Distracted times: the illusion of always keeping up
Yesterday I was super distracted at work. Looking back, I think it’s been going on for the past couple of weeks. I’m having this twitch of reaching out for my phone every moment of a small pause. Let’s say I’m calling someone, and those seconds when I’m waiting for the other person to pick up, I look at my phone, trying to check something. It’s an unconscious behaviour. It’s kinda scary to notice it and then realize it was automatic: I had no conscious choice over it.
I’m getting better with my phone: deleting the Discord app made it way less interesting. But I still have that urge to look up things online. I feel like I’ve been conditioned to do that, even when I don’t need it.
Throughout the day I find myself opening the browser. I might be in the middle of a task and something gets unclear or fuzzy, I get frustrated and open a tab. I look at my bookmarks. I keep on switching tabs, checking my bookmarks. I keep waiting for something interesting to happen. Waiting to be entertained.
So I need some time off. One website I’ve been visiting more and more during the day is Mastodon. Similar to the Discord app on my phone, Mastodon is one of the main drivers for my behaviour. Even though Mastodon doesn’t have algorithms and I’ve curated my timeline for it to be less overwhelming, I still have this illogical urge to check it.
I think it has to do with the “Twitter-like” format. Information is too scattered, it's too noisy, too random. This format of short asynchronous messages creates the illusion of cool things happening all the time. It inherently generates FOMO. This “Always Keep Up” method of being online is extremely draining to me. So I guess these micro-blogging formats are not for me anymore.
I’m not deleting my account yet, but I will not use Mastodon for 30 days and re-evaluate. I’m logging out from all my devices and adding the address to the blocked list on all my browsers.
I’ll keep on blogging here. I will still read my RSS feed, which is highly curated and I don’t get FOMO from it.
I’ll check how I’m doing in a week and observe if other sources of distraction will replace Mastodon.
Post 19/100 of 100DaysToOffload challenge!
By Noisy Deadlines Minimalist in progress, nerdy, introvert, skeptic. I don't leave without my e-reader.