Looking for a better way to get up out of bed

Instead of getting on the Internet and checking a new hit me. Get up!
– Mackelmore
Recently, a very big instagrammer – Sorrelle Amore had mentioned feeling addicted to her phone and the hits she felt from Instagram likes. Social media is like a slow drip of Opiates. You check it, sometimes, there are new updates. Or zero. Refresh. Refresh.

You keep staying engaged due to the “hit”.

I noticed I would wake up looking at it — and I would have a string of notifications. I would look at it between sets at the gym, at work, and laying in bed… keeping me up for endless amounts of time. (I don’t even want to admit how long). It had become an automatic response to keep checking it. on. repeat.

 

You probably do the same!! BUT don’t feel bad. I think many of us have the same issue and you don’t even realize… Instagram and many other apps were designed to be addictive.

It literally runs on the strongest reinforcement schedule; Variable-Interval (VI) schedule. In the context of operant conditioning, a variable schedule means the behavior (checking Instagram) is being rewarded (with likes, comments, dms) on an inconsistent schedule. This inconsistency keeps you coming back for more, because you never know when the hits going to show up.

Now you’re sucked into the dopamine-driven feedback loop. – Gotcha bitch!

Feeling myself being sucked into the endless Instagram vortex, I decided I needed a fucking break! So this is what I did, I deleted Instagram for 5 days to really test myself and hopefully get some mental clarity. Here is what those 5 days looked like:

 

During Day 1 & 2

1. I was distracted and not present
My mind was endlessly wandering. Did I just give myself ADD? Normally I would check my phone, even at the most inappropriate times. After the app was deleted, I still found myself checking the phone, clicking on the phantom spot it use to be in. I was definitely addicted.

2. I felt anxious
Between breaks or free periods in my day, I didn’t have anything to look at. I had not realized before how much I looked at it out of boredom or awkwardness. I didn’t know what to do myself. — “I’m  not sure what to do with my hands…”

 

AFTER Day 3

I started to get some comfort back. Freedom was upon me. I didn’t have anyone to respond to, no one to compare my work with. I did not waste my mornings in bed checking up on things, and I was just able to start and get through my day.

It was so refreshing! – I was no longer a slave to my phone… slowly!!

When getting back on – I did have a little FOMO, but this is what I learned.

 

The 3 Main Takeaways From the Instagram Break:

1. Learn to Set Boundaries

Give yourself a few structured times in your day to check Instagram and engage with people. And stop responding to people immediately. You’re just training them that you’re always available to them whenever they want, and you’re allowing yourself to be distracted.

If you give yourself specific times to check IG, especially during the work day, you will start becoming more present and focused in your day. You are in control. Don’t let your phone control you!

2. Don’t Forget to Live in the Present

Live now or forever hold your peace. Once you are able to set boundaries, you stop reacting. If you’re not in a reactive mindset, you will be able to remain present. – You don’t need to share every sunset or hot topic of your day. Also take breaks from viewing other people’s stories. When you view less of other people’s moments, you can skip out on the FOMO and you can be grateful for your breath, the sun on your skin, and those moments in good company.

3. Creativity Expands When You Unplug

The pressure is off. You are not visually bombarded by other peoples art, and you have no expectation to deliver anything on a timeline. When you free yourself from those constrictions you allow your mind to flow naturally. Having zero inhibitions will do you wonders when it comes to expanding your creativity.

 

Now it’s your turn. Zoom out a little bit and look at the whole picture. How does it feel? πŸ˜‰

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