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Useful tips to overcome Internet addiction

This depends on the information storm that follows us everywhere and the more intensive it is, the weaker is our focus.


3 girls lying on the bed looking at the smartphone in the dark

Until recently, marketers and researchers actively used the term FOMO (Fear of missing out) to refer to the obsessive desire of people to update their social media feeds incessantly. But after a while, it was replaced by a new concept, JOMO (joy of missing out) - the pleasure of consciously ignoring things that don't concern you personally. The desire to protect oneself from unnecessary information is a new need of the "always online" era.

The time when knowledge was most valued has passed. The Internet has devalued it with its accessibility. Now we are in the era of information hygiene, when the most important thing is the ability to maintain concentration, not to lose interest, to keep our attention on the task at hand. This skill depends on the information storm that follows us everywhere. And the more intensive it is, the weaker is our focus. More people's thoughts, the quieter our inner voice. Concentrating on something is getting harder every day. We get a huge amount of facts in a very short period and switch endlessly. This causes working memory overload and attention deficits-it becomes weak and splintered. The neural connections responsible for deep concentration become weaker. It is impossible to succeed in any business without the ability to focus.

This is why the task of each of us is to filter the flow of incoming information, carefully choose the things we devote our time to. Technology should work for us, not us for it. Here are some ways to protect yourself from digital slavery:

1. Create such conditions to make the mornings and evenings free of Wi-Fi. We often connect to the Internet by inertia - when it is not needed. For example, right after waking up or before going to bed. These hours are the best time to spend most meaningfully. Almost every modern wireless router can be configured to turn on/off at a set time. If you work from home, you can set the device to "rest mode" from 9 p.m. to 9 a.m. And dedicate the hours you give yourself to real life.

2. Turn off all notifications and sounds on your phone that distracts you, or, better yet, remove the applications themselves unless they are vital to your work. Any site can be accessed through your browser - at the designated time.

3. Set aside time to browse email and social media, for example, half an hour in the morning and half an hour in the evening. Make plans in advance for these distractions and set a timer before you go to any app. It will remind you to stop.

4. Download apps that encourage more conscious use of your smartphone, such as Moment, Mute, or Forest. The last two are trackers that "analyze" the time you spend in your gadget and allow you to set certain limits. With Forest, you choose a period (say, 20 minutes or an hour), and over that period, without you touching your gadget, a tree "grows". Further on, you can get a whole "digital" forest.

5. If you're not ready to uninstall your social networking apps yet, you can use the new features on YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram to limit their usage. Keep track of how much time you've spent on your mobile app over the past week. On Instagram, this graph is under Your Activity; on Facebook, it's under Your Facebook Time. Specify how much time you'd like to spend there. When the limit specified in the settings is reached, you will be sent a notification. On YouTube, you can activate the "Remind me to take a break from watching" feature (click on the profile icon, open "Settings" and go to the "General" tab). Set the timer for 15, 30, 60, 90, or 180 minutes. When the set time has passed, the clip will pause and a reminder will appear on the screen, advising you to take a short rest.

6. Make a good tradition of having a regular digital detox and spend at least one day a week without your phone/internet. On this offline day, it's finally time to think about whether it's time to write my paper or do other important things. Also you can walk, read, meet with friends, cook, clean the house, watch a movie, meditate, dance - do everything you want, but do not turn on the Internet, do not check your mail and phone. Turn off all gadgets and be in the flow of life, not in the flow of posts, emoji, and links.

7. It doesn't matter to the psyche whether you're playing a computer game or drinking wine. In terms of physiology, behavioral and chemical addictions are very similar. So the easiest way to eliminate a bad habit is to replace it with another, useful one. For example, to put an interesting book near the place where you usually " stick" in the phone. Or put the reading app on the home screen, and hide all the social networks away. That way, when you mindlessly pick up a gadget, you're more likely to spend your time on something useful.

8. Before you make a post announcing that you've found a new job or are getting married, think about who you would like to meet in person and share the good news with. Face-to-face communication doesn't compare to updated statuses.

9. To become advanced media savvy, buy trendy devices. Such as the My Phone is off for you handkerchief by designer Ingrid Zweifel of The Way We See The World in New York City. It blocks the signal reception while you communicate with someone, thus demonstrating to the interlocutor the importance of communication with him (by the way, a great idea for a gift). Or items from Japanese designer Kunihiko Morinaga's Focus Life Gear collection. The material of the garment blocks the reception of the phone signal wherever the wearer is, thus allowing focusing on aspects of physical reality rather than the virtual one.

10. You can learn even more ways to protect yourself from digital slavery at the annual Wisdom 2.0 conference in California. Headliners include top executives from Google, Twitter, LinkedIn, Cisco, Ford, and spiritual teachers and philosophers. Initially, Wisdom 2.0 was a book written by Soren Gordhammer, describing the weakness of our age to new technologies, and later he got the idea to bring together people who could share their ways not to get addicted to social media.

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