Our intent at Defiance West is to help with Fitness, Health and Wellness. Below are simplified reasons why we want to challenge you in taking a break from social media for the month of October.
1. Time: 3 Billion humans are currently committing 2-3 hours daily on the primary social platforms. Are any of us actually thinking, “Tomorrow, I’m going to wake up and check my phone 150 times impulsively throughout the day. While I’m at it, I’ll just toss two and half hours (plus or minus) at FB, IG, YouTube, Twitter, etc..”? Unfortunately, that’s the math. What would you do with another 56-84 HOURS A MONTH? You might be below the average but out time is still limited, let's spend it in life giving areas.
2. Attention: As far as the human nervous system and brain go most of us have about 3-4 hours tops of quality attention to give on any given day. Extractive technologies increase your arousal states so you pay attention. The problem here is that IF you’re giving 2-3 hours of attention to platforms in a provoked, aroused state you are by definition limiting what of YOU is left for other likely more important things.
NOTE: Time and Attention of humans is how these companies value. The companies are great at what they do. And the price for participating is that we are amplifying impulsivity, anxiety and depression.
3. Impulsivity at the expense of Intentionality: Again 3 Billion people are averaging 2-3 hours a day practicing impulsivity, reacting to what the algorithms want us to pay attention to. If, in these moments of scrolling and liking we actually reflected, “Is this what I truly want to be doing in this moment? Are these behaviors (actions) most in line with my intention as a person?” Probably not. But, these platforms are not designed to get us to our higher reflective selves (as there isn’t much money in that… for the moment). Rather, extractive technologies are designed to capitalize on our impulsivity and reward us. “Fetch boy, go get a like!” Every time we play fetch they get better and better at predicting human impulsivity. Throwing us more and more scrolls to go and pant for more. Now that’s power. I’ve yet to hear this: “For 50-90 hours a month did impulsivity training staring at a screen with little to no intent and man am I happy and feeling great!” The point is that it is math. Are you spending REAL time conditioning impulsivity or intentionality?
4. Negative Emotions: Impulsivity is the fertilizer of fear, anxiety, and depression. Clinical diagnoses of both anxiety and depression have dramatically increased due to social media use. The impulsivity training we are doing is ramping up our anxiety and depression. Concurrently, sincere human empathy is a partial solution to this and notoriously absent from social media. In fact, as psychologists are pointing out, the more time spent on social media the less empathy one feels. Effectively, the platforms amplify negative emotions and nullify the helpful ones. That’s not the kind of graph I want to run for a population I lead.
We did this challenge last November and it had a positive impact on many that participated and my own life as well. I have reduced or eliminated my time on many of these platforms since then. But I can still do better and I want that time to do things that are more life giving for me.