1. Inconvenience based solutions don't address the problem: using apps to restrict phone use, physically hiding the phone etc. Once you leave those carefully constrained conditions, you are more vulnerable than ever. Not to mention the contradiction with the core issue that it's a symptom rather than a cause.
2. Turning abstinence as an ongoing status condition (e.g. "X days since I did Y") is a trap. It sets you up for later failure by burdening you with a perpetually unfinished objective with psychological consequences that only increase as the 'highscore' increases. This could work with things that are less easily accessible like heroin, but it's not going to work with something as easily accessible as a phone or computer.
3. The solution that works with 1 and 2 is probably urge surfing as it tackles the issue directly
4. It's easier to think of it as an addiction to browsing rather than an addiction to the phone itself. You have to catch yourself during any browsing moment in any context to eventually make progress. Be intentional in almost every action instead of going on auto-pilot, although obviously resting at the end of the day is fine. It's more a general philosophy than a hard rule meant to exhaust you.
5. The eventual goal is a rich life where you no longer feel the need to distract yourself
Ha ha! That is a VERY generous way to describe it.
I think of it as licking my balls. I think that's more realistic.
I agree. I think what most people have are "News" or information Addiction. Where as news is any update on Social Media, Current Trends on Pop, Music, Movies, Tech, Politics, Economics etc.
There were a few research paper suggesting News being the biggest addiction, much more so than porn. And Smartphone addiction is by nature an extension of this news addiction.
Did my Idol post something on IG?
Did my soccer / football team sign a new centre back?
Did Apple finally released a new Keyboard with more travel distances?
Did X finally win the election?
Did TSLA just broke though the channel and continue their gain in stock market?
New Covid Variant?
Is there a confirmation email for my job? Or you know somehow you are expected to reply your email within 30min with your current employer.
A lot of these are preying on our human curiosity. And Smartphone is only a Terminal, where Internet / Mobile Network is the connection. It is the same before Smartphone with Internet on PC, or good old fashion TV.
We dont have an addiction to any of these devices, we have addiction to those content. And it has been like for that decades, blaming everything on Smartphone is simple and easy enough. But doesn't really help with the real problem.
When I got access to the Internet, the idea that I could learn things easily, or have a digital calendar, or write messages just removed so much friction. I was working as a cook but getting back into programming as a hobby at the time (started as a kid with BASIC on Commodore computers then didn't have a computer for almost ten years). I first used the K&R book to learn C but the Internet provided access to things outside the scope of the book.
Then, working as a programmer a few years later, I told my boss I'd hit a stretch goal if he got me an iphone to replace my flip phone. I use Android now, it was a different time. :)
Once I got that, it was 24/7. I'm finding balance now but it's tough. I am concious of my six year old always seeing me and emulating my behavior.
I still feel the push “away” from what I’m trying to focus on, but it’s not “towards” anywhere in particular. So as long as I divert to something that’s itself not too interesting, I will tire of the diversion and get back to work in short order. It’s only debilitating when the diversion captures me for hours (looking at you, YouTube recommendation algorithm).
And the same things happens to me. A lot of times I don't even want or think of going to HN, Reddit, Twitter. I'm just bored or frustrated and, almost unconsciously, I hit the shortcuts for Browser > New Tab > Focus Address Bar > Start typing n, r or m (for mobile.twitter.com).
Some things that helped a lot with this, together with SelfControl, is to change all new tabs to a blank page and disable autocomplete in the Firefox navbar.
That last one is not very good for everything, so it would be better to just delete those automatic sites from the suggestion list. I never really took the time to see how it's done of FF, though.
To change the timings in SelfControl, use (sorry, it is a very very old note in Evernote so I don't have the original source anymore):
defaults write org.eyebeam.SelfControl MaxBlockLength -int [maximum block length in minutes]
defaults write org.eyebeam.SelfControl BlockLengthInterval -int [block length interval in minutes]
Once I moved the phone to another room at night, I was forced to fall asleep without being distracted. Being alone with my thoughts was extremely uncomfortable the first few nights, but it got better. Now I'm used to falling asleep without distraction and am more in touch with how I feel. So my phone was causing me to become out of touch with my thoughts/feelings which would in turn make it even more uncomfortable to confront them, so I would turn to my phone for distraction and this reinforcing cycle continued until broken. The phone was both a symptom and cause of my sleeping problem, so removing the phone removed the cause and fixed my sleep.
except I’m not losing my teeth, I’m just losing time.
From the article, which gets cause and consequence reverse by the way as all articles on the topic:
> This is a huge problem because re-connecting with people in the offline world is a solution that improves the quality of life.
Yeah, no, re-connecting with people IRL is not a good experience as a white male, we have to selectively choose people who don’t think we should first apologize for existing, and it is getting quite hard nowadays.
Indeed. When you're feeling anxious in your environment or depressed about the state of your life, the phone is a very convenient artifical void filler and one that's often well attuned to an individual's pycholgocial patterns of habit.
1. Feel an urge to browse or notice you are browsing
2. Pause and breathe. Focus on the sensations and thoughts that come to mind, then return to the breathe
Anything else? And is the end goal to stop browsing if you are doing it?
It seems like an interesting idea, if you had some practical steps I’d appreciate it as I’m not quite sure I’ve got it in this context.
Edit: after searching around, found a good summary here. However, still interested in hearing comments from OP or others on how they’ve used this. Seems like a genuinely useful technique and I had not heard of it before.
It can be an uncomfortable process as you realize the full extent of your predicament and the strength of the craving. But after a while, it works exactly as intended. You then gain confidence in knowing that cravings can abate on their own no matter how strong they feel at the onset.
I have used the same broad concept to attenuate OCD symptoms and related anxiety. The counter-intuitive idea behind all this is that by rewarding your anxiety with a certain behavior, you are training yourself to feel more anxiety down the line. Therefore the opposite must happen: putting yourself into situations that directly confront the anxiety and withholding any reward. This is the same exposure and response therapy that is used to treat phobias or generic social anxiety, though obviously without the careful guidance of a trained professional.
Rich life is a good goal but what does the day to day look like of using the internet as part of that? Or is simply not doing it based on urges enough?
On a day-to-day basis, the ideal outcome for me would be to naturally use computers just as tools to make things happen rather than as a self-feeding nexus for various distractions that leave me unsatisfied.
As long as your usage is as intentional as possible, you should be able to naturally gravitate to an agreeable life as defined per your own instincts. Or at the very least, you will not be in a position where your internet usage negatively affects your life. Restructuring lifelong habits is easier said than done, but it's possible.
To some degree. But they do give space for alternatives to start to fill the gap.
For me, a behavior modification strategy called narrowing antecedent control has worked well: restricting my phone and Internet usage to a specific spot in my office. I found I was reaching for my devices automatically throughout the day and night and would waste hours surfing without realizing it.
Obviously, removing the distraction doesn't automatically resolve whatever underlying issue caused the user to compulsively seek it out. But you find you can't just do nothing, so you start to get creative, and alternatives start to appear.
I think of the computer as a tool at the end of the day. It is a very powerful tool which has radically changed how we do things but it’s still a tool.
Lastly it’s healthy to take a break from whatever main activity, whatever that is - could be being on the computer all the time programming or playing games - so that a different perspective sweeps in.
My suspicion is it's because of perceived individualism. Computers may provide you with rich and social experiences, but they detach you from people physically around you, and some people can't stand that.
In my case, I'm trying to reverse the flow and build the life I was always afraid of. I've caught glimpse of it here and there so I know it's not just a figment of my escapist imagination but a genuine interest. I know that many activities leave me more fulfilled than using a computer, but organizing my life so that I can engage in those regularly is the same difficult challenge that nudged me to get addicted to computers in the first place.
By all means, if you've found a life that's inherently satisfying, don't let yourself deviate from it!
Who mentioned spending all time on reddit on new? We can't just take the good non computer activities and compare them to crap computer activities. I don't see why unfulfilling computer activities would be more worse than the unfulfilling non computer activities and vice versa.
For me browsing and often gaming fulfills this description of rich life.
1. When I quit Facebook, I first started disabling my account but that didn't work, at all. It just brought me back. Every time. I realized it wasn't a feature for deleting account, it was a pressure relieve valve for people who need a quick break because they felt the service had taken control of too large a portion of their lives. FB didn't want people to quit and they didn't offer such feature.
I started by unfollowing my friends. In the process I saw FB's algorithms get more and more desperate in giving me dopamine spikes via the notifications earth symbol. "Friend of a friend is attending an event". Really FB? I then deleted all of the chat histories, sent my phone number to peers and asked them to contact via Signal/WA in the future.
I then removed the friends and finally when I got enough of the few public groups I discussed in it was easy enough to let go.
I first changed the email to some 10minutemail account, and then changed the password to something I didn't know. When I then hit "disable account", it was hard for FB to guilt trip me with "X Y and Z will miss you :((" -- there were no friends to recommend. All this sounds like a lot of work, and especially deleting FB's chats histories was, because the web client was buggy or "buggy". The chats kept coming back. But that made me want to delete them even more.
Quitting FB made a huge difference in the quality of my life as it removed 99% of FOMO and envy wrt. my peers' lives.
2. Add the Leechblock extension to your browser. Set the tab to close every time you type the time wasting URL. It's a nice instrumental conditioning.
3. Quit services cold turkey when you can. "Use in moderation" sets you up for failure. This is because the services learn about your habits every day and they become extremely good at guessing what content keeps you in. E.g. youtube has recently switched to a new search function that improves its search results based on your previous searches. It's scarily accurate. Many of my peers said they noticed it too but didn't think too much of it.
4. You are being actively manipulated. The companies deliberately design the applications as addicting as possible. See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=11dYx_rW_Ks
No wonder a smartphone -- that's a collection of such apps -- is so addicting. Realizing this and the fact the dopamine spikes are artificial, helps you a long way.
This also applies to games. Every "headshot +100 points" is such a tiny dopamine spike. Games didn't used to have those. Your AoE villagers didn't announce "+1 wood" when their axes hit a tree. Consider such features in a game an attempt to manipulate you. If you can't disable the them in game, think of it as the insult to your intelligence it is, and uninstall it. If necessary, once such features are disabled, it's easier to see if the content of the game is a good way to relax and balance out the day's hard work.
5. Disable notifications from every app on every device. Notifications are a massive distraction. "I'll be reachable when it's convenient for me" is a good way to think about it.
You'll be surprised how much stuff you can get done when you don't hang around in group chats, reading headlines, arguing to get Reddit internet points etc. for the entire day.
6. Catch up on the big news via Wikipedia's "In the news" section, not via news sites littered with celebrity gossip, craving for your clicks. It's dry for sure, but there's no better source in catching up with e.g. the ongoing conflict in Tigray. It's also easier to avoid trivial propaganda when majority of stuff is sourced, and people are keen in adding "citation needed" when there is no proper source.
The same kinds of bad behaviours are being done by companies to profit off of addiction
Meaningless points popping up on screen when you do a thing is at least as old as Pac-Man.
Nonetheless, meaningless points popping up on screen where the action is definitely went out of fashion for a long while.
I never cared at all about the points when playing either Mario or Sonic (although they were there, at the top of the screen): the achievement of beating the level was a much greater focus.
As an additional datapoint, recent versions of Firefox doesn't support the leechblock add-on, and my phone usage increased. But when the Leechblock control was working my phone usage was minimal.
May be my addiction is not strong enough, but the utilities that enforce devices limits do help.
For me it took banning the sites entirely, so that when I am met with the "could not connect" screen I realise what's happened and I need to go be mindful so that I can get into an intentional mindset again.
Intentionality in every action is not a useful framing for most people.
I have a smartwatch mounted to my desk which displays notifications as an when it arrives and since most of the notifications doesn't require urgent action; interaction with the phone can be avoided. Of course this can work with smartwatch on the wrist too, but having it mounted on the desk limits interaction with the watch itself.
• More email
My primary mode of professional communication has been email for past two years. No voice calls, No chats, No video calls just email. Avoiding real time communication has improved the quality of communication and my mental well-being in general by reducing anxiety.
It does cost me several business opportunities, 'Sorry, I don't do calls, can we communicate via email' has become downright insulting especially during this era of 'Zoom'. But that's the price I'm willing to pay for better mental health.
Fortunately email remains the last pillar against 'Mobile First' ecosystem and environment amidst several attempts to change it.
When the availability of a smartphone is taken for granted from education to COVID-Free Passport, using cellular connectivity is passively mandated (Mobile Number for unique identity, OTP) I don't think it's even possible to someone to throw away their phone without some serious regulations mandating that freedom.
https://abishekmuthian.com/butt-pomodoro-a-butt-triggered-po... (A project which shows the said desk mounted smartwatch).
https://needgap.com/problems/149-remote-education-for-underp... (How the availability of smartphone, taken for granted has affected education - Disclaimer: It's my problem validation platform).
https://twitter.com/heavyinfo/status/1343461028256833538 (My tweet thread discussing mobile number for identity).
It was because of a small number of overly demanding people that I worked with, I ended up in perpetual fear of overload from having to deal with yet another dreaded message, and the stress stuck after that.
During that time I was still happy to talk with people face to face, phone calls, via chat, etc. It was only emails that I avoided.
Eventually I returned to emails because the people stressing me had disappeared and because I'd found better tools to help filter my inbox; smart real-time filtered views essentially, to help with mental health. It turned email from something to be dreaded to something useful again. It wasn't just filtering out particular people. It was filtering by time and task with some automation.
Now I don't find email stressful, but it's still secondary for me. I'd much rather have a voice call or video chat.
I still don't understand people who love "async only" for work communications. Async is cool for some things, and I relate very much to the joy of not being interrupted. I will happily go for days without talking to anyone, focused on my tasks.
But my email experience had people writing long and argumentative emails that seemed to require hours to reply to thoughtfully (or else consequences), and the back and forth felt like slow-motion difficult meetings where everything took much longer to be said than in a conversation. The adverse effect of those email on flow was much larger than some small interruption from a brief chat.
My favourite thing now if something needs rapid iteration is scheduled voice or video calls about a single issue. I always liked them, but recently they have been rare, so they're a bit of a highlight.
I keep telling myself to get back into being more involved with mailing lists, because that's where I used to be very active. E.g. on linux-kernel a long time ago, I scanned about 1000 mails a day, which was a little tiring but it was ok.
But nowadays when I look at new projects, a lot of them have moved to various chat-like media, which doesn't stress me but seems to require an annoyingly large number of different tools to interact with, and have effectively more limited UI that lacks functionality because it's harder to make custom tooling to handle them.
I like text chats when working with someone on a technical issue, for example debugging some code or a running system with them. Voice chat on headphones is pretty good too, as I can concentrate on things on screen at the same time, like pairing with someone.
I don't like text chats when there's nothing else to do except the conversation itself though, as the timestamps show they go very slowly for what's covered compared with voice, yet just fast enough that it's not possible to pay proper attention while doing something else.
I prefer faster conversations that cover more ground. For those, my favourite is voice, via headphones while going for a long walk.
Because it reads as though maybe you don't remember.
It's not that big of a deal, just put it away.
You need your phone far less than you think you do, just put it away for some occasions, maybe don't take to lunch (or to work).
Being 'homebound' is a great excuse to get rid of it: other than SMS, everything else can be had via the web, and the notebook form factor is not nearly so mobile.
The 'problem' is real but the intensity I think is overblown.
We haven't had phones for the last 10 000 years of civil evolution and 50% of people alive today remember quite clearly a time when we didn't have them and it was just fine.
Finally: "The eventual goal is a rich life" it never was that, that rich. Reading, practising music, walking, watching TV, listening to music - it's not necessarily very 'rich' it's just different for the most part. The romanticized notion of what a 'rich life' is might be a little bit of the problem.
I don't think he spoke specifically to the hyper-specific compulsion, but frankly I was: 'just don't take it with you' - or - 'put it away' and that will certainly deny the compulsion.
You'll use it quite a bit less without thinking about it.
It's not nicotene.
Ironically, I would instinctively use the same arguments for nicotine that you are using for browsing addiction. On an emotional level, I don't understand why people won't just stop buying cigarettes because I can't directly relate to the addiction. But I know better than to dismiss it or look down on smokers since I have parallel experiences. Just like some generations grew up with the internet, other generations grew up with smoking being far more commonplace than today.
This may in no way weaken the point that some of the brightest minds of today are working on producing digital Skinner boxes, black on top, with humans as the rats, interfaced via phones.
But basing an attempt at a strong argument about the addictive nature of cell-phones on an article with low relevance in scientific fields specializing in addiction could be described as suspect (most citations on g.scholar on the piece could be delineated as in the fields of business and management ).
Anecdotally, I recently discussed phone addiction with a youngish tenured professor friend in the psych department at a major university. Two things stood out for me:
1. My academic friend really had a limited understanding of the success of machine learning in driving engagement online. How algorithms can and will enhance whatever mechanism they discover to drive engagement numbers. And how our brains are not wired to compete against them.
2. He took exception to the word addiction in the context of phones. He felt a phone could not drive addiction in the same way as a substance.
My opinion is that our academic research is significantly behind due to the sheer speed and exponential growth of phone/app usage.
I wouldn't expect the field of Psychology to lead research in the area, as you also concluded in your closing statement.
- Minimal web bookmarks (i.e. I have to type in most web sites I want to visit; this is just enough of an encumbrance that I won’t flip open things like Reddit every 30 seconds).
- I never install apps meant for content consumption, I use their web sites. (This is usually a better experience anyway, since the vast majority of them are somehow worse than their web sites, packed with ads/notifications/spying/crap that no one should want anyway.)
- Certain web sites I refuse to use at all on mobile. This gives me a much larger and more useful view anyway, and I can enforce sanity with a lot more plug-ins that way.
- As of latest iOS, I shove most apps into the Library so they are not even on my home screen. That way, they are straightforward to retrieve with a swipe-down search but not as easy as just tapping them open. I find that I use them slightly less this way.
- I turn off many notifications, since app-makers have long abused them anyway (as virtual ads, or designed in some way to suck people back into their apps for no reason; I drew the line when apps started outright lying about things, e.g. red dots implying messages that were not actually there, etc.).
- I set it up so that my lock screen will not show most things without an extra step.
Huh, what browser? Or did you make it not remember anything visited? Don't they all figure out what you want these days? I mean if I type 'r' FF presents me reddit.com, 'n' is news.yconmbinator.com as best match etc. For the sites I visit most, it's actually faster than looking up a bookmark.
One quibble: I also uninstalled most apps, but there isn’t a single one of them with a mobile website that’s better. It really is a far worse experience to have to use the website.
The small screen and keyboard discourage any extended use of my phone.
There is a new US marine commerical out that shows a kid wandering the street kind of lost in hyper interactive world. The commercial plays off of this internet addiction and data mining product selling. Then clips to them becoming a Marine and finding purpose. Its a good commercial because its actually something that is a problem and that the Marines do have an answer, although with a great cost.
Brave New World predicted this. We are removed from community and it is scary so we find one on the internet and we go all in. The physical problems come with the fact that its not interactive but if there was a VR internet those could go away.
That still wouldnt fix the problem that you might feel closer to someone across the world than someone right next to you. And that a Maga hat and Antifa supporter might be neighbors but want to kill eachother.
My phone is that internet/phone addiction is not a problem its a solution. An escape from forever war all around us. Or you could join the Marines. I guess war is inescapable. Que the cranberries song.
I think it's both. People seek an escape and phone apps are extremely addicting.
Is it bad for something to be a "dopamine slot machine" if it's only because it actually allows you to consume knowledge more rapidly/efficiently?
The answer to your question is it depends... I don't think there is anything wrong with playing a dopamine hitting game on a 10 minute bus ride home from work (it's no different than the buzz from a shot of espresso), but if you are spending so much time that you are harming yourself (physically or emotionally) then that's an addiction.
There was a talk posted a few days ago here by Dr Gabor Mate about addiction:
(Skip the 10 min intro, then watch at least the first hour)
His views are very different from the mainstream US view of addiction being substance abuse that can be fixed by restricting access to the drugs.
Books and pen pals can be similarly problematic for some.
Also consider that a big insight might come from many small insights
What’s great is that if you are a hard worker and have a long time horizon, it’s never been easier to extract huge compensation. Wealthy people want to invest to make money without any effort, and learning hard stuff like computer science, mechanical engineering, biochemistry and pharma development, etc. takes a tough decade of study and practice to get skilled enough to really kill it. But once you are an expert you can produce actual stuff that matters and investors can’t find enough smart and talented people willing to actually do stuff, so the premium paid to those that can make entertainment, life saving drugs, productivity-increasing tech, and so on gets ever higher.
Bet on making stuff for the Netflix box and drugs that keep fat people alive longer, and fun games that distract people from reality.
I don't understand the desire to bet on things that would personally enrich you and your investments/companies but decrease overall wellbeing. The capable should build that which guides society towards connection and elevates collective goals, not exploit the exploitable.
I wrote a “hot take” above and am exaggerating, but I truly feel like the world we live in now makes it so easy to avoid discipline and hard choices. So those that accept that getting nice stuff takes effort and discipline will earn great dividends.
Correlation does not imply causation, but that doesn't mean that it can't be causation.
If you eliminate all reasonable additional factors (by controlling variables), you can demonstrate causation. Arguing that there can be unknowable external factors behind everything is not very scientific.
Identifying causal relationships involving humans is difficult due to the excessively multivariate nature of all our interactions, and by extension how difficult it is to "control" humans (as opposed to water, or a wheel). That does not mean it is impossible to ever demonstrate causation.
This sentence is incoherent unless one assumes the denial of causation is bunk, since it makes no sense to attribute either Monadology in general or the specific claims from it being discussed to Leibniz unless he caused the existence of the work, which clearly he cannot have if there is no causation.
Do you mean an individual cost or societal cost?
I think one of the ironies about the human condition is that we value things that we’ve sacrificed toward much more than the things we have not. E.g., Marines have esprit de corps in part because of their sacrifices not despite them.
The strongest connections are often made through hardship. To think we can have that connection without a cost doesn’t seem congruent with how we’re wired
This is the irony for me, my closest friends are people I crunched with at work. Going to breakfast together at 5am was a bonding experience. Staying overnight the day before shipping, etc... I'm not saying I want to force that on anyone but they are actually good memories for me and I made good friends. It helps that they were creative products so we were putting ourselves in them. I don't know how I'd fell crunching on someone else's goal/deadline/project.
There may be disagreements on the individual level, but society creates institutions (like the military) and the policies they execute based on their aggregate values. Or in cliched terms, people get the government they deserve
It only mitgologizes it. That's not the same thing. When they rejoin economy nobody says "let me offer you a job or money or food or a place to live because now you can kill people on miltary command".
The only places where people might find your "skill" worthwhile outside the place that conditioned you are criminal or borderline criminal.
The point I was trying to make is that if society did not value that role it wouldn’t exist. Society as a whole has decided there is a need for a standing army, and funds the continuation of it. Again, individuals may disagree but society at large has decided its of enough value to keep in existence. We don’t do this because of it’s “mythology”, especially not to the tune of $700B a year. We can argue about whether society has a misguided value system, but I think it’s very hard to make a case that society doesn’t value the purpose of the military. That’s a high price tag for mythological storytelling.
The veterans I know would likely argue that the skills they were taught in the military go far beyond the ability to kill. I don’t disagree that (in Rumsfeld’s words) the base intent of the military is to “kill people and break their things” but this is similar to the oversimplification that the only purpose of a company is to make money, full stop. The Marines I know spent more time on humanitarian missions than combat missions.
I firmly believe that's the other way around. Society has ybo say about whether military should exist.
There are always people who prefer to focus on arming themselves and extorting others. Either by threatening or offering protection from threat, which blend together.
People argue whether goverment rules the people, or if the people are actually stronger then goverment and goverment rules just because people will it.
The truth becomes apparent when government and people can't keep stable relationship between themselves and ability to collect tax is threatened. Then the military steps in and supports either government or the people.
That's because the only reason military allows goverments and people do what they do is that it results in steady stream of taxation that military can feed on.
Of course people also benefit from tax being collected in stable and predictable manner instead of military just roaming their country and taking whatever it desires randomly.
Nations, armies and goverments are most advanced mechanisms of keeping human violent extortionists and most dangerous technologies from interfering with the economy.
It's of tremendous benefit to our civilisation, except for two world wars which I hope were enough for militaries to learn that they can't efficiently steal economies to extort from neighbouring militaries.
But nontheless if you join the army you join the organisation that's freeloading on everybody else while sharpening teeth that will be used against them if they misbehave. Until you stay there you are golden. But if you plan to rejoin the rest of the world at some point, time spent in the military will be at best wasted years for you and cause of much damage to your life and psyche at worst due to conditioning and abuse you underwent.
Can you get something good out of it? Sure. But how many ex-military end up in dangerous jobs or without purpose in life outside, treating damage done to them by military with opioids? You probably don't have them in your social circle but I'd say there are at least a few for each one of your ex-Marine friends doing charity.
This belief of mine is mostly based on concept of "monopoly for violence" if you want to read more about it.
To the overall point of this thread, that lack of connection in society is part of what draws many back to rejoining
It is not just camaraderie and connection, it is whole different expectations on what you should do. It is difficulty to find and keep job for example. Not having required skills, having trouble to communicate.
As the child of an enlisted Air Force solidier who served for 20 years, I always thought the Air Force got the worst rap of the branches. The "chair force" moniker didn't help.
https://youtu.be/UMoLKLM8SMg Fun story time by an ex-air force guy who was going to join up to the marines (4:30).
That Maga hat and antifa might not be as opposed in views if they talked to each other. The problem is that we've reduced friction for finding like minded people so far that it's not worth it to go through the unpleasantness of talking with strangers.
An individual can have extreme views and end up inside an echochamber that makes them think they're in the company of millions when in reality it's just a handful of others (and probably some bot accounts).
You seem to be ignoring the possibility that these people come to these ideologies because of the Internet, which leads to the hollowing-out of community coherence that you mention.
Wait, is it a problem that some have remote friendships that are closer than those physically near them? If so why?
Which isn't too say proximity is bad. It can be a relationship enhancer, and so can distance.
Could you be a bit more scientific with your argument?
Perhaps we should bring back a year of mandatory military service. Or some other kind of mandatory community service.
But purpose was never mentioned, they seen it more of as waste of time.
That isn't how I remember Brave New World; it was about amusing ourselves to death with trivia instead of dealing with "important" things, but the sense of community in it was pretty strong - people grew up with and lived with the same local group of people, worked together, played Centrifugal Bumble-Puppy together, orgied together, and took soma to keep them all content. The main complaint they all had was why Bernard couldn't just be happy and join in the community.
Brave New World celebrated the twist-reveal where Bernard learns that exile to Iceland isn't a gulag but is really joining a distant group of people who don't like the society and want to live their own way like he does. I'm never sure if that should be taken at face value, or if it was a lie and the place was really a prison camp, but let's assume it was an honest and accurate reveal - that would be the opposite of your complaint, Bernard was lost and scared at having no community, was pushed toward a remote one he might fit in, and the book is all about how great that is that he doesn't have to waste his life doing just what the people around him are doing and that he can feel closer aligned with a group across the world than someone right next to him, and should take advantage of that.
> "An escape from forever war all around us"
The forever war was 1984, and that's not about Winston joining the Marines to find meaning in his life, it's about using the two minutes' hate to reinforce tribe membership by uniting everyone against a hate figure/group, and the strong (IngSoc) beating down the weak (objectors) until everyone is stamped into the same shape (boot on human face / industrial machine moulding stamp), the reveal at the end of 1984 isn't that Winston joined the Marines and escaped the forever war like Bernard escaped the trivia, it's that Winston came to love Big Brother and agree with everything good that Big Brother is and was and always would be, it's the equivalent of Bernard taking the soma and blending into the society and agreeing it was right all along, it's one or other of your Maga hat and Antifa supporter becoming overwhelmingly dominant, the state enforcing it, and the other being subsumed by it and liking it until there isn't anything else.
> "internet/phone addiction is not a problem its a solution. I guess war is inescapable."
Hence the Yin-Yang forever circling each other. There's no solution to whether white or black is better, or whether matter or energy is better, or whether hot is better than cold, both books posit an end - one that is either agreeable or disagreeable to the reader, but an end nonetheless - real life doesn't have ends it has circles, loops, repeats, back and forths, changing fortunes, ups and downs, births and deaths.
Maga hat and Antifa supporter both love their America, and their America doesn't include murdering thy neighbor. They might "want to kill each other" but each would like the other one realising how dumb they are and changing sides.
Well, you can find a lot of message boards in which they fantasize about doing this. And it sells a lot of weapons. But the energy barrier is high; people like Kyle Rittenhouse cross it only rarely enough that they can be dismissed as isolated incidents. It's not every day that someone blows up a telephone exchange. Just another isolated incident.
Don't forget the people that shot at him and tried to stomp his head in.
[Helpfully] I believe you meant "cue."
There's even a dedicated reddit for this fallacy.
Funny that you've mistyped "phone" instead of "theory".
Must be a Freudian phone.
We were on the beach sitting on blankets, and my phone somehow got lost in the folds of the blanket while I was coming up. For the next ~4 hours I basically forgot "who" I was, being deprived of a phone that constantly shows me my friends, notes, and pictures. Eventually, I did find my phone and it was the weirdest experience ever to look at my phone and slowly start "remembering" who I am.
I'm afraid it's a pass from me on investment. ;)
Which PAAS (psychedelic-as-a-service) would you pay the most money for?
It's a great way to sell drugs because you can always claim that whatever is stashed in the backseat was left by one of your passengers.
re: the business and yogafication of psychedelics
Quite a long story but I found it thought-provoking.
Why bother stopping a bad habit? That takes effort. Much better to play Russian Roulette with mind altering substances.
(Assuming you are referring to the article about mushrooms)
I know two people, one of whom successfully jumped from the 3rd floor of a building and another that had to be restrained from doing so. It's a real risk, although I personally have done psychedelics many hundreds of times and never felt the urge to jump even when climbing trees, building exteriors, etc.
If you're in the former camp (taking real acid), I have a truly hard time believing the anecdotes of bad things happening. And I think most anecdotes are actually stories from the latter camp. Just take a small dose and know that you can take the edge off with a beer if you really needed to.
But if you're in the latter camp where you don't even know what you're taking, I'm not particularly surprised if something bad happens.
I get a certain uncomfortable bodily sensation on LSD, to the point that after fifty or sixty experiences with it I no longer use it. I strongly prefer mushrooms and suggest mixing them with small amounts of MDMA for an incredible experience.
It would be more useful to break down more specific problems: anxiety from not checking notifications, mental health from comparing your life to perfect social media, etc. Those can be targeted and fixed.
However, perfection is the enemy of good. The more complicated you make the diagnoses and more specific the criteria, the more difficult it becomes to engage with the concept.
For the average smartphone user, the criteria for identifying potentially detrimental smartphone addiction needs to be as simple as possible.
> But if I described the above as “they were on their phone for 7 hours straight” it sounds unhealthy, even though it’s the same.
Being on your phone for 7 hours straight is not healthy, regardless of what you're doing. Much better to do work and research on a proper screen that you're not holding 9 inches from your face, and much better to sit with proper posture instead of craning your neck at a smartphone.
The problem with trying to divide everything into ultra-specific categories is that addicts are very good at rationalizing away their problems. For example, someone addicted to social media might justify it as keeping up with their social life, and someone addicted to 24/7 news headlines would justify it as keeping up with current events. Give enough leeway, and an addict can easily justify away 90% of their smartphone usage as beneficial, all while letting a smartphone take away from other, healthier activities in their life.
The greyscale one in particular is fascinating, and I can feel the effect immediately if I disable the greyscaling in the evening. The colours are like candy for the sensory system. Instagram is downright boring in black and white :)
I wonder if there is some way to configure the same black and white mode on my laptop between certain times.
If on Linux: https://www.reddit.com/r/linuxquestions/comments/ko29dw/mono...
came here to mention greyscale - I took the greyscale challenge back in 2017 and never went back. I would catch myself pulling out my phone for no other reason than just to look at it, greyscale basically cured that habit. many people have reported similar experiences w/going gray.
Same for all social media. This is the only site I use that could be categorized like that.
I find that having a phone is like having a menu that has too many options. You just never seem like your happy with what you're choosing. There is something nice about not having an infinite library of music that you can skip every song to get to the next song to skip.
It's not all bad, but you definitely have to be mindful. One thing I miss the most about my younger years is being able to ride in a vehicle and just look out the window at things. Now I find myself going to the same tired things on my phone...
I will still say I use my laptop more to do stuff I might have done on my phone but it feels like less of a problem to me since I don't carry my laptop around with me everywhere. I just do what I might have normally done then put the laptop away and don't think about it again. Having just a little division between my online life and real life is just enough to make me feel sane again.
Not sure if it's just me, but this is getting very hard to separate during quarantine. I often remember conversations that happened over text as having happened in person. Perhaps my mind is accounting for the lack of face-to-face interaction.
As argued by many in the comments section, forceful, explicit counter-measure (like hiding your phone or installing a block app) can be good temporary solutions but aren't efficient in the long-term. The problem may live deeper in ourselves, as some fundamental lack -- my point is maybe we're inclined to do this because we're kind of lost as regards to what really drives us.
If nobody had phones the interest in them would fade for anyone being given a phone, because let's be honest here: how much content are you dealing with that hasn't involved using internet to access somebody ELSE's stuff? News is other people doing things, learning is other people teaching us, chatting is with other people, etc.
I can perhaps see a sci-fi take on internet usage being given out through world-government prescriptions, rationed access to the "escape world". Which reminds me of the setting for Ready Player One and its slums, just without the fanservice and with a much more realistic and grim vibe.
It's not that drugs are of concern to citizens but the people involved in the supply side are essentially directly challenging the government in a market that it refuses to regulate.
Whoever holds control over the apparatus for distributing violence the most efficiently and at large scale ultimately dictates the laws. Anybody posing a challenge to this basic low common denominator will become a target of the State which declares itself as the sole monopoly over violence.
This is why I believe countries fight all the time, it is simply not enough to hold monopoly over your own borders, to maintain its "large security apparatus" it needs new threats otherwise it stops growing, losing momentum and many groups declaring their own autonomous zones will find it easy to challenge the government as we saw in Syria and Arab Spring countries.
Especially Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp and Twitter. All of which seem designed to cultivate obsessive compulsive behavior in their users with social proof, intermittent rewards and a builtin hedonic treadmill.
If the headline were about television addiction would you question if it’s the TV set or the shows?
So I guess I agree - the problem isn’t the hardware but then nobody really ever thought it was. I think that’s why my tv analogy works.
The phones and the operating software they run are built to discourage anything that isn't media consumption or passive app use.
Now I just lock my phone for certain amount of time and try to do something else or engage myself into new things such as reading, learning new skills and etc
For me kitchen safe has worked and it has helped me cope with my phone addiction and allowed me to stay away from my phone before going to bed which has improved my sleep quality
With the cellular version and the appropriate mobile contract you're not bound to the iPhone bluetooth range anymore.
During the day if I’m working I’ll put my phone into kitchensafe for like 30 or 45mins so I can focus on the task without looking at my phone.
As far as calls are concerned if they are important they’ll probably leave voicemail and I’ll get back to them right away
Lastly I usually keep my phone locked at night before going to bed as It helps me stay away from it
Oh the vileness, the violence. I'm now completely convinced marijuana is the devil's lettuce! Don't just tell your children, TELL EVERY CHILD!
EDIT: to add, people, watch the 1938 release, the 36 has poorer image/sound quality.
For HN, I use 'noprocast' with maxvisit at 10 and minaway at 160. HN has become the home page of the internet for me. Is both entertaining and informative and therefore very addictive.
1. Delete social media apps and use web version instead. (like twitter, facebook, linkedin.)
2. By doing step 1, you may overuse web version of social media platforms also. To prevent this, use a website blocking application. I use BlockSite. Make BlockSite password protected, so you cannot update/remove blocked sites easily.
3. Use a long password to unlock your phone.
Today, I do not use social media at all. I just check once a week wikipedia's main to page for the latest news. Entering a long password introduces a 5-7 seconds delay to open your phone and to surf on internet. So because of this 5-7 seconds overhead, i usually decide not to touch my phone if it is really not required. But without this overhead, since it was too easy to surf on internet, i usually decided to do so and spent lots of time unnecessarily.
And for hackernews, I was checking https://news.ycombinator.com/best frequently. Then i have developed, www.hntoplinks.com (hacker news aggregator daily/weekly/montly...) 7 years ago, but eventually started to spend too much time on my own web page and finally added subscription feature.
So I have subscribed for weekly and monthly and annual top news. I receive an email on Monday morning 7AM, before starting the week. I just go through links and it gives me a good overview of the week. I do not use https://news.ycombinator.com/ and www.hntoplinks.com directly anymore.
I sat down at my desktop with my coffee. The first thing I did was fire up Unity and Visual Studio to continue some work on learning about networked multiplayer games. I spent about 2 hours reading API documentation and prototyping different things. I came away feeling like I had learned something and was making progress on a thing I care about.
After that I picked up my phone. I spent an hour scrolling through different news sites and jumping between apps. I came away feeling depressed, anxious, and like I just wasted an hour of my life on meaningless information consumption.
I’m sure some people have the same experience on a desktop/laptop and others can use their phone for creative endeavors, but for me, personally, the differences in experience between the two environments is quite stark.
When I was growing up, before computers were in your pocket, the computers were big and under the desk. The big and under your desk computers had connections to BBSes via a modem and a landline, and later, the Internet. It's the same thing, except the big computer doesn't fit under the pillow at the bedstand. There was addiction to that in a similar way and for similar reasons.
It's a social tool being exploited. There were people addicted to the landline phone and talking for hours every day, it was just nothing remotely as harmful by comparison to craning your neck down as you look at some attractive person's video in their bathing suit from their palace in the Caribbean and feel envy and hollow when comparing your circumstance.
I've learned to be okay with dicking around on my phone, but with some caveats:
* All notifications are turned off. No exceptions.
* Phone is only turned on when I'm home alone and not working or doing some focused activity.
- Exception to this rule is that I can use my phone for its actual utility outside the house (e.g., phone calls, maps).
Rather than banning distraction altogether, I accept that it's inevitable and dedicate my phone to it. I find that this strikes a balance where I can spend quality time alone while still allowing for the occasional indulgence.
A lot of apps I still had on my phone were installed in my “enthusiast” stage of iPhone living, and they never went away. Once I started over, I was just fine minimal-ing my iPhone life.
Instead of immediately jumping to HN or "yet another youtube conference video for some language I'm only tangentially curious about", I use a browser extension (Leechblock) to give myself a lot of time (an hour) at the end of the day.
This trick works in two ways
1. when I feel that urge during the workday, my emotional brain thinks "oh boy! a whole hour of this at the end of the day! I can totally wait because it will be an hour!"
2. when that hour comes, I find I only browse around for maybe 10 minutes before I get bored.
ymmv but after trying to go "cold turkey" for the longest time, this was the best solution I could figure out. I genuinely like the info on HN / certain parts of youtube, but having them as some emotional relief mechanism that I would get a "hit" from myriad times each day was the unhealthy part.
This happened to me when I moved all my YouTube / News-Aggregator consoomption to checking RSS feeds once a week - I went from watching hours of videos a day to almost none. And those blog articles look a lot less compelling when you aren't using them to escape from schoolwork.
1. Walking and exploring
2. Working out
4. Build something
5. Go meet other people
Great app idea that I would be interested in using, but this isn't very reassuring. I'll have to pass.
I have several addictions. I like to call them 'reasons to live'. Music is one. Some people may wish I'd be cured of my addiction to breathing. In which case I wish the same for them; we'll see who wins.
Then again, having near constant access to almost all human knowledge can render a man rather unwilling to retain information.
I know it's not the platforms to blame, it's still on me, but it certainly didn't help that they are so damn addictive. It's crazy that in 2021 things like this depend on who's seen what and when.
She just walked out the door and then I see this post.
Especially Samsung have built-in some excellent tools for helping managing screen time.
Myself I am terrible with Twitter/Reddit and can easily waste hours there, but my S10 locks the apps after 45m usage per day.
Settings, then choose Accessibility > Display & Text Size > Color Filters. Turn the Color Filters toggle switch on, and Grayscale appears as the top option
I am genuinely curious about how your friend perceives gambling addiction? Can gambling drive an addiction response? If so, what is different from gambling and the stimulus provided by phones? Random rewards with unknown odds.