NoSurf: A guide for minimizing mindless browsing

liam-briese-1171600-unsplash
Photo by Liam Briese on Unsplash

My introduction to the NoSurf community, ironically, happened as I was mindlessly browsing through Reddit, my favorite guilty pleasure, and stumbled upon the NoSurf subreddit, a community for people who want to become more productive by wasting less time mindlessly surfing the internet.

The NoSurf movement does not advocate for quitting the internet altogether. Instead, they advocate for cutting out negative internet use and mindless browsing.

After all, the internet and our digital devices are very valuable tools when used with purpose. I am forever in awe of the amount of information and knowledge available to me online, regarding any topic that might pique my interest, at a click of a button and within literal seconds.

That is indeed powerful.

However, our smartphones, social media accounts, streaming sites, and inboxes are intentionally designed to hijack our brain’s natural reward system, and our brain sees the internet as an easy pathway to trigger happy feelings. This hijacking is costing us our motivation and creativity, as we spend more and more time mindlessly browsing in a zombie-like state.

When your reward system is tuned to expect easy rewards from vicarious onscreen pleasures, why pursue difficult, messy real-world achievements?

What is mindless browsing?

A simple and effective youth engagement activity for mental health awareness

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

It is nice to be important, but it is important to be nice.

During my undergraduate studies, I volunteered as a team leader at the Peer Support Centre that offered peer counseling to students. As a team, we were responsible for hosting events to promote mental health and the Centre to students, staff and the campus community in general.

The first event I organized with my team was engaging students to share with us a life mantra or a quote that they live by. We then shared all the positive messages with the general campus community by posting them on the Centre’s Facebook page.

The idea was inspired by acknowledging that young people carry important knowledge regarding their mental well-being. By providing them a platform to share their messages, young people can inspire and support their peers, and foster a sense of community that supports mental wellness and mental health among young adults.

How to use your smartphone like a hammer

markus-spiske-518963-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

If we used our phones more like a hammer, would our life be a lot better? At least, according to the musical genius himself,

Look at your phone as a tool, not an obligation. Would you walk around with a hammer in your pocket?  You would pick up a hammer when you needed it. You would never be addicted or obligated to it. Use your phone like a hammer only pick it up when you need it.Kanye West

It is a bit of very good advice.

I still use the iPhone 5SE I purchased almost three years ago that has been begging to be put out of its misery for quite some time now. I chuckle a bit inside whenever I drop it and everyone around me gasps in terror. It is so old that I couldn’t care less. It is almost ridiculous how often I drop it from various heights and angels, and it, somehow, has refused to break and end its own misery.

My dad has joked that Apple might have a trophy for me for managing to still use such an old iPhone model, and for how beat up it is while still managing to work. If they do, please contact me here.

.  .  .  

Dear Diary: Keeping a daily journal for mental well-being

rachel-lynette-french-751161-unsplash.jpg
Photo by Rachel Lynette French on Unsplash

Writing can be a very therapeutic endeavor.

Any form of writing, including artistic, academic, or otherwise, can serve as a form of self-therapy, a way to make sense of our thoughts and feelings and discover our deepest desires. One way to incorporate writing into our daily routine is by keeping a daily journal.

In 2009, I wrote my first-ever journal entry on an online diary. By 2013, I have managed to write thirteen entries. Although, I would always promise myself, and my diary, that I will, for sure, write more this time around, it took four years to seriously immerse myself in keeping a daily journal.

Since 2014, I have written 1128 entries, about 280 entries a year.

Sleep hygiene: is your sleep dirty?

grey and white floral bed comforter
Photo by freestocks.org on Pexels.com

In my previous article, titled how to fill our days, I mentioned, rather sarcastically, that we should all denounce the Busyness Olympics, and instead brag about the glorious 7 to 8 hours of sleep we get each night.

Unless there is a legitimate reason for an individual to sacrifice sleep, such as needing to work lots of hours, running multiple side projects, and/or other obligations, everyone should aim to get the recommended 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, or whatever amount of sleep one needs not to operate on sleep deficiency.

Sleep deficiency is no joke. So much so that it is one of the very few of our biological needs that the science seems to be in unison on— getting enough sleep is vital for our overall health and well-being.

#Textiety: Is texting culture giving us anxiety?

julie-johnson-666385-unsplash
Photo by Julie Johnson on Unsplash

Writing is a very therapeutic and self-reflecting practice for me that allows me to learn a lot more about myself.

Until I started my research for this article, I did not know there were, in fact, plenty of blog posts, articles and even peer-reviewed journals out there on the phenomenon of texting anxiety. Although I didn’t feel I was entirely alone in suffering from texting anxiety, I didn’t think the problem was relevant enough to grant clinical terms, such as textiety and textaphrenia.

Textiety refers to the anxious feeling one gets from not receiving or sending text messages.

Text messaging is an essential part of communication that is a quick and convenient method to stay connected with our friends, family, and acquaintances. Despite being a useful mode of communication, the expectation to be reachable and responsive 24/7, literally, can be very stressful and overwhelming to some.

Mental health professionals are starting to see anxiety around texting show up in their offices more often, and it’s part of a new area of research and treatment related to mobile devices and online communication.