O'Really?

December 20, 2018

Dry January: Can you switch off all your social media for a month? #DigitalDetox

socialmedia

Dry January: can you abstain from toxins like alcohol and social media for a month?

Here in the UK, there is an annual tradition known as Dry January. It’s pretty simple, in the wake of all the festive indulgence (🍻), around 4 million people voluntarily abstain from alcohol for the month of January. Why? Because they can save money, sleep better, lose weight [1] and even raise money for charity in the process. If you haven’t tried it yet, Dry January is an enlightening (and enlivening) challenge.

But dry January needn’t just stop at alcohol. Other toxic social lubricants are also available. Have you ever wondered what life would be like without the distraction of social media? Ever tried going without? Go dry by switching off all your social media for a month – just to see what happens. Is social media as toxic as alcohol? Could going cold turkey (🦃) for a month be beneficial to your health and those around you? Switch it all off, meaning:

  • No LinkedIn
  • No Facebook
  • No WhatsApp
  • No Instagram
  • No Twitter
  • No Blogging
  • No “voluntary panopticon
  • No [insert your favourite social media here]. How far you take it will depend on how you choose to define social media…

Abstention requires a bit of planning and preparation, but if you tell your friends now, you could experiment with switching off all your social media for the month of January. Will you be able to handle the Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) [2]? Will your quality of life improve?

The idea of digital detox has been around a while and there are several ways of doing it. You can either go the whole hog like Jaron Lanier and just delete everything [3]. If that’s too drastic for you, try using blockers or timers set to zero minutes. Since the most toxic forms of social media are typically found on smartphones, there’s a few options for detoxing:

Abstaining from alcohol can be beneficial for your physical and mental health. [2] Abstaining from social media could probably help too. Why not give it a whirl and see for yourself?

As this is last (and first!) post here for 2018, have yourselves a happy winterval and a healthy new year in 2019.

References

    1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fear_of_missing_out
    2. De Visser, R.O., Robinson, E. & Bond, R., (2016) Voluntary temporary abstinence from alcohol during “Dry January” and subsequent alcohol use. Health Psychology, 35(3), pp.281–289. DOI:10.1037/hea0000297
    3. Lanier, Jaron (2018) Ten Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now. Bodley Head, ISBN: 978-1847925398 jaronlanier.com/tenarguments.html

 

November 6, 2007

What’s The Point of Blogging?

I am a hard bloggin' scientist. Read the Manifesto.
Sometimes I wonder what what the point of blogging is and just how much time people (myself included) waste reading and writing them. Let’s face it, most leading scientists are too damn busy to pay much attention to the blogosphere, especially when it descends (as it frequently does) into “uncontrollable verbal discharge”. This unfortunate medical condition is also known as Blogorrhoea. A free-flowing blog is unlikely to directly increase a scientists productivity (as approximated by the infamous h-index), and might even decrease it. Now, we all know that powerpoint can be PowerPointless, so is blogging also a pointless activity? Or to put it another way: Nodalpoint or Nodalpointless?

If you’ve ever wondered what the point of scientific blogging is, you should read the following, (if you haven’t already):

So what the heck, if blogging is fun and helps you communicate ideas with people, why get all uptight about questionable metrics for measuring scientific productivity? Wherever you blog, blog hard, blog fast and enjoy it. At the very least, it will fill the gaping void left on the Web by traditional scientific publishing. Who knows what the other benefits might be?

References

  1. Jorge Hirsch An index to quantify an individual’s scientific research output Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 2005 November;102(46):16569-16572 DOI:10.1073/pnas.0507655102
  2. this post originally on nodalpoint with comments

Blog at WordPress.com.