Simplifying Your Digital Life

Hi there,

Welcome to another edition of Simpler Sundays, a weekly newsletter aimed at giving you a dose of relaxed reading at the end of each week. This is the sixth edition of Simpler Sundays. If you’d like any of your friends or family to subscribe to this newsletter, you can share this link. That said, let’s begin this week’s edition.

A few days back, I deactivated my Facebook, deleted my Quora account, and unsubscribed from a dozen newsletters. I also unfollowed about 1000 accounts from Twitter and Instagram combined. Moreover, I deleted a bunch of apps from my phone. In addition to all this, I’ve already disabled notifications for a number of apps on my phone.

Now the question comes – Why all this? Well, let’s just call it my version of a ‘Digital Detox’.

If you know me personally, you’d be aware of how much of a phone addict I am. If I’m not doing anything related to work, you’d find me glued to my phone screen, always reading one thing or the other. Things were much worse initially but as I grow up, I’ve started to have a better understanding of how this ‘attention economy’ works.

Here’s the thing – A large number of multinational organizations are vying for our attention. The more time you spend on a platform, the more money they’ll make. Your attention thus becomes their currency.

Now since they want to get more of your attention (aka more money), they spend millions on creating apps and games that are addictive. These innocent-looking apps and games are backed by solid research. They employ strategies to hook you up and regularly give your brain a dopamine (a neurotransmitter responsible for giving you pleasure) rush.

Now, dopamine tolerance is a vast topic and I would talk about it in detail in one of my blog posts. But here’s the bottom line. You become addicted to these apps, platforms, and games without even realizing it.

Think of every time you upload a picture on social media and then keep refreshing your notifications to see who has liked your picture. That’s your brain being hooked on the dopamine rush given by that social media platform. There can be many other such examples like mobile games offering login rewards to players.

So that is why it is important for you to be more considerate of where you choose to give your attention? Would you rather endlessly scroll through your social media feed or would you choose to instead spend that time playing with your kids?

Start thinking of your attention as a currency and spend it wisely.

To get your own digital detox, you don’t need to go to extremes like I did. But here’s what you can do:

  • Instead of being on every social media platform, choose one platform that gives you the most value and then get rid of others.
  • If you see yourself spending too much time on any app or game, then either get rid of it or reduce your usage. (This is gonna be tough but you can do this).
  • Phones now come with advanced privacy features. So, you can easily turn off notifications for various apps. Notifications are triggers. So get rid of them, especially the notifications of super addictive apps like Facebook or Instagram.
  • Be selective in keeping apps on your phone. Keep a bunch of apps that provide you any sort of value and delete the rest of them.

I often say that the way to a happier and fulfilling life goes through simplicity. This simplicity should be applied to our digital lives as well.

The Good Word

As you might know, the ‘Good Word’ is a series showcasing my favorite quotes/phrases from other writers. So, here’s this week’s Good Word.

“There are two ways to get enough. One is to continue to accumulate more and more. The other is to desire less.”

– G.K. Chesterton

VyasSpeaks Featured Post

This week’s featured post is very close to my heart. That’s because I wrote this post as a way of giving a tribute to a movie that I deeply love.

This particular blog post ended up being read by none other than the protagonist of the movie, Ben Stiller himself.

I hope you also enjoy this.

Read the post by clicking the link or image below.

‘The Secret Life Of Walter Mitty’ Is So Much More Than Just A Movie!

That’s all for this week. I’ll see you next Sunday.

Stay safe and take care.

With love,
Shikhil Vyas

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