This is an opinion piece by professional development author and Bitcoin researcher Mark Maraia.
I’ve been learning Bitcoin since 2020 and I’ve found a strong, vibrant community on Twitter. In fact, Bitcoin Twitter is virtually its own “country” on the internet.
I’ve had a Twitter account since 2009, but I never use it to tweet. There are several reasons for this (perhaps a topic for another article), but suffice it to say, I’ve never used it much of my time. Like many Boomers, I see social media as a huge time and productivity drain. I also see it as perhaps the worst addiction of our time.
In a recent episode of the “TFTC” podcast, host Marty Bent and guest BOLT CEO Ryan Breslow delved into our addiction to technology, and Twitter in particular.
Both have admitted to being addicted to Twitter. From the conversation, it seemed that while Bent admitted to his addiction, he didn’t do much to overcome his addiction, and Breslow did. In fact, Breslow said, “her toughest personal challenge is managing her time on Twitter.” Breslow checked it randomly and often daily, which gave him the dopamine hit that keeps us all hooked on technology.
How many people can say the same? Many of you are probably reading this.
There is no silver bullet
It’s easy to feel left out because I’m not on Twitter. I may have great ideas to contribute, but they won’t be heard until I’m no longer active on Twitter. My compromise approach has been to join Telegram, which has been the perfect middle ground for me.
But as Breslow points out, there is no silver bullet approach. How do you manage your addiction day to day? It turns out that few of us can resist the allure of something that’s “always available, just a button away.” Breslow adopted this rule for his posts: He checks his Twitter feed once to see how a post is doing. Easy to say and hard to do.
I wrote about this growing addiction to our devices before the age of smartphones and before Bitcoin. In fact, I wrote about it with the advent of PDAs (which stands for personal digital assistant), especially – in their heyday – Blackberries, sometimes called “cabbage”. Even in my second book, ironically, “Turn on the PDA!” I wrote a chapter called
I joked at the time that most people don’t know their device has an on/off button. And for those of you too young to remember, Blackberry was highly addictive in the email age before social media or messaging.
Well, as anyone reading this article today can attest, the problem has gotten worse on Twitter and other social media platforms, but at least 10, maybe 100 times worse.
Kick the addiction
Before I share specific practices you can implement in the new year to increase your awareness of this addiction, let me ask you these questions:
- Do you admit to having a Twitter addiction?
- Has it hindered or interfered with your relationship with a co-worker, family member or friend?
- Have you ever tried to go a day without it?
- Do you check Twitter (or another social media app) first thing when you wake up?
- Do you keep your phone in your bedroom?
- Do you keep your phone on the nightstand?
- Do you compulsively check something after you write it?
It’s a safe bet that if a family member or friend has asked you to stop reading Twitter when you’re with them, you’re probably addicted to or abusing technology. In fact, I bet that for some of us, it’s harder to give up our addiction to social media than it is to give up our addiction to certain foods, like sugar. In fact, I’d say our addiction to devices is as damaging to our health as our addiction to sugar.
Below are a few doable “experiments” (from easiest to hardest) that you can do. today Worth a try in 2023:
- Turn off notifications for Twitter for a week
- Turn off notifications for Twitter for a week and check your usage data for the last week. Set a benchmark for the number of minutes you spend on the platform each week. Monitor it on the same day every week.
- Set a set number of times per day when you will check the app on your device. Or set a time block for when you check it.
- Turn off your device for one hour a day. (This is a really good way to gauge how compulsively you check.)
- Turn off your device for the day. Track the number of times you go to check it and/or turn it back on.
- Turn off your device while meditating or reading spiritual literature. Track the number of times you go to check it and/or turn it back on.
- Turn off your device while eating. Track the number of times you go to check it and/or turn it back on.
- Turn off your device while writing. Track the number of times you go to check it and/or turn it back on.
- If possible, turn off your device while working.
- Turn off your device for the entire weekend.
- Delete Twitter from your phone for a day.
- Delete Twitter from your phone for a week.
Some of these experiments may be completely impossible due to life situations, but their general purpose is to assess how addicted you are to the device. The goal of the training is to gain more control over Twitter or the social media app that controls you. Ideally, spending less time on Twitter and more time with friends and family will improve your quality of life and productivity. Remember: We want technology to serve us, and not be addicted to software or technology.
Consider setting one or more of the above as a possible 2023 New Year’s resolution. Best wishes for a wonderful 2023!
This is a guest post by Mark Maraia. The views expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect the views of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.