless books that highlight the unapologetic malice of tech giants in devising addictive features that impair people’s logical thinking abilities and make them lose all their time scrolling through apps. It’s established that we’re a dopamine-hungry generation that cannot sit still even for a minute. We know how fickle relationships have become ever since we’ve got unfettered access to the internet. And yet, very little focus is given to solutions. No one seems to be talking about how to break out of the matrix, when in fact, it’s the need of the hour. Cal Newport’s best-selling book ‘Digital Minimalism’ is a rare exception. Here are 5 among the many solutions it offers:
Here’s how Cal defines digital minimalism: “A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.” In a nutshell, you don’t have to be on every social media platform, but only those that serve a purpose in your life.
Go On A Digital Detox
You can’t spend your life staring into a phone screen. While we are all aware of how unhealthy this can be, the many addictive features of social media inadvertently push us down the rabbit hole. The only way to combat the impulse is to practice attention resistance. Cal advises building willpower and self-restraint by taking occasional digital detoxes. If not completely go off the hook, at least uninstall the most addictive apps.
We live in a world where a moment, in itself, has started to feel flat. We cannot stand boredom for even a second and constantly wanted to be stimulated. And what better way to enable that than to have an addictive, dopamine-producing device in our hand 24/7? Boredom is when ideas come to us, boredom is when genius strikes. If you want to make something of your life, something memorable, extraordinary and unique, practise embracing solitude and stillness.
A good way to take your mind off the futility of social media apps, as Cal recommends, is to cultivate hobbies. Try a variety of things and see which ones stick. Take up a sport, learn a musical instrument, go for long walks or paint canvases. Whenever you find yourself getting lost in the rabbit hole of social media, consciously switch to doing these.
Don’t Engage With Performative Features
Facebook’s ‘like’ button was invented to induce addiction, as was Instagram’s slot machine layout, Snapchat streaks and all the other features on social media apps that keep us hooked to the screen 24/7. If you engage with these features and take them too seriously, they will mess with your head. Resist and you will win!
Also read: 6 Things You Must Discuss With Your Partner Before Marriage
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