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Information Addiction: How to Detox From It

Follow these seven steps to kick your smart phone addiction and live a richer, more fulfilling life.

Courtesy of Lonneke EngelThe old me, checking my phone while walking on the streets of NYC.
Information Addiction: How to Detox From It

Thanks to technology, our lives have become so much easier and better organized. We can search for and find anything we want, whenever we want, on the Internet. We read and learn about everything and anything. Now there are even apps for everything you can imagine.

We order fashion, food and gifts online, we read the news, we watch videos. It is pretty great! Some of us interact with people even more on social media than in real life. But maybe all that technology and information comes at a cost. Many of us are suffering more and more from a so-called “information overdose."

How can we filter what we need to know without getting obsessed? How can we detox our lives from the ever-increasing amount of apps, websites and information that is thrown at us each day? And how can we keep focusing on things that matter in our own lives and live in the moment without losing sight of what’s going on around us? How can we find balance?

When I realized I had a problem.
I recently received an email from YouBeauty stating:

Distressing world news can make you feel worse about your personal life.”

Yes, it’s true for me as well! When I read too much of the bad things that are going on in the world, I can feel pretty down because I feel the need to help everyone, fix the situation myself, and use my voice to let everyone know what is going on. I especially feel I need to inform the clueless people who have no idea what is going on because I think that they are not aware, and maybe even ignorant. But maybe some of those people are not ignorant; maybe they are just better at filtering all the news and information. They are better at shielding themselves from bad news and too much information, and choose only to work with what they find the most important, and in the meantime live their lives the best way they possibly can.

I used to check my Twitter, Facebook and Instagram multiple times a day, like every hour or more. I would send out messages to the world so much, and be interactive with others, that it swallowed up a large part of my day. I felt it was my duty to use my voice to inform people about global disasters, about why it is important to eat organic food and not GMO foods, why fracking is a no-go and why you need to adopt a pet instead of buying one at the pet store. I was doing so much at once, and I was not focusing at all. The strange thing is that in the end it seems I did not make much of difference. It just took up a lot of time, and after every day, my head was spinning. I only realized how much time I spent on social media when I accidentally left my phone at home.

I also realized most of what I was doing in my day on social media, even though it came from a good heart, wasn’t making me feel that great emotionally. It actually made me sad. I asked myself: Does it make me any happier seeing people “like” my picture or my story? Do I really make a difference this way right now? Do I really need to read all news? Do I really need to share all that makes me sad? The answer: not really.

Also, when I noticed that every picture people took of me captured me typing away on my phone, I realized it’s too much. I am a bit of an addict and I need to change that so I can live more in the moment, be consciously hanging out with the people I am with at dinners, and only take in the information I need so it does not drive me crazy.

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