Another thing I do to limit my phone's dopamine rush is to delete all of the social media apps from my phone and only access them via a browser. mbasic.facebook.com is significantly less addictive that the app, while still being useful. Sometimes when I really need a break, I'll create a block list in the "Restrictions" settings on my iPhone and block Facebook, Reddit, Twitter and HN completely. I wish that there was a way for someone else to be able to remotely manage those restrictions for me, so I could uninstall all of the time-suck apps from my phone and only re-install them by getting permission from a friend who could help me honor my intentions.
This is the real problem, not the phone or its apps. You need to eliminate FOMO from your life. You'll be much happier for it.
I don't have a recommendation on how to do that. For me I came to the realization and acceptance that there is always more. More work, more knowledge, more news, more parties, more potential friends, more opportunities, etc. It never ends and it's impossible to know or participate in it all.
If you find yourself having anxiety from that thought you might want to see a psychologist.
If you've got the kind of social life and communication you need, great. And I agree that many people who are in an accidental too-much-FOMO situation probably didn't need all the extra tweets and whatnot flung their way and it's mostly junk. In that case, just turning most of it off is a reasonable idea.
But if you're in a position where the communities you need to be making more of an effort with use fast-moving, presenceless platforms for most of their socialization (Telegram, Twitter, etc.—maybe even, say, Slack?), good luck snagging those limited opportunities to learn which people to get to know better or get a word in on something important without constantly checking everything. (This might be a good argument to not do that for your next community!)
The idea of more closely regulating the feeling so that it's not overdriven and occupying your whole mindset is still relevant, but it takes on quite a different form if you can't actually afford to check out of the fast side; you have to do a trickier balancing act.
“Hey, I like what we're doing, we should set up a group for it to make it easier to keep up with events and stuff.”
“Telegram? That's what everyone else seems to use.” “Yeah, I've already got that on my phone.” “Me too.” “Yup! And I've got this great sticker pack I want to show you…” “Hey, can you show me how to install it?” “Sure, it's easy, just…”
“Awesome, I'll set it up.” (tap, tap, tap)
(Substitute Facebook, or Discord, or whatever else.)
Gradually people just kinda forget to post things anywhere else, because it's convenient and lets them post from their phone and they get all the encouraging responses they wanted there, and so it gradually becomes common knowledge that that's the place. The choice of platform isn't in their community identity, so the default is whatever people gravitate to that doesn't require doing something unusual.
If you don't integrate psychologically with the popular platforms, you're not really choosing to not be part of a specific community, because that's what “popular” means: you're choosing that the set of communities you can explore in the first place is whittled way down, and your membership in any you do find is now precarious. “Pick a community that doesn't do that” not only raises the difficulty at the beginning, but it also doesn't save you later.
It seems to me that message notifications, at least, do keep me from checking my phone.
If that's not the case, are you really sure that you need to be doing any of that? Especially "get a word in on something important" is awfully similar to https://www.xkcd.com/386/ .
Dedicating a time slot in the usual sense is very socially costly if they've gravitated to a presenceless, fast-moving platform, because psychological consensus and topic closure operates more on the perceived speed of communication of the group. If 90% of the other people respond within an hour, and you get there eight hours later, the conversation's moved on, so if everyone else is in the habit of checking their phone every fifteen minutes, there's pressure for you to be too. So, yes, you can “dedicate a time slot” at the end of every pomodoro, if that's what you meant.
This is more true in “channel”-based environments where “new in thread” is inconvenient or unavailable. If you're not careful, you can even be disruptive. Even on slow-moving, old-style Web forums, “necroposting” is considered rude; a chat-like medium with little to no threading support can just lower the threshold for it from weeks to hours if there's enough activity.
For the other part, I'll grant that “get a word in on something important” was badly worded, though I can't think of a better phrase this instant. I was imagining things like “we've changed the meetup location because someone raised a problem, is this okay with everyone or does someone need a ride” or “I'd like comments on which direction I should go with the next part of this piece” or “I'm going to see if some of us can do X together tomorrow, I want three more people, who's with me”. All of these can easily render your participation irrelevant if you show up too late, and “too late” is by default defined by what's usual and convenient, not by abstract considerations of what's good for people's habit formation.
If they're doing it only because they kind of fell into it as baseline socialization shifted, they need to step back and reconsider things because it's not healthy.
Needless to say, I cut my losses with that community.
Now that I don't wear my android watch daily, I find myself with my phone on my desk or table more. The fear of missing important notifications makes me more obsessed with all notifications.
Not only will you not be dealing with their stalking draining your battery, but you'll get rid of the FOMO thing. Visit the site every couple of days for the events or whatever other excuse keeps you on there. You'll figure out that you're missing nothing, although Facebook in particular will get increasingly desperate and try to hook you in via bullshit emails, etc.
Once you get bad/abusive actors away from you, you'll find that your phone has robust notification and other mechanisms to help you get productive notifications.
I consider this (I have it too) to be almost full fledged clinical addiction. It toys with your mind and distort your life in unhealthy ways.
Others have mentioned this is a separate issue from the smartphone (although smartphones to make it easier for us to enable FOMO).
In my experience (most, if not all) FOMO disappeared in my early thirties and once I gained a more settled life. And while I do still check HN, twitter-lists daily (usually more than once a day when commuting, or having a break) I have noticed how on a busy day (or a weekend day), I completely forget about that.
Maybe age, and changes in lifestyle have been most responsible for this, but I also find that I'm less impressed by new stuff now than I used to be, so I'm much less likely to feel that I'm missing something out.
Without these notifications I stay more focused and get less stressed.
If I hadn't deleted my profile, I'm pretty convinced they'd be calling me on the phone or showing up at my house with printed-out notifications by now.
The social networks understand this. I've read that they have algorithms that will batch and spread out your dopamine hits for maximum re-enforcement effect.
My wife wonders why I scan all my groceries at the store and then enter my loyalty card instead of doing it up-front as the system asks for. It's because if I see the price read $130 and then I enter the card and it drops to $110, it feels like I came out ahead. Even though it's going to be the same number.
If you object to that particular implementation, the point is there's a usage API in case you'd like to write your own app.
"Whenever you want to focus, plant a tree.
The tree will grow in the following time.
The tree will be killed if you leave this app."
So probably, yeah. I assume there is some point at which the tree won't be killed since it goes on to talk about keeping a forest of trees representing stretches of time not using your phone to do anything other than run this app - hitting up its app store page describes it as a pomodoro timer, so about 25min gets you a tree.
My inner paranoid says "wow, what a great way to get people to help you mine cryptocurrency" but I will choose to assume that they're happy with the money they're making by selling it for two bucks, plus the occasional "sunshine elixir" IAP.
One of the things I struggle with is the endless novelty of a newsfeed. I can always scroll and get more. And then I can reload for another chance at finding something interesting.
There are extensions that do this for Facebook alone, but I was thinking something more general. And something that's also clever about eliminating the way companies use notifications to for similar novelty-injection, rather than true notifications.
I suspect I also need a "please temporarily show me the newsfeed" mode, possibly on some sort of time restriction, with mandatory delay, or requiring some boring work, so as to raise it from "compulsive response" to "considered choice", but still keeps people from removing the extension on the occasions they really need to see the feeds.
Would you use it? And what services would be required?
I like the delay idea. A minute delay to reflect upon your actions, or yourself or something.
Of course one can simply disable the extension. I guess you'll need testing to see what kind of delay makes the target audience not jump to disable the extension. If you're serious about this, I can send you my mail address and see if I can help with parsing feedback or something!
Snapchat, twitter, text message, facebook message.
All while I'm trying to figure out why my middle-wear isnt working. I catch myself shitposting on instagram instead of running my app.
It's important though to tightly control the notifications such that you get them only for things you actually care about. E.g., unsubscribe from any & all mailing lists you don't care about.
One other thing I do is have physically separate devices for work versus entertainment. A spare phone is my Twitter/Facebook phone. I have a separate laptop for watching videos, playing games, social media, and HN. (I also have a tablet for long-form reading: Kindle, Instapaper, The Economist etc.) It helps establish that there are separate modes, which limits FOMO for me.