O'Really?

December 30, 2019

Dry January 2020: Goodbye smartphone, Hello feature phone

320px-Mobile_phone_evolution

Mobile phone evolution, has it all been downhill? Public domain picture via commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mobile_phone_evolution.jpg

Last January I went Dry for January and was pleased with the results, both physical and mental. No booze or social media for a while can clear your head and help your body too. One thing I learned was it is hard to do a proper digital detox with a smartphone in your pocket, so this time I’ve decided to go one step further and switch to a feature phone for January 2020. According to Ross Barkan, smartphones are like cigarettes and just as hard to quit. [1,2,3] Why not try going without for a bit to see how you get on? Say goodbye to your iPhone/Android and party like its 2000, not 2020.

Whatever phone you are using in 2020, have yourselves a happy new year and may your twenties be roaring.

References

    1. Ross Barkan (2019) The smartphone is our era’s cigarette – and just as hard to quit, The Guardian
    2. Kevin Roose (2019) Do Not Disturb: How I Ditched My Phone and Unbroke My Brain The New York Times
    3. Eitan Chitayat (2018) At first life without a smartphone was terrifying. Then it was beautiful, Quartz

 

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

 

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