It was on the 7th of March, around 5 months announcing my goals to the public that I will be accomplishing a set of milestones in my life.

News flash: not going as expected.

Maybe you are having a rough start?

Probably and probably not. 2020 started crazily: a 3rd world war would have occurred in January, the spread of the Coronavirus in February that took the world by a storm, and now here we are in March: still hanging on my goals and my lack of accomplishment of any of them.

After reading the daily reflects on my journal from the past 2 months, I have realized that there is a good amount of time being wasted on things that I usually don't record on my journal and they are usually trivial things like reading emails and scrolling on social media.

The culprit

On modern operating systems, you have a screen time tracker that would tell you how many apps you have opened in the day as well for how long this app has been opened. It would come to no surprise that social media applications have taken the most of my screen uptime (keep in mind that slack was on the list but most of my work depends on slack and it contains only work-related channels).

An optimal solution

There are many solutions for dealing with this kind of problem like setting restrictions to open a certain app for a limited amount of time or delete the app altogether.

My approach is going cold turkey softly and occupying myself in doing things that I should be doing but keeping all of the apps on my phone as they are currently.

But that doesn't make sense Mohamad

Let me clarify why I am going with this approach. Deleting all of my social media applications is exactly like putting a drug addict in a closed room, it sure would let them not consume drugs anymore but they will turn into psychos.

A better approach to this situation is exactly how Finland deals with drug addicts: give them the drug they want at a very low price since the drug is available for them at any time and cheaper than those black markets hence controlling them. Finland will offer them a job to buy those drugs and let their minds get occupied with other important stuff like work tasks, taxes, and much more while offering them the drug they wanted.

This approach is widely known as "brain re-wiring" and it is usually used to overcome a certain habit: override it slowly and eventually you will stop that old habit on your own. You can also read more about it in Charles Duhigg's book "The Power of Habit".

So my approach for dealing with my excessive social media consumption is to shift my brain into doing other tasks and occupy myself while enjoying the leisure of social media through specific applications and my application of choice will be Reddit since it has all the important news that I need (politics, economy, crypto-currencies, and much more) and the algorithm doesn't force you to see things you don't want, unlike Facebook and Instagram.

It always has to relate to an algorithm

One thing I have realized about Facebook and Instagram is that it recommends you things that you don't like and shoves it right into your face like on Instagram, my entire explore section is just a bunch of TikTok videos of random people.

Everyone says that the algorithm chooses for you the things that you click and see the most, from those clicks and views the algorithm will start recommending things on your feed but the thing is that I never wanted to see those in the first place.

It turns out that it recommends you things that your inner circle is interested in as well hence you would get it. Let's say you have three friends you interact with the most: Katia, Omar, and Aya. Omar and Aya liked a couple of TikTok posting accounts and Katia posts her TikTok videos on her stories since you interact with them the most then the algorithm will assume that you like what they like as well thus resulting to have TikTok videos in your feed and the "explore" section.

On Facebook, I have a bunch of software-related pages listed as "show first" which means that my feed would show first when I open the app. What I am getting is a bunch of silly yet useless memes shared by people I rarely interact with and some page sponsored their video talking about the Coronavirus or some pineapple extracted detox tea like I am sort of a keto diet freak.

You will be asking yourself why those kind of advertisement are appearing on your feed, well you have to thank Tai Lopez with his stupid "Social Media Marketing" that taught people to create cringy yet algorithm loving marketing videos to sell useless things on the internet (not believing me, watch a youtube video of him advertising his courses using someone who created an e-commerce site selling socks exactly how Wix advertise themselves on YouTube with the sock selling gig even though it is banned here in Lebanon).

So what I will be doing

As I mentioned above, I will be using Reddit the most to get my daily dose of information out of the internet while maintaining the presence of the other applications on my phone.

I will keep on posting and scrolling but decreasing my daily consumption and post things that I consider post-worthy (like my blog posts or important events).

You can't simply quit entirely that easily and sometimes it does bring some benefits like job postings and opportunities but social media is rigged in a way that it forces you to use it to check fake Facebook video about some random miracle done when eating parsley with pineapples, stupid TikTok videos, and lame memes.

But it doesn't mean it is entirely useless but we just don't know how to use it properly

with great power comes great responsibility - Uncle Ben (The Amazing Spiderman)

Why announcing it on social media?

That is a great question! The best way to start with something is to announce it to the public, it forces you to work on it because there are a bunch of your "friends" will say right in your face: "I told you so, I told you that it will not work out" so you have to do it to prove them wrong.

Similar to a movement to learn programming in 100 days and post it daily on Twitter (I hate Twitter but since I don't have that many followers so I think I might use it to post my daily progress of learning something like 100 days of Golang or 100 days of Rust who knows? Possibly create a Twitter bot that will post it for me also who knows?)