Extreme world views often only exist online, and what to *actually* think of Donald Trump

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Photo by Oleg Laptev on Unsplash

Have you ever read something online, be it a Facebook post or a blog post, that made you feel extremely irritated and annoyed?

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The opposite of addiction is connection

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Photo by Mathew Schwartz on Unsplash

The opposite of addiction is not sobriety, the opposite of addiction is
connection.

— JOHANN HARI

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In a podcast episode by Your Undivided Attention, titled the Opposite of Addiction, Johann Hari makes the case that addiction, among other mental health issues, is a symptom of a deeper problem of a disconnected society (a must listen!). 

In other words, the issue of internet addiction isn’t the internet itself, but rather the void it helps us fill.

In other words, addiction is escapism.

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How to stay connected post-social media

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Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

It has been approximately two years and three months since I deleted my last standing social media account, Twitter, and embarked on living without social media.

While I am by no means an expert on how to maintain an exuberant social life, I have managed a modest social life post-social media despite not being so good at maintaining constant communication with people.

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It’s time for a digital detox

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Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash

These past few weeks, I gave myself permission to cave into my digital addiction while going through many unpleasant life changes.

Practicing digital wellness requires mindfulness, discipline, and dedication, which I felt I didn’t have the energy for. So, I held on tightly to my phone and binged on the internet day after day to escape the discomfort of dealing with my reality.

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The internet provided an easy and fast escape from my emotions.

I unblocked Safari. I binged on articles, blogs, forums, and YouTube videos for hours. I stayed up all night on my phone until I fell asleep from exhaustion. I relapsed to being an information junkie.  

My phone became an emotional crutch, dutifully providing comfort and escape, one article (and another inspiring blog post!) at a time.

I wouldn’t have been inspired to write this post if it didn’t dawn on me yesterday that I’m experiencing physical effects from my excessive digital use. 

My eyes feel strained. I feel lethargic. I have constant minor headaches. I feel aimless if I’m not glued to a screen. I can’t fall asleep without my phone. Few of the many reasons I have been practising digital wellness for the past few years. 

I knew it was time for a digital detox.

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Three digital wellness apps I use to tame my digital addiction

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Photo by Jonathan Kemper on Unsplash

Isn’t it ironic that there are apps designed to help us navigate our addiction to the digital world? Fight fire with fire, I guess.

Anyway, as mentioned in previous posts (here for instance), it is entirely impossible for me to use willpower or self-control to manage the time and energy I spend on mindless online activities.

The brain wants to avoid discomfort as much as possible so it will coax us back to the couch, our screens and comfort.  In comparison to digital distractions, everything else seems to require far too much effort.

It is simply too enticing to be idle and scroll through easy entertainment for instant gratification than to get up and do things that require effort, no matter how beneficial they may be.

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What I’ve learned from not browsing on my phone for a month

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Photo by Christian Wiediger on Unsplash

I have been meaning to write a follow-up to my digital minimalism challenge post for the past two weeks now but there is always something easier to do, something more fun, at a tap of a screen.

Most can relate to the challenge of distracting apps and platforms that clutter our lives and make it harder to focus our attention on things we value.

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Continue reading “What I’ve learned from not browsing on my phone for a month”