DAY 26: Clicking Zombie
Day 26: Self Reflection
On page 33 of your workbook, talk a minute to hypothesis what you would do for a week without any access to technology.
Day 26 Micro-Science: Brain and Screen Time
Unless you have been trapped in a a cave for the last fifteen years, your aware that smartphones and screens consume the majority of our attention on a daily basis. Social media and other addictive time consuming entertainment sources are part of our daily lives whether we like it or not. The effects these “glowing rectangles” have on our brain is just starting to be understood, but one thing that seems certain is that screens and the constant stimuli they provide are something that our brains are attracted to. From an evolutionary perspective, it makes sense that we would “orient” towards eye catching stimuli that are moving fast with loud noises and filled with social information which humans innately crave. Overall, it seems that our technological innovations have just outpaced the brains ability to evolve. Companies and advertisers have then tapped into that disparity and used it for their gain and not yours. Let me be clear, however, that I’m not recommending throwing out your smartphone and moving into a log cabin in Alaska (although that does sound kinda nice). What I’m advocating for is fully looking at your phone, computer, and T.V. usage and asking yourself “how is this working out for me?”
FACT: 80% of casual conversation is about social information. Highest dopamine (pay attention chemical) surge for gossip is negative information about someone slightly above you in rank and positive information about someone slightly below you.
TAKEAWAY: Evolution is a hard thing to shake off and our brains are programmed to constantly be searching for opportunities or threats to where we stand in the rank hierarchy.
Day 26 Meditation: Time Away from the Clicking Zombie
FACT: In today’s world of modern media we take in five the amount of daily information then we did in 1984. Taking in approximately 34gb or 100k words daily, that same rate would crash a computer within two weeks.
TAKEAWAY: Our brains need a break and the world around you isn’t gonna take a break, so you have to learn to take a break from it.
Day 26 Meditation: Today’s meditation may seem like the easiest thing in the world, but with our constant reliance on phones it might create some anxiety. However, once you start taking small breaks from it, you start to realize the world isn’t going to end if its not within reach. Heck.. you might even start to enjoy leaving it in your car on occasion. So the task today is to put your smartphone and computer away from three to five hours and have no screen time for a chunk of your day. You’ll survive I promise.
Day 26 Movement Task: Phone off
Have you looked yourself in the mirror lately and asked yourself who is truly in charge here, have your screens become the dictators of where your attention lies, “are you the master or the servant in this relationship?" But most of all become aware of the fact that just because “everybody’s doing it,” doesn’t mean that its in your best interest. Giving up or cutting down on these sources of dopamine can feel as hard as giving up any addiction, it will be uncomfortable and anxiety provoking, So I have used tools like “Freedom” app that controls how often I can get onto social media so I’m not tempted to reach out in any moments of inactivity. We’re all human an sometimes our brains don’t know whats best for us, so use the resources you have around you to regain control.
FACT: 36% of people have checked their phones during sex, teenagers text 3000 texts per month, kids on average have seven hours of screen time per day, 70% of people sleep with their phones.
TAKEAWAY: We now spend more time with screens than we do with the people around us.
Day 26 Action Task: For today’s action task the hope is to cut down on the downsides of your phone and social media but helping it work for you, instead of against you. So for today, there are four tasks
1) Log onto instagram and “unfollow” five accounts that don’t bring any joy into your life or let go of accounts that spark envy instead of admiration
2) Log into Facebook and “unfollow” not “unfriend” five people that can sour your day or that you have no connection to.
3) On your phone, delete five numbers of people that you never talk to or can’t even remember who they are.
4) On your phone, move three people to your favorites list that you wish you would call more often.
#1) 5 Crazy Ways Social Media is Changing Your Brain Right Now
Social media has somewhat run rampart in our culture with not a ton of good research about what it is doing to our brains. However, some good studies have been done and watch this great short video to find out how social media is changing your brain.
#2) Ted Talk: Quit Social Media
I do find it somewhat ironic that I watched this Ted Talk about quitting social media on social media, but whatever. Its still a pretty cool message and one that I’m trying to… slowly… implement into my life.
#2) Benefits of Good Posture:
Screens have been screwing with our posture for too long. You may not need yet another reason to get off your phone but this short TED Ed gives some great physiological reasons to cut back on your screen use.