As I mentioned in my previous posts (read them here and here), I had been contemplating taking a social media break for awhile and I was greatly influenced by various research and articles I had read. While it may not seem like a big deal to some to take time away from sites and apps like Facebook and Instagram, these platforms are places where I spend a lot of effort and time sharing and promoting my work, connecting with press and interested followers, and touching base with friends and colleagues.
Here are some of thought-provoking books and articles that I found helpful in understanding my own social media use, the impact such use is having on my brain and life, and how to thoughtfully take a break.
Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport - This book is a must for anyone contemplating the growing role social media is playing in his or her life. Newport's gist is that you should create a philosophy for your own use of technology, one that is rooted in intentionality and based on your deep values. He recommends taking a month away from social media platforms and then reassessing how you want to use technology going forward to maximize its value and minimize its harms.
Putting Down Your Phone May Help You Live Longer by Catherine Price (New York Times) - Price discusses smartphone-induced stress and how "by chronically raising levels of cortisol, the body’s main stress hormone, our phones may be threatening our health and shortening our lives."
Brain Drain: The Mere Presence of One’s Own Smartphone Reduces Available Cognitive Capacity by Adrian F. Ward, Kristen Duke, Ayelet Gneezy, and Maarten W. Bos for the Journal of the Association for Consumer Research - The authors describe how "results from two experiments indicate that even when people are successful at maintaining sustained attention—as when avoiding the temptation to check their phones—the mere presence of these devices reduces available cognitive capacity." YIKES!
11 reasons to stop looking at your smartphone by K. Thor Jensen and Jason Cohen (PCMag) - This post rounds-up various articles and studies about the impact our smartphones have on various aspects of our lives.