A while ago I noticed that my anxiety levels felt through the roof for no particular reason. My neck and shoulders were in a constant state of stiff or sore. I felt foggy brained and tight in the chest. Several times a day, I had to consciously tell myself to soften my jaw or remove my shoulders from my ears. I would sit down innocently enough to check something on Twitter or Facebook and lose an hour without realizing how or why. My motivation began to deplete. I wasn’t getting anything of value done and still managed to feel like I’d run a marathon at the end of the day.
When I first got sober, the comments section on social media became my new drug of choice.
Social media became a form of anti-meditation for me, where I maintained a singular focus on what can only be described as the worst parts of humanity. (I’m looking at you, Twitter.)
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?