Social Media is like …

I recently saw a tweet by comedian Mark Normand (he’s pretty funny by the way) which stuck in my head.
Here’s what it said:

Social Media is like looking in the fridge over and over.
You know there’s nothing good but you check it so many times that eventually you start consuming things you don’t even like.

I can definitely relate – the countless times I found myself on YouTube or Reddit and realized I didn’t even know what I was looking for.

I don’t even want to condemn Social Media per se. I think it’s fine in moderation.

It’s dangerous once this becomes a habit: We click on Social Media or distract ourselves in some other way to get a little distraction, a little hit of dopamine (usually because we don’t want to start what we actually should be doing), and do that again and again every time we feel anxious or slightly bored.

Social Media platforms are designed to give us these little dopamine bumps with their infinite feeds (that sometimes give us a funny meme or an enraging story), similar to a slot machine that gives us regular small wins (but always makes us lose in the long run).

This problem applies to many other areas: When you have unhealthy snacks on your desk, you’re probably going to eat them. If your TV and Playstation are staring at you all day, you’re probably going to let them distract you.
What these things have in common is proximity to you. Whatever is close to where you spend most of your time, you’re probably going to use, touch, eat, engage with.

You can use this proximity bias to your advantage, however:
Put a large water bottle and some healthy snacks near your workplace. Or attach a pull-up bar to a door your pass by every day. Or put an exercise bike next to your TV. You’re going to be much more likely to use those things if you bump into them all the time.

It’s a bit tougher with online distractions, though. First, we now carry with us the best distraction devices ever invented, at all times: Smartphones. Second, many of us have to work all day on computers with internet – so how the hell are we to avoid those distractions?

An obvious strategy is to delete distracting apps, or install website-blockers for your browser.

But maybe the best strategy is to just realize that browsing Social Media for hours on end or other digital distractions just isn’t that enjoyable or interesting. You won’t really have a good time while doing the said activity (like browsing Facebook) and you will feel worse afterwards – those two outcomes are pretty much guaranteed (I should know, I’ve mindlessly browsed Social Media thousands of times and it never made me feel better. That’s a large enough sample size for me to consider it empirically valid).

😴 What might help you find calm

My favorite Unintentional ASMR moment this week

Intentional ASMR Picks:

Unintentional ASMR Picks:

  • The old cooking show Great Chef is awesome for unintentional ASMR – both the narrator and the cooking sounds. Check out this episode, for instance
  • I enjoyed the soft spoken review of the awesome retro synth Oberheim OB-Xa by J3PO 
  • This Casino session with an incredibly mumbly Baccarat dealer was really relaxing
  • Finally, some cozy cooking from our VW Van from our last Bretagne trip