It just happened again. I was going to do something productive on my computer and I saw a compelling headline. I checked it out … and maybe a related one as well. Oh, what was it I was going to do? OK – now I will do what I need to do …. if I don’t get off track again. I get a text message alert and automatically look at my phone. Oh, isn’t that cute! A quick response and I’ll forward it to the family. Now where was I? Who’s calling me from New York? Another robo call. OK, back to what I was doing. It’s a good thing I didn’t look at Facebook this time.
The Wall Street article “Take Back Your Brain From Social Media” looks behind our obsession and lost time with social media. They do not suggest stopping entirely. They do suggest adding choice back into our life. Our brains are wired to to “voraciously feed on information”, says University of California, San Francisco neuroscientist Adam Gazzaley, co-author of the 2016 book “The Distracted Mind.” Interruptions are a serious problem. Studies have found that interruptions can cost 23 minutes out of an hour.
- Turn off app notifications on your phone and computer.
- Make your main work devices completely off-limits to social media.
- Hide your phone when you’re working, driving or doing important socializing.
- Do not use social media as a “break”. There are many better options.
- Teach your kids to manage social media also.
Social media has the same psychological pull as a slot machine. We keep hoping every pull/click will give a big reward. It seldom comes. The “house” always wins. Just as we are wise to not place a slot machine in our office, kitchen, or car … the same is true of our mobile phones.