You Need to Put Down Your Phone Nowlancetrend
It’s almost quaint to think of what the internet was like was back in 2008, the first time Lifehacker recommended making it a practice to “unplug” from computers and smartphones one night a week, every week. Back then, Twitter and Facebook were in their infancies and MySpace ruled the social media sphere, which was a far friendlier—or at least less insidious—place. Far fewer of us owned smartphones, let alone used social media apps designed to turn us into digital addicts. The president didn’t primarily communicate with the American public through rage tweets.
In 2020, social media, politics, and the pandemic have all conspired to make us even more reliant on our devices, to the detriment of our mental health. A study by Pennsylvania State University and Jinan University in Guangzhou, China directly links the use of social media with increased anxiety since the start of the coronavirus crisis. Now, perhaps more than ever, it is time to put down our fucking phones.
This is something I’ve known I should do for a long time, but especially this year—especially this past week, during which the FBI’s thwarting of an attempted coup by domestic terrorists was only like the fourth most bizarre thing that happened—it has become increasingly apparent that it is vital I do so. The news cycle will continue to spin on whether I’m refreshing Twitter or not. I need at least one day of blessed silence (even if it does trigger withdrawal symptoms).
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