The joy of missing out

Photo by Irina on Unsplash

A while back, I was at a nightclub, slightly drunk and perfectly content to be in an establishment that encourages bad decisions when I experienced the joy of missing out.

My favorite songs blasted out of the speakers at deafening levels while bodies pushed against one another and drinks were spilled at an alarming rate.

At some point, between dancing and feeling good, I noticed some people on their phones scrolling through pictures and watching videos.

A thought, then, occurred to me.

I would hate to be bombarded with information about what other people, most of whom I have probably never even met, were doing with their Saturday night while I’m in the middle of enjoying my evening.

I imagined watching my Snapchat feed, or Instagram story, of people who might have been dressed better, surrounded by more people, or doing anything else that indicated they were having a better time than I was.

I was instantly grateful to not have access to that. I enjoyed my night as it was, without comparison or feeling I missed out on something better, something more, somewhere else. Continue reading “The joy of missing out”

Setting boundaries with technology

Photo by Michael Dziedzic on Unsplash

This post is inspired by a post on the Human Tech community forum titled, how I went offline (mostly).

In the post, the person offers four stages to going internet-free in most areas of our lives, and the first stage they propose is to “establish a place for the internet.”

Simply put, set boundaries between yourself and the online world.

Although I have come to the realization that digital tools aren’t the problem, it’s still important to establish routines and structures that help us avoid compulsively reaching for our devices, mindless browsing the internet, and engaging in online activities that bring minimal value to our life.

Setting boundaries can help us use these tools for their practical purposes, and not for escapism or to avoid real life.

Continue reading “Setting boundaries with technology”

Demonizing the tool(s) is scapegoating

Photo by Mel Baylon on Unsplash

Addiction, for the most part, is escapism.

Most addictions are the result of individuals trying to escape the unappealing realities of life, be it pain, loss, emotional turmoil and suffering. Pretty much anything can become an addiction, including alcohol, drugs, sex, food, gambling, and video games, if used excessively as a coping mechanism.

The widely accepted definition describes addiction as excessive use of drugs or alcohol to escape, relax, or as a reward to enjoy life, with the belief that you can’t cope without them.

Addiction has two basic qualities: you do more of the thing than you would like to, and you continue to do it despite its negative consequences.

In addition, at least three of the following criteria must be met to be diagnosed for addiction: tolerance, withdrawal, limited control, negative consequences, neglecting or postponing activities, significant time or energy spent, and the desire to cut down. Continue reading “Demonizing the tool(s) is scapegoating”

Event Recap: Introduction to Digital Minimalism

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Last Sunday, June 30th, a group of digital minimalism enthusiasts and friends met at the Jason George pub in Toronto to learn more about digital minimalism and intentional digital use.

During this two-hour event, we discussed what digital minimalism is, the three core principles of digital minimalism, and committed to implementing a 30-day digital declutter challenge for the month of July. Continue reading “Event Recap: Introduction to Digital Minimalism”

Read a book instead

My lock screen

These past few days, I’ve been obsessively reading and getting plenty of inspiration from Austin Kleon’s blog. It is full of many gems, related to writing, creating, stealing like an artist, and the importance of throwing your phone across the ocean.

This post is inspired by one of his blog articles I read recently: read a book instead.

“Reading books makes me happy. Being on my phone makes me miserable. So, I made a wallpaper for my iPhone’s lock screen to remind me that I have a choice. You can download a copy for yourself right here.”

That is the whole post by the way.

Right away, I downloaded a copy of the wallpaper for myself and updated my lock screen. I needed the reminder that I, too, have a choice.

Often, we turn to our devices because the alternative sucks.

The alternative is boredom, discomfort. So, we escape. We escape into the internet and the vast entertainment options it provides us with. If we wish so, however, we can make it more convenient to put down our phone and read a book instead.

The wallpaper is an excellent reminder. Every time you pick up your phone, it will be there, nudging you to read a book instead. 

Head over to Kelon’s blog to download a copy of the wallpaper!

Then, bring a book, preferably a book you enjoy reading, with you everywhere you go.

I’ve been reaching out for my book, instead of my phone, more and more lately. Even if I only have a couple minutes to spare, I still can get in a page or two in that time.  It is a lot more satisfying getting closer and closer to finishing a book than scrolling through time-wasting websites, then forgetting 99% of the information I just consumed. 


Read: How to read more

Cultivating high-quality alternatives to digital distractions

Photo by Toa Heftiba on Unsplash

Once upon a time, a high-school student tells a group of her peers and adults that she has deleted all her social media accounts for an unspecified period of time. She explains that she is spending too much time on social media, and comparing herself to people online.

Everyone nods in agreement relating to the side-effects she listed for her decision.

‘What do you do instead?!’ one peer asks, ludicrously.

We all laugh.

.  .  .

Most of us turn to our digital devices often because the alternative sucks.

Continue reading “Cultivating high-quality alternatives to digital distractions”