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Social Media Shutdown to promote Mindfulness

I am doing an experiment by cutting off all social media (facebook, twitter, instagram) for the month of February, and maybe beyond that. Social media is a relatively new concept but more and more data is coming through on the impact of social media use. The results are not encouraging! More and more studies point to the use of social media leading to increased levels of anxiety and depression in our teenagers and yoing adults today. I fear to think of the fallout on society as a result of social media in another 10 years! I will make an effort to use the time not spent on social media on buddhism , mindfulness and meditation instead. I will keep an account of changes I observe, such as improved concentration in meditation etc.
Recently people who used to work with the social media giants have gone on record stating their big worries about the negative effects of social media. Interestingly some of the top employees in both FB and Twitter dont allow their own children use social media. That says a lot. Not being overly dramatic but the fallout from social media overuse is and will be huge. It is changing the very fabric of our society. I look forward to reporting on my levels of concentration and mindfulness and alertness as I go through the month of February.

personSnakeskinBunksShoshinCarameltail
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Comments

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    Hope you may find the time to go out and make some living, breathing, not-make-believe "friends."

    SocairSnakeskinlobster
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    For the record, i maintain social media accounts largely for show. I spend a little time on twitter and a lot of time on forums, and thats it. I find Facebook largely a waste of time.

    But forums are a place where you not only contact people, you can meaningfully exchange views, learn things, and be reasonably anonymous in a safe environment.

    SnakeskinCarameltailLinc
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    Absolutely @Kerome I agree. I am not including forums under social media. Broadly social media refers to FB, Twitter, Instagram and ones I don't use like snapchat etc.

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    I use facebook to keep in touch with colleagues, for work purposes, (our firm has its own closed group page) and a second Fb account to keep in touch with close friends and relatives (all of whom I see in real life too). I have 23 contacts ('friends') on the first profile and 15 on the second.
    I know some people who have in their small thousands. Yet they can only name a few. I mean, honestly, what's the point of being a 'friend' to someone you don't know, have never met, couldn't even begin to describe and have no knowledge of, whatsoever? Meh....

    SocairpersonSnakeskinCarameltail
  • I'm grateful to have grown up without cell phones & internet. We had TV and radio, but the TV had only 3 channels and little of interest to kids until Saturday morning. We spent all our time outside together. It was way better than social media.

    Today, so much distracts us. It not only diminishes concentration and well-being but memory and intuition too. “Household life is dusty.” Oh, they had no idea. To learn something new in the Buddha’s time a person had to walk to meet new people, talk to them face to face and remember what was said. The Internet doesn't hold a candle to everything involved in that.

    As Morpheus put it, “It's a prison for your mind.” In our time one of the most beneficial acts of renunciation is simply to unplug, walk out the door without a phone. If you need to know something, ask a person.

    Socair
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    If ragequitting is what it takes shrugs so be it.

    Snakeskin
  • Lee82Lee82 Veteran

    I'll be interested to learn the observations of your experiment. I've been very tempted to cut all ties from it for a long time. I have Facebook but only use it to let my wife tag me so family can see pictures of the kids. Twitter I use for news and professional purposes but those are the only 2 I think I have.

    SocairSnakeskin
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @dhammachick said:
    If ragequitting is what it takes shrugs so be it.

    There is no rage involved. I do think social media has become a prison for the mind for many. For me personally I am looking forward to taking my attention away from social media. I have noticed since I got a smartphone and started using social media, my concentration for reading whole books diminished. For the younger generation in particular the combination of a smartphone with social media apps at the tap of a screen is particularly problematic. Mamy teens today struggle with attention span and concentration as well as anxiety and low self esteem. The fallout from the smartphone/social media generation is starting to manifest itself. It would be great if mindfulness/meditation was taught or practised in schools as part of the curriculum to help offset the smartphone/social media problem. There is a huge debate in Ireland at the moment due to several instances of predators online being a threat to children. It is disturbing. Many children as young as 7 or 8 have smartphones with internet access!! Parents need to be educated on the dangers of letting their children have unrestricted access to the internet on their smartphones. Another angle is the hate speech and trolling that goes on, particularly on twitter.
    It may be modern times but the world is calling out for ancient wisdom. Never was the buddhas message more relevant than now. We need to teach our kids resilience , how to be calm, how to tame their minds, how to connect with real people in the real world, how to be kind, how to see true value in friendships, how to connect with nature and the environment. I teach teenagers and I see hope for the future but I also directly see what the smartphone/social media craze is doing.

    SnakeskinCarameltail
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    Ok

    Socair
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @Lee82 said:
    I'll be interested to learn the observations of your experiment. I've been very tempted to cut all ties from it for a long time. I have Facebook but only use it to let my wife tag me so family can see pictures of the kids. Twitter I use for news and professional purposes but those are the only 2 I think I have.

    I'll keep a record of some of my observations here for the month of february. When the month is up I may well just stay away from social media altogether.

    Snakeskin
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @dhammachick said:
    Ok

    💚💚💚 @dhammachick

  • SocairSocair Veteran
    edited January 28

    @federica said:
    So, you'll be like this guy....?

    @federica that is an awesome clip. Thanks for sharing. Yep I'll be like that guy. 🤣🤣🤣

    Bunks
  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer
    edited January 29

    Yea social media addiction has been in the news a lot lately. Facebook has also been in the news for other reasons such as the political manipulation attempts and the fake news. Secretly I wish fb to shutdown or at least reform a lot. I don't really use those types of social media too often and only really use private networks like whatsapp, skype and other chat apps which are much better in my opinion because you don't get those cluttered news feeds.

    I do use fb and twitter occasionally to keep up with a few things and I sort have forgotten about instagram. Much of social media is designed for addiction so yea I avoid it, as well as privacy issues.

    Socair
  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran

    @Socair

    If you go off social media for a while ...what are you going to do to occupy the mind (downtime)???........ sit around and do nothing I bet ;)

    Socairlobsterwojciech
  • Compulsion, addiction, attachment and obsessive behavour has many forms. Social norms and acceptable behavour also has its ignorance and harmful/unskilful potential ...

    So examining our behavour for ways into positive being/mindfulness is a way of countering the pressures of samsara.

    Recently I removed insighttimer from my ipad, new owners are trying to sell the next generation of spirtual teachers. I would still recommend insighttimer way, way above farcebook and trumpagram twatter etc.

    Not having a dumb smartphone does not make me more virtuous but it does give me freedom from the incessant super highway, just as not watching TV (I did over Christmas) is no loss. Mostly I remember twaddle and ads for a fantasy lifestyle ... :o

    I do send out emails of my nature pics to people I know. Maybe I will join the ramblers (like a social hub with legs) or a pressure group ... Thank Buddha and lack of social media pressure I have the time ... B)

    Good luck Socair 💗🌈🕊

    SnakeskinSocairwojciech
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @lobster said:
    Compulsion, addiction, attachment and obsessive behavour has many forms. Social norms and acceptable behavour also has its ignorance and harmful/unskilful potential ...

    So examining our behavour for ways into positive being/mindfulness is a way of countering the pressures of samsara.

    Recently I removed insighttimer from my ipad, new owners are trying to sell the next generation of spirtual teachers. I would still recommend insighttimer way, way above farcebook and trumpagram twatter etc.

    Not having a dumb smartphone does not make me more virtuous but it does give me freedom from the incessant super highway, just as not watching TV (I did over Christmas) is no loss. Mostly I remember twaddle and ads for a fantasy lifestyle ... :o

    I do send out emails of my nature pics to people I know. Maybe I will join the ramblers (like a social hub with legs) or a pressure group ... Thank Buddha and lack of social media pressure I have the time ... B)

    Good luck Socair 💗🌈🕊

    AWESOME @lobster ! Thank you! 💚💚💚💚💚

  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    Good luck @Socair!

    Doing an experiment of sorts myself. I bought an analog (pre smart) phone for $39 to use for a while just to see how much I really miss the smart phone.

    Too many distractions on that damn thing....

    Socairlobster
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    @Bunks said:
    Good luck @Socair!

    Doing an experiment of sorts myself. I bought an analog (pre smart) phone for $39 to use for a while just to see how much I really miss the smart phone.

    Too many distractions on that damn thing....

    Thats brilliant @Bunks . I'd be very interested in hearing your experiences with that. I reckon smartphones reduced my attention span. Since giving up I find myself reading more books and focusing better in general. I think for teenagers today it is the combo of smartphone with social media apps that are magnifying the effect.

  • SocairSocair Veteran
    edited January 29

    I'm using a Nokia 3310 as my phone. They rebranded it last year but its still a non smartphone pretty similar to the original.
    All it can do is call and text. Refreshingly when you tap the screen nothing happens! @Bunks

    Bunkssilver
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    Bunks
  • BunksBunks Australia Veteran

    I got me one of these

    Socair
  • SocairSocair Veteran
    edited January 29

    Awesome stuff @Bunks . I didn't get my first mobile until 1999. It was a nokia. Takes me back. Good times. We are over connected and too easily contactable these days. One has to make an effort to disconnect a little.

    Bunks
  • KeromeKerome Love, love is mystery The Continent Veteran

    I just find it too handy to have maps, whatapp, weather predictions, telephone and music in one device. Still quite attached to my iPhone 7 even without Facebook.

  • The Sangha, bless their soles, some of them don't require souls, phones or shoes. Such life-detachment gives them the time to attach to the other jewels; dharma and awakening Buddha.

    Personally I wear socks and eat more than once a day. In a sense, we make choices and that determines the cost and nature of freedom ...

    ... and now back to the in vogue mindfulness
    https://www.vogue.com/article/best-meditation-apps-mindfulness

    Socair
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    And my cousins over the ditch use these.... (I actually have family in NZ too :awesome: )

  • genkakugenkaku Northampton, Mass. U.S.A. Veteran

    For a little fun, I took a somewhat different tack yesterday and created a petition directed at hackers worldwide: Pick a date in the future (say Aug. 16), hack into the so-called social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and as many other sites as possible, and excise Donald Trump for 24 hours. Imagine reading the internet/news without one reference, direct or indirect, to Trump.
    https://www.ipetitions.com/petition/24-hour-trump-ban

    CarameltailSocairlobster
  • SocairSocair Veteran
    edited February 1

    Day 1: No FB, Twitter, Instagram and I'm including Donald Trump news in my ban for good measure.
    Keep you all posted at the end of each week of February with updates and observations!

    Buddhadragon
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I thought you were already off those three...

    federica
  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    @dhammachick said:
    I thought you were already off those three...

    Me too... this thread was begun 5 days before.... :confused:

    (Like the smoker who says it's easy to give up smoking.... he's done it 57 times.....? :D )

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    I clearly stated in the first three lines and the last line of the original post @federica and @dhammachick that I was recording results and doing this experiment for the month of February .

  • federicafederica seeker of the clear blue sky Its better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak out and remove all doubt Moderator

    Ah. Clinical laboratory analysis. Ok. Carry on. :p

    Socair
  • I spend half my time avoiding collisions with gormless "I"Phone zombies. Pah! :p

    Skynet ( Farcebook ) will be taking them all over soon, like Google Borg, night of the living dead.

    Socairlobster
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    @Socair said:
    I clearly stated in the first three lines and the last line of the original post @federica and @dhammachick that I was recording results and doing this experiment for the month of February .

    It was just an observation, not an attack.

    I shall refrain from further observations.

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    I didn't see it as an attack at all. I just responded to your observation with the facts.

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    Please feel free to make as many observations as you like.

  • SocairSocair Veteran

    A week in. So far so good. Improved concentration. Back reading books with renewed energy and concentration. Lack of social media also means less time on my tablet which is also refreshing. I feel a little more aware and clear in my mind. I'd be lying though if I didn't admit to pangs of temptation for social media ( I deleted accounts so it would be impossible to succumb to temptation). Next update after 2 weeks social media free.

    personsilver
  • SocairSocair Veteran

    P.S. The Donald Trump news ban is working really well. Nice to not be reading about the latest maddness.

  • ShoshinShoshin No one in particular Nowhere Special Veteran
    edited February 8

    You're doing well @Socair ....

    Me...when there's a power cut for 5 mins, leaving me no access to WIFI

    Having a Meltdown ;)

    Socair
  • karastikarasti Breathing Minnesota Moderator

    I take regular breaks and record the differences I note, too. I enjoy those sorts of experiments! I'm currently on a 90 day no alcohol at all to see if there are any notable differences (I rarely drink anyways, just curious)

    I am much more conscious and discerning about how I use social media these days than I used to be, and that came largely from taking breaks from it throughout the year and noting what I missed and didn't miss. I have friends who are very dear to me where FB is the main way to stay in touch with them, to see pictures of their kids etc. I have family that live thousands of miles away, and also, I can now keep up with them. I take the time to send cards and letters several times a month just for a more personal connection but I simply don't have the time to do that for everyone I want to keep up with.

    I spend time in a few FB groups that I've found just as useful as forums, just depends on the intention and the people that are attracted to it. I've had some life changing (not even kidding) discussions on some of them. For me, there were things I missed on SM breaks that were too important to me to give up on completely, so I changed how I use it. I downloaded a browser extension that allows me to block a ton of stuff from my news feed. I no longer see the posts my friends like or comment on and I block other posts by keyword. I blocked all the superbowl posts, everything with keywords of "politics, trump, news, democrats, republicans, abortion, immigration" and a few other words that often used to set me off. Much more peaceful now, and I see only what I want to see, for the most part.

    SocairCarameltailnakazcid
  • KundoKundo Sydney, Australia Veteran

    I've just killed my Twitter, going off FB and taking a break here too. I'd like to take a break from humanity to be honest, but this will have to do.

    Ciao peeps.

    SocairBuddhadragon
  • SocairSocair Veteran
    edited February 19

    @dhammachick wishing you a restful and peaceful sabbatical and looking forward to your return afterwards. May you be happy. May you be well. 💚💚💚

  • CarameltailCarameltail UK Explorer

    @karasti said:

    I spend time in a few FB groups that I've found just as useful as forums, just depends on the intention and the people that are attracted to it. I've had some life changing (not even kidding) discussions on some of them. For me, there were things I missed on SM breaks that were too important to me to give up on completely, so I changed how I use it. I downloaded a browser extension that allows me to block a ton of stuff from my news feed. I no longer see the posts my friends like or comment on and I block other posts by keyword. I blocked all the superbowl posts, everything with keywords of "politics, trump, news, democrats, republicans, abortion, immigration" and a few other words that often used to set me off. Much more peaceful now, and I see only what I want to see, for the most part.

    Ah, didn't know you could block keywords like that, good to know. I've always struggled to find good discussions on fb but I thought they did exist somewhere ;p

    Socair
  • BuddhadragonBuddhadragon Carpe Diem Samsara Veteran

    I go about my relationship with the media the same way I go about everything else in my life: I do whatever I want, whenever I want to.

    When I am deeply involved in the affair of living offline life to the most -I am a hedonist, so what else?- I simply unplug from online media without much fanfare nor announcements.
    When I feel like communicating and reaching out to my online friends, I simply plug back.

    I have nothing against media life: it's a great way to communicate with friends who are far away but also to reach out to people who live in other corners of the world and could become potential kindred spirits.
    I have made some wonderful friendships through apps.
    It's just a matter of finding the right balance between both worlds.

    Socair
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