- Distraction escape
In a recent article, Oliver Burkeman offers us an interesting point of view on why the social media distraction is not a war against the big players but a war against ourselves. Today, we have so much more information about how those platforms use our attention as a business model that we can’t only blame the system. In fact, you can complain as much as you want but in the end you are denying the fact that you can have full control over it. You can choose who you’re following, move these apps out of your home screen, shut off their notifications or even better, try to understand what you’re trying to escape by regularly going for this primitive and time consuming distraction. Oliver explains that we are some kind of « collaborators with the enemy » because we often uses our social feed as a way to escape a negative, stressful or challenging situation. But as Oliver reminds us: « Stop expecting hard, important, meaningful things to feel constantly comfortable and pleasant. Consider the possibility that mild discomfort – butterflies in the stomach, a sense of difficulty, a moment of boredom – might simply be the price of doing things you care about. » This article is definitely worth a read!
- That won’t work for me
In a short podcast, Nir Eyal has a look into the self-sabotaging effect of telling yourself: « That won’t work for me ». Even if I agree in the substance, I don’t really like the two examples he puts into perspective to demonstrate his point. Nir compares two different types of commitment in my opinion. One is the decision to join a program and the other one is to discipline yourself to adopt better habits. Fundamentally, I think there is a big difference between joining a program and building a habit on your own. It’s far from being the same level of commitment and that’s why the same human logic can’t be applied so easily. Joining a program, like a course, a training or a cure is of course a commitment, because you will have to be steady to make it to the end, but there is a frame you can fit in, a clear path you have to follow and a staff to support you along the way. The difficulty is when you want to commit solely to yourself. There is nothing more difficult than to be the only one responsible for your own success. It is scary because on one hand, if you fail this will be a disappointment to handle and on the other hand, if you succeed you will have to maintain a certain level of requirements and take on some new responsibilities. But, I agree with the main message: trying is the one and only step to make that difference and learn how you work as a person. Sure, there will be things going against your true nature and that won’t make you happy, but overly repeating to yourself: « That won’t work for me » is finding excuses not to change.
2021, week 20
— Oliver Burkeman wrote:
If there’s a “war for our attention” – as we’re often told – our role often seems to be that of collaborators with the enemy.