I have a deep appreciation for the internet. It has been a guiding light for me since my teenage years, introducing me to new ideas, connecting me with others, and shaping my aspirations. From YouTube to blogs to podcasts, the online world has been a constant companion as I navigated through different stages of my life.

While I cherish the internet, my relationship with social media is far more complex. Unlike other digital platforms that have enriched my life, social media has overwhelmed me with a constant stream of information, fostering a sense of disconnection and isolation. It has fragmented my attention and tailored my interests in a way that feels artificial.

Despite my reservations about social media, I acknowledge its importance in today’s societal landscape, especially in professional contexts. Balancing the benefits of visibility and networking with the negative impact on my well-being has been a continuous challenge. Nevertheless, I’ve implemented strict boundaries around social media usage over the past three years to reclaim control of my digital habits.

“I love the internet. But I do not love social media.”

Quitting cold turkey is unsustainable—and unnecessary.

When I contemplated reducing my social media consumption in early 2021, I encountered extreme suggestions ranging from total account deletions to selective engagement strategies. Opting for a gradual approach, I began by temporarily removing Instagram from my routine for a week. This experiment transformed my relationship with the platform, diminishing the urge to mindlessly scroll and prompting more intentional usage patterns.

Since then, I’ve established a structured schedule where social media is accessible only during specific periods, allowing me to focus on other activities and interests throughout the week. By treating social media as a form of addictive behavior and moderating my engagement, I’ve observed improvements in my attention span and overall well-being.

Lean into your own internet nostalgia.

Returning to the digital content that originally captivated me, such as blogs and websites that offer substantial insights and creativity, has proven to be a rewarding alternative to endless scrolling on social media. Embracing my internet nostalgia has not only enhanced the quality of ideas I engage with but also expanded my attention span and reduced dependency on fleeting social media interactions.

Your clicks are your currency—spend them intentionally.

In a world driven by the attention economy, consuming long-form content like articles, podcasts, and YouTube videos can provide more value and depth compared to the transient nature of social media posts. By prioritizing content that requires critical thinking and reflection, I’ve sharpened my cognitive abilities and nurtured a healthier online consumption habit, aligning my digital diet with enriching and fulfilling experiences.

“In the attention economy, cognitive health is wealth, and long-form content is a kale salad.”

Pro-social social media exists, so use it.

While social media can foster parasocial interactions that may detract from real-life relationships, platforms designed for genuine connection and community-building, such as Bumble BFF and other pro-social apps, offer meaningful alternatives. By prioritizing authentic communication channels like text, email, and video calls, I’ve cultivated more profound and fulfilling relationships outside the realm of traditional social media, nurturing a healthier digital and interpersonal balance.


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