NoSurf: A guide for minimizing mindless browsing

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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?

In praise of taking digital breaks

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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

A digital break can be extremely helpful for people who feel like they are always on their smartphones, constantly being bombarded with notifications or feel that they are hopelessly addicted to their black screens. If you are part of the 1%, you can take yourself on the unpluggedweekend retreat that promises you a break from it all.

For the rest of us peasants, taking digital breaks should still be an essential part of our personal policies.

Time is a precious, nonrenewable resource. Being aware of our digital consumption is not just an aspirational lifestyle choice for rich hippies.