Social Media Addiction and How We Waste Our Lives A Little Each Day

I recently sat down to read a fabulous article in The Atlantic profiling a guy named Tristan Harris who is making it his life’s work to design and encourage other companies to design more ethical software that will help break the increasingly vicious cycle of technology addiction in our lives. The article caught my eye because I’ve been feeling increasingly bothered by the amount of time I spend reaching for my phone, getting lost in the abyss, wasting hours of time perusing through social media, usually mindlessly. I’ve come close to installing phone use apps like BreakFree or Moment to see just how bad I’ve gotten, but I have yet to bring myself to do it because I know it will not be good news and I’m not sure I’m ready to commit to another major life overhaul. That’s ridiculous fear-talk right there, folks.

Can you imagine for a moment? I know I have a problem, that I am on my phone way too much and it eats away at my energy for other, clearly more productive tasks. I catch myself grabbing the phone for no reason other than pure instinct and habit. I’ve read books and articles from very intelligent people waving red flags in my face imploring me to wake up and get a grip on my screen time. It’s become such an epidemic that they are creating apps for our phones now to save us from ourselves (and our phones). Yet, I don’t take that next big step to use an app that will lock my social media apps if I spend too much time on them because I’m not 100% ready to face down this demon. Sound familiar?

Read More

How Alcohol Ruins Your Brain (And Why There’s Still Hope)

Recovery and Quitting Alcohol

I’m now reaching the five-month mark in my sobriety (and, EEK, pregnancy) and there is one benefit that I am luxuriating in right now: reclaiming my formerly pickled brain.

Even in the thick of pregnancy brain fog, I still find myself in awe of just how much room there is inside this dome that had been previously clouded by a booze, hangover, anxiety cocktail. Towards the end of my drinking days, I noticed that I had difficulty thinking clearly. I was no longer able to tap into my “zone” and produce interesting content when I sat down to write (which was almost never at that point), nor did I possess any motivation to try. I no longer got lost inside complex thoughts. In fact, I was actually starting to forget things regularly. I would have to write everything down because I was incapable of remembering something in the short term for longer than a few minutes. We often laugh about moments when we walk into a room and have no idea why we came in there, but that was becoming my normal. It didn’t scare me necessarily, at least, not as much as it should have. Instead, it just made me more depressed. Whoever “I” was, whatever construct of self I held previously, was slowly vanishing.

Read More