Despite what conspiracy believers say, social media is not killing us. In fact, social media generally can be a force for positive connection and good in the world. However… most apps have to engage you as much as possible in order to grow. Their success is based on your social media engagement. This is the tricky bit – they are designed to claim as much of your time throughout the day as possible, breaking up your attention as much as they can. You might think you’re not on it that much, but you’re on it frequently – and that adds up. The result is that our brain gets rewired for concentration and satisfaction, which can be very detrimental to development of your mind.
Low attention span as a result of social media engagement
We all know the feeling – mindlessly scrolling on Instagram, not taking in anything but unable to stop moving our thumbs. The reason this happens is because we’re conditioned to turn to social media every time we’re remotely bored. It lets us pause our inspiration and imagination, both of which require concentration.
So how do I fix it my nasty social media engagement habits?
There’s plenty of ways to start improving your attention span right away. Here are our top 5 picks:
- Track your time – if you’re working, break up your tasks in achievable time blocks. Enforce your little “phone ban” during those times and allow yourself to do whatever you please whenever you have breaks.
- Take a digital sabbath – we suggest doing this for at least half a day on Saturday on Sunday. The more you do it, the more you’ll enjoy it!
- Meditate – if you’re not used to meditating, get started in a very simple way: carve out 5 minutes to do (and think) absolutely nothing at the start and at the end of your day.
- Stay hydrated – we don’t need to tell you about the obvious health benefits of drinking plenty of water. Beyond what you might already know, staying hydrated can have a very positive effect on your focus too.
- Take notes by hand – this goes a long way, as it keeps you away from your phone / laptop and connects you to your offline environment. It also prevents you from seeing all sorts of notifications coming in while you’re trying to take notes.
Improving your attention span will come with tons of benefits:
+ you will finish tasks quicker and more enjoyably
+ a state of flow is more achievable (which we all know is peak)
+ and you can concentrate on solving a problem until it is solved.
But forget work – what about PLAY?
Improving your imagination will not only grow your actual brain, but it will allow you to perceive the world around you in a more intense, colourful manner. Some good news right here – using our brains purely for fun is a big relief from constantly putting it to work. Next time you have time off, leave the phone in the next room and use the best computer we know: your brain.