What was the first thing you saw this morning when you opened your eyes?
Was it the sun kissed shoulder of your lover?
Or was it your inconveniently placed snooze button, along with an endless stream of notifications, reminders and half-sentence emails?
No offence to your love life but I’m going to guess it was the latter.
I'll also guess that despite heavy protests from your bladder, twenty minutes of scrolling may have passed before you even made it of bed. Perhaps you're even reading this in bed right now.
Don't feel too bad about it. Our phones and social media apps are designed to make us forget instantly why we went on there in the first place.
And unlike a newspaper or a book, they don’t provide any stopping cues either. There’s nothing to tell you’ve reached the end. There simply is no end.
Add to the mix some lovely hits of dopamine every time someone likes our clever #hashtag, six-pack or cat video, and you’ve got an intoxicating morning brew.
But just think about how lovely it would be to be free from distraction and attention thieves first when you first wake up.
Think how awesome it might be to reclaim those first twenty minutes as the time to do some journaling, meditation, physical exercise, or even simply getting a bit of extra sleep.
If that sounds tempting, then by all means keep reading.
I've got a little challenge for you at end, which your bladder will thank you for.
The rats are leaving the sinking ship
Social media releases feel good chemicals. Here’s what happens in your brain while you get high on Facebook likes.
Yet, it’s curious how more and more Silicon Valley tech executives themselves are fearful of a ‘smartphone dystopia’. If even the inventor of the Facebook ‘like’ button bans his children from using apps, it’s probably not just Phantom Vibration Symptom he’s concerned about.
The good, the bad and the ugly
Smart phone use isn’t all bad of course. Some apps are actually pretty miraculous and useful.
But as you’ll see in this TED talk, we spend three times more time on apps that we describe ourselves as making us unhappy than we do on the ones that do makes us happy.
So if you feel it’s time to turn this hyper connectivity down a notch or two, then here are 15 very practical ways to combat your social media use.
Scruffy knights in tiny armours
As an online life coach I should probably have figured it out a little earlier, but I knew I had a problem with dating apps some years ago when I had to expand my Tinder radius to 100km, simply because I'd run out of guys to swipe, despite living in a city of eight million people.
This article shows I’m not the only one. It has some great insights on why riding this validation/rejection roller coaster is so damn addictive, and the dark role some of the web developers play in keeping us hooked.
On the plus side, relationships that start online are more likely to last longer, so may you and Masc4masc69 chat happily ever after.
My challenge for you this week
For the next seven days only, I'd like you to not use your phone for the first 60 minutes after waking up.
Put your phone on flight mode (or at least night mode) before you go to bed. When the time comes, turn your alarm off, get out of bed, and then don’t look at your phone again (including your notifications) for the first hour of the day.
Let me know if you’re up for the challenge; if you want to share with me how you’re getting on, please email me on firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you'd like to play with my dopamine buttons, then please kindly share the heck out of this newsletter through email, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Grindr, Scruff, etc. .
Or, if you’d like a confidential free chat to discuss your relationship with apps and social media and how coaching might help, please get in touch.