Isn’t it ironic that there are apps designed to help us navigate our addiction to the digital world? Fight fire with fire, I guess.
Anyway, as mentioned in previous posts (here for instance), it is entirely impossible for me to use willpower or self-control to manage the time and energy I spend on mindless online activities.
The brain wants to avoid discomfort as much as possible so it will coax us back to the couch, our screens and comfort. In comparison to digital distractions, everything else seems to require far too much effort.
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.