How to log off | MIT Technology Review

For example, he points out, there’s no need to go on a full digital detox if it’s actually the endless highlight reels on Instagram that make you unhappy — you can set a limit on how many how much time you spend in that specific app. “Also, is technology really the issue? Or is it the person who pissed you off on WhatsApp? he said.

Start setting boundaries

If you’ve done that part and still think there’s a problem, there are steps you can take. If you’ve isolated the cause of any unhappiness — whether it’s a certain person who’s bothering you, the type of content you find within a certain app, or just a desire to spend more time in the real world — you can set boundaries that make you feel more in control.

It can help treat your internet use like intermittent fasting, with strategies like going online only for hours and not every day, says Anna Lembke, professor of psychiatry at Stanford School of Medicine and author of Dopamine Nation: Finding Balance in the Time of Addiction. “Try to delete apps that cause you to wander to parts of the internet you don’t want to go to, and make a specific to-do list of what you do online before you go online,” he adds. “Keep that list going.”

Break the mindless cycle

If, like me, you find that your app checking has become a handy distraction or a way to kill time when you’re bored, you can teach yourself to break the habit and do more. healthy behavior. Jud Brewer, director of research and innovation at Brown University’s Mindfulness Center, recommends a three-step process to break the cycle.

The first step is to recognize that you are in a habit loop. Consider the fact that you have the compulsion to refresh your work emails even on vacation, for example. Write these issues down so you can keep a record of what you want to address.

The second one is to ask yourself what Brewer calls a fundamental question that applies to any behavior: ”What do I get out of this? Our brains are wired to continue doing things they find rewarding, whether it’s smoking, eating, or checking social media, he explains. “If there’s something rewarding, we’ll continue to do it – that’s the way to reinforce learning. So you can break the prevailing paradigm by making people pay attention to exactly how rewarding the behavior is.” .This will help you know what is good and what is a waste of time.

The third and final step includes recognizing the bigger, better offer—the more rewarding reward that helps you break the habit loop.

This includes asking ourselves what it feels like to check social media, choosing to be curious (which is actually rewarding) about Why We want to know what is happening on Instagram or in our inboxes. We can compare these feelings to what we feel when we read or exercise, for example, to determine which activity is more rewarding. “It works even for clinical conditions,” Brewer added.

Getting out of the doomscrolling malaise requires careful thought, but it is possible. Talking to these experts taught me the importance of catching myself and asking if I really want to look at a load of Instagram stories posted by people I don’t like, or if I do. I will work my way through the articles I have created. stored in Pocket. I am more conscious, more focused, and more conscious about what I allow on my screen. Except for Island of Love. That’s a habit I don’t want to kick.

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