Popular Science: It’s time to purge the worst people in your social media feeds. “If there are people you never interact with, or who you would be happy to never hear from again, don’t waste energy scrolling past their updates—cut them out of the picture. Once you’ve done so, you’ll find yourself having a happier, more streamlined experience online.”
Medium: How to Start “Marie Kondo’ing” Your Facebook Account. “Perhaps there are some groups that only meet on Facebook that you otherwise couldn’t participate in. Or maybe you currently use it for your business which makes it hard to leave altogether. If you don’t want to delete it just yet, how about giving it a ‘Marie Kondo’ makeover instead?” I have not deleted my Facebook account yet — please note that glares of icy contempt will be donated to charity if not claimed within 24 hours — but I did remove it from my phone. An excellent decision.
The Frugal Engineers: How I Finally Quit Using Social Media. “In late 2019, I finally quit social media. It had been on my mind for a while, and I decided to take the plunge a few months ago. What steps did I take to quit social media, and what’s changed since then? Let’s begin with why I made this change in the first place.”
Digital Trends: Google releases 3 more Android apps to help you spend less time on your phone. “Have you considered throwing your phone in an envelope to cut down on screen time? At least that’s what Google wants you to do with Envelope, one of the three experimental apps the company is releasing today. The new apps have emerged from the search engine giant’s Experiments With Google division and offer unorthodox solutions to help you spend less time staring at your phone.”
Lifehacker: How to Curb Your Twitter Addiction. “Every year, for at least the past four years, I have resolved to spend less time on Twitter. This year, after trying and testing many different ways of avoiding the site (including an electric shock bracelet), I think I’ve finally got it figured out. If you also want to stay off Twitter this year, here’s what I’ve learned—and what I can recommend.”
BetaNews: New Year’s resolutions go digital as people vow to cut screen time. “If you haven’t made or broken any New Year’s resolutions yet, here are some you might like to try. Research from Kaspersky indicates that 40 percent of people plan to change their digital lifestyle in 2020 with most aiming to reduce the time they spend with their gadgets.”
The Conversation: A month at sea with no technology taught me how to steal my life back from my phone. “A survey this year revealed that Australians, on average, spend 10.2 hours a day with interactive digital technologies. And this figure goes up every year. This is time we don’t get back. And our analogue lives, which include everything not digital, shrink in direct proportion. I recently decided to spend four weeks at sea without access to my phone or the internet, and here’s what I learnt about myself, and the digital rat race I was caught in.” He spent four weeks at sea AND ONLY BROUGHT FOUR BOOKS. Forget the phone, that’s the scary part.
WAtoday: ‘Being offline is a massive luxury’: The case for a half-hearted digital detox. “Man Repeller calls it being ‘medium online’. That is, the ability to use social media when it suits us, and disengage when it doesn’t. To decide our own boundaries around what we will and won’t share and reconfigure technology into our life in a way that is healthy and realistic. Consider it a half-hearted digital detox.”
Greater Good Magazine: What Happens When You Take a Facebook Break. “On Monday, November 18, at 1 p.m., I embarked on my own Facebook and Instagram sabbatical—for research purposes, of course. Admittedly, I was curious how I’d spend the extra time—and whether all the curly hair gurus I follow were giving me an inferiority complex.”
Google Blog: Find a balance with tech using Digital Wellbeing Experiments. “Today, in support of our efforts to extend our best practices to the community, we’re launching Digital Wellbeing Experiments—a platform to encourage designers and developers to build digital wellbeing into their products. Anyone can use the platform to share their ideas and experimental tools to help people find a better balance with technology. To kick it off, we created five helpful and even playful digital wellbeing experimental apps.”
Phys .org: Research reveals millennials hindered from disconnecting by fear of missing out. “Millennials desperate to digitally disconnect are being hindered by the fear of missing out (FoMo), social influences and the increasing digitalisation of tourism services, new research reveals.”
Wired: The Glorious, Almost-Disconnected Boredom of My Walk in Japan. “I have configured servers, written code, built web pages, helped design products used by millions of people. I am firmly in the camp that believes technology is generally bending the world in a positive direction. Yet, for me, Twitter foments neurosis, Facebook sadness, Google News a sense of foreboding. Instagram turns me covetous. All of them make me want to do it—whatever ‘it’ may be—for the likes, the comments. I can’t help but feel that I am the worst version of myself, being performative on a very short, very depressing timeline. A timeline of seconds.” This is a long read, but it’s a wonderful read. Please read it.
Lifehacker: How To Outsmart Algorithms And Take Control Of Your Information Diet. This is like a roundup of other useful Lifehacker articles, but it’s still good. “‘Certain algorithms,’ says Tim Cook, ‘pull you toward the things you already know, believe or like, and they push away everything else. Push back.’ In a commencement speech to Tulane University, the Apple CEO tells graduates to take charge of their information diet. And much as we want to sneer at the irony of a phone maker telling us to beware of algorithms, we have to admit that Apple’s Screen Time app is one good tool for improving your tech habits. Here are the best posts we’ve already written on pushing back against the algorithms.”
Bustle: How To Make A Digital Detox Last, According To Science. “Some aspects of social media can play into individual traumas or triggers. I was ordered (yep, ordered) off Twitter by my therapist when the comparisons with other people’s shiny achievements started to push my depression triggers. You don’t need to feel triggered in order to want to make a change, though. Studies have shown that social media can negatively impact body image, and that teenage girls and young women are particularly vulnerable to social media-induced depression. If you want to do a digital reset, here are some tips from science on how to make it stick.”
The Guardian: Would life be happier without Google? I spent a week finding out . “Halfway through my week without Google, my wife mentions that she would like to go out to see a film that evening, and I agree to deal with the logistics. In what I initially think is an inspired move, I drop by the local cinema on the way home and scribble down all the film times in my notebook. Then my wife insists on going to a different cinema.”