How to Take a Digital Break

Like many of you, yesterday I was chained to any media. I found that I couldn’t leave – even as I tried to leave and do something else online, the deep anxiety caused by the accidental storming of the US Capitol kept bringing me back to the news. … I spent more time on Twitter in one night than in the past three months.

However, it feels a little different today (I didn’t say better because nothing really happened yet in response to yesterday’s catastrophic break in social norms). We are entering the “scrolling doom and lose” phase of our collective response, and that’s okay if it helps you cope; but if you are like me, you get upset or worried when we keep turning the machines.

To counteract this, consider scheduling a digital break. And you have a variety of options, each with varying degrees of severity.

Move your devices to a different location

It sounds simple because it is. Take your phone, tablet, smartwatch, or other device to deliver notifications from your desktop for the day (or week) and place it somewhere else. If he needs to take a temporary vacation from his home office to his bedroom, great. If you find yourself busy late at night with what you see online, perhaps move that from your room to your kitchen (and temporarily switch to a different alarm setting).

Whatever your decision, removing one of the main sources of news updates and overly tempting idle scrolling is a great way to reduce how much you can get hurt by daytime events and the constant reaction of everyone else. them.

Disable device notifications

About a week ago, I noticed that even the great Marc Rebillet , an amazing musician who mostly supports his social media career, decided to go through a short digital detox by turning off notifications for Facebook and Snapchat. At first I thought, “Dude, this is your audience,” but after a few minutes I began to doubt if this was the right step for me too.

I’ve often said that it’s pretty amazing that we all have small news reporting machines in our pockets – devices that are connected to a 24/7 network that can give us instant, immediate access to a huge market for ideas and, if necessary, the most fresh news about what is happening in the world. However, this access when we want to can also be bad for us. Whether it’s our devices yelling at us or we frantically scrolling through six social media apps for the latest opinions, real-time responses can quickly spin your day out of control.

Once we get past the “reporting day” and get into the “analysis and hindsight” of the nightmare, it’s time to turn off notifications for the various social media apps. This won’t stop you from looking for this information on your own, but it will save you the urge to engage in random moments throughout the day. In other words, when you feel ready to fight again, you can do it. You just don’t need him to interrupt your day and constantly seethe with anxiety.

Create a social media feed

If you want to stay connected to social media, that’s great. However, I also suggest that you use whatever tools are available to you, which vary by platform, to control what you see in your feed. Perhaps you are tired of reading everything about the cable news channel, or you are tired of hearing about other social media replies to this week’s events. Or maybe you are just tired of reading something from someone with a certain political point of view. There are ways to select food to reduce stressors.

Twitter users can easily block certain words and phrases from showing on your timeline – temporarily or permanently . While you’re there, consider turning off your DMs (if you get blown up by annoying people), or consider turning off notifications in various ways to keep you from being launched by people you don’t even know.

On Facebook, consider being smarter with a snooze feature for people or pages you don’t want to see next month. Install extension for the browser to clear the tape content to which you do not want to deal with right now.

Every social platform has some degree of curation, even if it’s as simple as disabling comments that contain certain words. You will most likely find a third-party application or extension that allows you to do a little more; I recommend exploring this path so you can still use social media without feeling overwhelmed with content that you don’t need right now.

Limit your time on social media

Chances are, your smartphone now has some sort of “ digital detox ” feature that you can use to limit the amount of time you are allowed to interact with the app. Consider using it if you still want to be able to access social media but don’t want to suddenly waste four hours endlessly scrolling.

If you’re on your computer, it will be a little harder to curb your social media instincts. You probably want to install a browser extension to help you fight temptation, because I don’t think you will need (or want to) use parental controls to restrict access to your web browser. This is a nuclear approach; a browser extension that you can use to avoid wasting your day on social media is a better idea.

Remove your apps or accounts

It’s okay if you’ve hit your limit on all social media platforms. As I said earlier , deleting your account and ending the daily bickering works wonders for your mental health. Make sure you back up any information you are interested in or subscribe to a data dump of whatever you upload to the service if available, then deactivate or delete your account depending on whether you want to fix it temporarily or permanently.

However, before you say goodbye forever, I want to point out that social media can be useful. It feels like a complete cloaca nowadays, but it’s a great way to gain first-hand knowledge of events. It’s one thing to read about assholes breaking into the US Capitol, and quite another to watch them climb walls, light fire extinguishers and post their own photos and videos – and the sweet karma that comes when they are identified – from your own eye.

It can also be overwhelming – it’s a double-edged sword: being able to see the thoughts, photos, videos, and live broadcasts of anyone in the world. Some things you really want (or should) see. Some things you don’t do. If you’re stranded, consider doing your best to not just delete your account. Remove all your friends and followers, block your account and don’t let anyone befriend you, follow you, or add you to the list. Remove information related to you and install ad blockers if you are particularly angry about how the social media company tolerates white nationalism in its services. If necessary, follow only other accounts or people you really want or need to read. Treat your account like an RSS feed, not a way to actually communicate with others. And if that means you only subscribe to, say, five news organizations that you care about, that’s okay too.

This approach to social media can reduce the noise level on your accounts to the absolute minimum you can comfortably tolerate. Instead of getting updates, gags and experts, the updates are more spaced out, and any other information you want to find you have to do on your own. This way you can better control the amount of food you eat at any given time, and it will make you happier. Hope.


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