Stuck on Social: 04/100
I’ve been struggling with lack of focus, and shallow attention span, and I know why. Does this look similar to you? I’m never without my phone -in hand- ready to engage is screen goodness. Sometimes, when I’m trying extra hard, it’ll be face down on the table while we’re talking. But when I’m not preoccupied, I’m checking Twitter, Instagram, Dribbble, Twitter, Instagram, Twitter… you get the idea. It’s bad — honestly. Really bad.
If I don’t check social I start having withdrawals. I’ll feel lonely, antsy, detached… you’re probably not this bad, huh? It’s okay if you are — I should follow you! What’s your handle?
While I was researching supporting studies for my talk I recently gave at Creative South, I came across a few studies that resonated. The most pertinent is published in Psychological Reports: Disability and Trauma and shared findings that social media (Facebook, specifically) similarly triggers the brain like cocaine does to cocaine addicts.
Social media is addicting. Addiction consists of brain fog, lack of focus, and depleted attention span.
Before Creative South I noticed I was on social all the time. I couldn’t pass by my phone without checking it. And to think about not checking took lots of will power. I am off my horse, wildly tumbling downhill into who-knows-where.
Today I re-started a practice I had some months ago: blocking social from my phone. I use an app called Freedom. It allows user-prescheduled windows of blacklisting as well as spontaneous sessions.
Currently I’m feeling a bit antsy — it’s the first day and thus far I’m 10 hours of no social on my phone — FOMO (fear of missing out) is hitting hard. Thanks to experience I know it’ll get easier. As it does, my attention span with expand, as my focus will be able to go deeper. Relationships will group, personal projects will take shape, and I’ll be more creative and content.
Originally published at alicjacolon.com.