Addicted to little red berries

“We must give up many things to which we are addicted, considering them to be good. Otherwise, courage will vanish, which should continually test itself. Greatness of soul will be lost, which can’t stand out unless it disdains as petty what the mob regards as most desirable.”
 — Seneca, MORAL LETTERS, 74.12b-13
I’m addicted to these little red berries that pop up on my phone’s screen. Each of them vie for my attention like little red doors with a wonderful prize behind them.
Who sent me a message?
Who wants my friendship in their life?
What new update does that game I never got around to delete have?

Are these berries really that desirable? My brain seems to think so. The reward system has me hooked. And while I could talk about facebook/social media addiction, there are already so, many, articles, about, it. There are some good cases for turning of cellphone notifications out there too. You can deny how addicted you are, or have full blown pride in the fact that you are a certified social media red berry connoisseur, posting shit and checking every second for a response from your audience.

facebook nothing scoion dagger refresh
If you’re addicted, and are aware of the effects, AND choose to remain in your red berry bliss, then.. I’ll get back to you later in the post.

I have notes from two years ago that summarized studies on how social media correlates highly with feelings of:

  • envy
  • negative moods
  • ostracism
  • depression
  • anger

All especially when the consumption of social media is passive in nature. Then again, social media use could be a symptom itself, but no matter how many of these articles propagate in the ether, (bad) habits die hard.

We can, however, manage to kill them one by one, little by little.

facebook internet social network social networking

For months now, I’ve disabled all notifications from facebook and fb messenger (here’s how). I can tell you first hand that the less berries there are on my phone, the more attention I have to put into stuff I really love to do. I read more, and I wrote this wonderful blog post for you. The most urgent facebook messages will turn into text messages or phone calls, so you won’t really miss out on much if you don’t get an immediate ping from your friends.

The thing is, even when I turn of the red berries in some apps, there are still red berries in other apps. That’s fine, what’s important at the end of it all is that the things that take your attention should be the things that you WANT to take your attention.

We can’t ensure our facebook friends post quality content all the time, we can only filter them out if they have a streak of time wasting, mind-numbing contributions to our news feed.

Which brings me to my next point, why even go through your news feed if the quality is rarely that great? Get rid of it, your life will become a little brighter. You’d be doing one less activity which most people spend so much time on that falls in the lower-right quadrant of an Eisenhower Box.

Percolate Galactic facebook depression timeline scrolling

Honestly though, the way I see it, when it comes to social media posts, the people who are supposed to be your “friends” are truly your enemies, ESPECIALLY when they post things that add no value to your life.
Sure your mom might post some frivolous article on a conspiracy theory about how your favorite TV show is secretly giving you cancer while making you less likely to accept Jesus, so yes, even your mom can be an enemy when it comes to the battle for your time and attention. Don’t accept her friend request.
Let her call you on the phone. Let it ring, pick up, say “I love you” and then hang up. Your time on earth is too precious to waste! Why waste it on a news feed!?
Then think about all your other friends whose addiction you’re enabling. How many shit posts do you click like on only to feed a juicy red berry to spawn yet another shit post.
Think about all the attention-hogging posts you put up when some of your friends could be fulfilling their dreams instead. What if your facebook post is a source of their unhappiness? What if you are the bad guy in their coming-of-age story because you shared that dumb video that just showed up on their news feed?
Ok, I’ll get off my soap box (although I love it up here).
If you decide to be addicted to red berries, make them few and make them worth it.
Guy Trefler facebook social media notifications guytrefler

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