A bit of a short post today, but hopefully impactful for you.
I recently made a post about RSS Feeds, and how setting one up is a major shift to more conscious consumption of content. But, perhaps the biggest thing I have done to minimize my time on social media applications and to maximise my output is to do one (seemingly insignificant) thing:
How can one small tweak to your behaviour change so much? I recently watched this video from Thomas Frank about this very thing - and it completely altered how I use social media in less than a week.
The practice is as follows:
After I log in to see if I have any messages and to make posts on one of the various channels I frequent, I click the log out button on the browser or on my phone (I seldom use these apps on phone anymore).
The psychological friction that I have created by having to go into my password manager, enter my master password, and then log back in is enough for me to stop me from spending precious minutes of my life on these apps. I have made an easy thing a modicum of difficultly harder - and that little change has taken my screen time down from a couple hours a day to less than a quarter of that.
When a social media app is engineered, it is designed to be frictionless. It is designed to be a path of least resistence, so that if you want to jump back in, you type f-a-c into your browser, it auto completes for you, and you are instantly put back into your Facebook account.
The reason that I stopped using phone applications for 95% of my use cases is that opening an app is even more frictionless. You could leave that app open until your phone dies, and there it will be, just a couple windows back from what you are currently doing.
Try it for yourself. After you have finished your session of scrolling, simply hit the ’log off’ button. Notice how making something just a little more difficult for yourself shifts your intention. If you want to go on instagram, it becomes less automatic, there is intention behind it instead. Logging off in most cases also deters apps from sending you notifications - another masterfully devious way of reeling you back in.
Let me know how your first week with this method goes, post it down in the comments. Let’s get focused my friends.
See you next time.