How to stop mindlessly scrolling through social media

Dipesh Tandukar

Here is an interesting question: On which platform are you currently reading this article? While some of you may be reading this in the physical newspaper, I’m sure you’ll come across the article on one of your many electronic devices. And, that is what I want to talk about; the increasing amount of time we are spending on our electronic devices. It seems obvious, but yes, this does impact us physically and mentally.

First and foremost, we must acknowledge that completely removing electronic devices from our lives is not possible at this point. Our interconnected world demands that we use these devices to maintain our relations with friends and family, as well as for work-related tasks. However, the problem lies with the fact that many of us tend to use our devices beyond their intended purposes, often without a specific goal in mind, be it for social media, or games. It is this unrestricted and directionless usage that is leading us down a very concerning path of comparison, digital addiction and the eventual burnout. Evidence suggest that the increase in mental health problems can be attributed to device usage, though they are not the sole cause.

I often find myself scrolling through social media platforms mindlessly. That in itself is not a big problem and it’s completely normal to do so at times. However, I have started to notice that we are constantly being bombarded with so much addictive and personalised content and information on these platforms that it gets a bit overwhelming. Even when we just browse the internet with a certain objective in mind, it’s near impossible for us to stay focused. It’s just so easy to become distracted and lose our time and attention. This raises a question: Will we be able to stop consuming when we are so addicted to the dopamine released when we visit these websites, games and social media platforms? It may be easy for some, but for the rest of us, it’s very difficult to stop once you start.

Just as there are limits to what we can physically accomplish, there are also limits to the amount of information our minds can effectively process at any given time. There is only so much your mind can process. I want to ask you, what is your limit? Whatever your answer, the fact remains that there is a limit and we are becoming more comfortable going beyond this limit.

Honestly, it is impossible to escape this continuous flow of over-information we encounter. However, this doesn’t mean that we simply consume it and do nothing. There are things we can do and the most important one is to just take a break. Break from all the clutter and constant noise around you. Think: What is your average screentime? Whas has been drawing your attention lately? A lot of things are just a matter of prioritisation; what we determine to be important at that particular time. Taking a break doesn’t necessarily mean sitting down and doing nothing. It’s actually doing the things that you love that help clear your mind. Going on a walk, talking to your loved ones, or even just taking a nap will help. You don’t need to feel guilty for taking it because you deserve it.

We often think and believe that we need to constantly be doing something to achieve our goals; but the reality is we also need to give some time for ourselves. This ‘step back’ put things into perspective. We need to be patient and understand that just rushing and doing things repeatedly, no matter how efficiently, just puts extra pressure on our minds, especially when we are facing sensory overload all the time. So, take this is a reminder: Take some time off. Yes, work is important. So is studying . But don’t forget that it is often the moments that we spend with our loved ones, or those small moments we spend doing the things we love that usually are the most memorable. Taking these breaks to recharge our mind really brings into perspective what is really important.

– The Kathmandu Post

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