I'm in the middle of a social media detox and, as I recently shared in my newsletter, I am already feeling more present, clear and aware. It's not really about the recent, toxic newscycles and arguable social media addictiveness. It's about having the clarity to know your own vision in an increasingly dense room of voices.
You don't have to completely unplug to get centered. In fact, you can do a few extremely simple tricks to get yourself grounded.
Turn your phone grayscale
The new Silicon Valley trend is turning your phone grayscale. Why? Anecdotally, it makes you less interested in social media. It can arguably cut down your social media time in half which is a lot, especially if you believe we spend three years of our lives on it.
The grayscale idea is attributed to former Google Ethicist Tristan Harris. Any phone can switch to grayscale under the Settings option.
Delete your email app
I've heard this time and time again, especially from the most productive people I know. The problems with email are that they always keep coming and they are always buzzing in your pocket. Turning off notifications is a start, but deleting the app means that you have to make a concerted effort to check your mail - it is no longer a mindless activity.
One serial entrepreneur I know deleted their app and immediately noticed a huge spike in productivity as well as peace. They never reinstalled it again.
Use airplane mode
No, it's not just for flying. It's a mistake to view smartphones as binary machines, as the functions we use it for now - calculating, photos, apps, etc. - often have no connection to the phone line. Worst case scenario, we can use airplane mode while still enabling a wi-fi connection.
Phone calls are often the biggest distraction to our day. Practice keeping airplane mode on for a small, yet regular part of your schedule. See how your productivity changes.
Your favorite social media platform probably automatically logs you in when you type in the web address or click on the app. Remove the default option! Again, you want to move from habitual patterns to thoughtful decisions.
During my current social media sabbatical, I've caught myself dozens of times mindlessly typing in a social media address and not realizing it until it asks me for my password. How many times a day do you thoughtlessly hop onto social media? Do this and you may be surprised at how frequently.
Use timer software
Ironically, one of the best ways to unplug is to download software to help you realize how overconnected you are. Apps like Moment will track your habits and, like keeping a food diary during a diet, seeing the raw numbers help you realize how much you are doing without realizing it.
The beauty is that all five options here can be done in a moment's notice. Try one right now and see how your habits begin to shift.
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