When your phone buzzes or a notification pops up your screen, do you stop what you’re doing to look and respond? Do you have multiple devices constantly competing for your attention at all times? Do you find it hard to sit still for a bit without checking your phone or social media feeds? Have you been looking for ideas to unplug, without having to depend on sheer willpower followed by pure defeat?
If so, you can take the pledge to participate in this year’s National Day of Unplugging, a 24 hour global respite from technology. After taking the pledge, you can finally put all your electronic devices in a 16-digits-password-protected safe and throw it across the Atlantic ocean to finally have an uninterrupted board game night with your loved ones.
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?
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.