How not to get addicted to social media?
“It is okay to own a technology, what is not okay is to be owned by technology.”
Today’s age is that of digital minimalization. We do not have to unplug from the Internet. The use of the Internet should be intentional rather than compulsive.
Ironically, there are hordes of well-meaning apps that tell you how to stay away from digital addictions. Cold Turkey, Rescue Time, Toggle, Stay Focused, Self-Control, Anti-Social, etc are some of the apps that tell you how to stay away from apps.
We seem to be spending too much time on various digital platforms. In this 5 G era, the question is can we remain digitally frugal?
The latest trend that has caught on with people is to remain digitally minimalist. This is different from a digital detox where you completely unplug from the internet.
A remote village in the state of Maharashtra, India has taken a lead in digital minimalization. Exactly at 7:00 AM, every day a siren goes off and the residents of the villages are encouraged to put their electronic devices away from them for at least 90 minutes. The children are encouraged to read while older people meet and chat.
So, what is digital minimalization, after all? It does not require complete withdrawal. It is a way by which you focus your online activities on very few carefully selected tasks that strongly support the things you value and advises against the excessive use of gadgets. Digital Minimalization is based on 3 principles.
· Clutter is expensive.
· Optimization is critical.
· Intentionality is satisfying.
The objective of this is that digital usage should be intentional and controlled for a limited period of time and not impulsive. And as mentioned above, the apps are meant to stop you from jumping from one attention, diverting push notifications to another. They can block other apps from operating, create block lists, schedule apps to run only during a specific time of the day, and alert you about the excessive time spent online.
The need for adopting digital minimalization grew substantially after the pandemic when people began spending more time online. Children, especially those of the age group of 13 to 18 years, have become more prone to digital addiction since the pandemic.
It is therefore advised to introduce the children to the concept of digital minimalization and to reduce their reliance and time spent on digital platforms.
It is also further advised to see if those who are addicted to digital devices have developed some anxiety issues. Because digital addiction has been seen in people who already have anxiety issues. Post-pandemic such issues must be addressed first.
It has been observed that there has been at least a 50% increase in screen time leading to in some cases excessive digital addiction. In such cases, mild medication takes priority to help people break free from their Internet compulsions.
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