Monday, July 18, 2016

Addicted To Facebook? “Facebook Diet”

You’re waiting in line. Enter: your phone.
You’re in an awkward social situation. Enter: your phone.
You’re at home - bored, alone. Enter: your computer.
All of these times, you go to Facebook.
Many of us have been there, so if these scenarios sound familiar, know that you are far from alone. It’s easy for such rituals to become prominent in our lives; one study found that social media is more addictive than alcohol and cigarettes.
For all the positives of social media, there’s a flip side. Addiction to it can lead to over-stimulation, cause anxiety and stressdamage relationships, and even threaten the family unit.
Author and illustrator Gemini Adams speaks to such issues with humor in her upcoming book “The Facebook Diet,” which is to be released in April. She uses cartoons to depict 50 signs you might be addicted to Facebook and offers suggestions on breaking the addiction.
“If you can see something that makes you laugh, but also see yourself in it, it makes it easier to cope with,” she told me on her decision to use humor on the important topic.
The Origin Of “The Facebook Diet”
Adams herself was addicted to Facebook.
A native of England, she was following her friends and family’s lives back home, while living in a major U.S. city, Los Angeles.
“As is often the case in major cities these days, it’s a very transient place. Three-quarters of my social group moved away for various reasons, and I found myself alone,” she said.
She got more and more into Facebook to stay up-to-date with friends who weren’t close geographically. She said she would have it on the screen often, “dipping in and out pretty much all day long.”
One day, she had a major realization. She was spending way too much time on Facebook. It was sucking up her freedom and that made her feel uncomfortable. She wasn’t going out to make new friends, in the physical world, to fill the void for the ones who left.
“I made a life choice to stop spending so much time on Facebook, start going out and finding new social groups to interact with physically,” she said.
She also developed a love for nature, removed from the rapid-paced modern world. Inspired by the book “Your Brain On Nature,”she would go out in the wilderness with no temptations to “check in” on Facebook because there wasn’t even reception.
“I would spend a couple days in nature, and spend a couple days in the modern world,” she said. “My happy index benefitted enormously. The ability to see what was important to me became much clearer.”
Re-Assessing Life Priorities
Adams said the Web is constant, always on, and sometimes there’s a sense that if you’re not active on it, people will forget about you, or not even know who you are.
“We have things like Klout, measuring our online reach, how effective we are on social media,” she said. “There’s a false illusion we have to have online reach.”
gemini adamsShe admits that as an author she has to do a certain amount of social media. But in the process, she realized something.
“I just realized it’s not really real,” she said. “For me, I’d prefer to do something more real, going into the world and doing something with groups of people, having real life experiences. Building my platform and building my reach that way, recognizing the value of human interaction.”
The lack of that physical, in-person interaction can be dangerous, Adams said. When you communicate online, there’s no body language and there’s no tone. That can lead to misunderstandings.
“The wilderness gave me the ability to remember that, and makes choices on how I communicate with people in the real world,” she said.
Without all the technological distractions, life becomes simple. Adams said she experienced that while living in Africa in her 20’s, which she calls probably “the happiest” time in her life.
“It’s about quality time with great people. We made up our own entertainment, whether singing around a campfire, singing songs, playing a silly game or cooking together,” she said.
“I sort of tapped back into that recently and realized the value of that sense of social community instead of keeping up with our 2,000 friends on Facebook,” she said.
You don’t even have to be with other people. Time alone, and yet away from Facebook, can be good too, she said. Find a quiet place, reflect, write, relax. As an example, Adams said she did the illustrations for her book while sitting in her garden, alone.
“My husband complains you don’t answer your phone, and I’m like, nope, I was focusing on one thing, and it was really blissful,” she said.
How Facebook Addiction Affects Us
In doing research for her book, keeping up on the latest studies about Facebook addiction and from her own personal experience, Adams said she’s learned about several ways that addiction can affect us. Here are some of those ways she outlined during our conversation:
1. Belief we have to always be connected: “We’re plugged into these machines, and I think because they’re on 24/7, we think we have to be as well. We forget they’re plugged into this electricity supply that gives them endless energy, and we don’t have one of those.”
2. Over-activity: “As a society, we are spending more time on screens overall. It’s having a huge impact on our stress response system. We’re sort of over-activated all the time.”
3. Lack of concentration:: “It’s affecting our ability to concentrate. We’re more prone to disruptions. It can lead to angry behavior.”
4. More stress:: “It raises our levels of hypertension and likely some sort of inflammatory disorder. It lowers our emotional intelligence.”
5. Comparing ourselves to others: “It raises our feelings of envy and resentment. We’re constantly comparing ourselves to what other people are doing. People are shoving their holidays in our face which is one of the things that causes the most anxiety on Facebook.”
6. Losing sense of reality: “It undermines our satisfaction with life in general and can lead to depression in life.”
7. Physical impact: “Physically, when you’re sitting looking at a device, it affects the biological makeup of our body. We’re hunched over, we’re feeling lower, and we’re less infused on life.”
8. Loss of free time: “The time drain obviously has an impact too because we have less time to do things that will build us up, whether physical activity or spending time with loved ones.”
9. Other issues: “We have a serious increase in mental health disorders. It’s as if we haven’t evolved as quickly as the technology. We haven’t evolved in a way to keep up at it.”
To avoid such issues, Adams encourages people to establish digital boundaries, set time aside for Facebook but make plenty of time for other activities. Even consider taking a break from Facebook altogether.
She hopes that through her book, people will become more aware how they’re using technology and re-evaluate their relationship with it.
She asked, “Is technology something they’re utilizing or is it really using them?”

Sunday, July 17, 2016

How not to give a fuck what people think?

*After almost a year with this blog, it all comes down to this, "Thank You Sean Kim".

We‘re all guilty.
Everyday from the moment we wake up, we live our lives caring what other people think of us.
We accept the status quo for what it is because everyone around us does.
We tip toe our way through life by doing things in order to please others, not because it’s what we believe in. Eventually our actions, appearances, and lives become moulded by how we think other people perceive us.
How are these pants going to make me look? What will my colleagues think if I spoke out? Are those people talking shit behind my back? If I take this job, what will my friends and family think of me?
Just writing that paragraph alone gave me a headache…
It’s exhausting. It’s dreadful. It has to stop.
Living a life that follows the ideal notions of what other people think is a terrible way to live. It makes you become the spineless spectator who waits for other people to take action first. It makes you become a follower.
Worst of all, it makes you become someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything.
Today is the last day we live a life dictated by others. Today, we’re going to get to the bottom of the truth. Today is the day we stop giving a fuck.

No One Really Cares

Believe it or not, we’re not that special.
We go through our days thinking about how other people might be judging us. But the truth is — those people are thinking the exact same thing.
No one in today’s “smartphone crazed” society has time in their schedule to think more than a brief second about us. The fact of the matter is, when we do have time get our thoughts straight, we’re too busy thinking about ourselves and our own shortcomings — not others.
study done by the National Science Foundation claims that people have on average 50,000 plus thoughts a day. This means that even if someone thought about us ten times in one day, it’s only 0.02% of their overall daily thoughts.
“You’ll worry less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do.” — David Foster Wallace22
It is a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think of most things relating to “me” or “my.” This means that unless you have done something that directly affects another person or their life, they are not going to spend much time thinking about you at all.
I’ve always enjoyed watching performers trying to hustle some change at the New York City train stations. These guys simply know how to not give a fuck.
But the more interesting observation I made is how the spectators react. Rather than watching the actual performers, most people are looking around to see how other people are reacting. If people were laughing, they would start laughing too. But if people weren’t paying attention, they would also pay no mind.

how to stop caring

Even when provided the blatantly obvious opportunity to judge someone, people are still thinking about how others may perceive them.
Once you understand that this is how people’s mind works, it’s a big step towards freedom.

You Can’t Please Everyone

It’s impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations.
There will always be people — no matter what we say or how we treat them — that will judge us. Whether you’re at the gym, at work, taking the train, or even online playing Call of Duty. Even now it‘s happening. You will never be able to stop people from judging you, but you can stop it from affecting you.10
Think about the worst thing that could possibly happen when someone is judging you or what you’re doing.
I guarantee that chances are — nothing will happen. Absolutely nothing.No one is going to go out of their busy lives to confront us, or even react for that matter. Because as I mentioned before, no one actually cares.What will happen, is that these people will actually respect you for claiming your ground. They may disagree with you, but they’ll respect you.
Start standing up for what you believe in — causes, opinions, anything. You’re going to have people that disagree with you anyways, so why not express how you truly feel?
“You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something in life.”— Winston Churchill21
I’ve learnt that it’s better to be loved by a few people you care about, than to be liked by everyone.10 These are family, friends, spouse — the people who love you for who you are, and the people who will be there for you during your worst times. Focus on these people. They’re the only people that matter.

You Reap What You Sow

Worrying too much about what other people think can become a self-fulfilling prophecy, because the way we think starts to become the way we behave. These individuals become people-pleasers and overly accommodating to others, thinking it will stop them from being judged.
In fact, the opposite is true. Most people don’t like push-overs and are turned off by it. The behaviour we use in an attempt to please others, can actually cause the opposing effect.
If how we think affects our behaviours, then how we behave affects who we attract.
This means that if you’re a push-over, then you’re going to be attracting others in your life who are also push-overs. Vice versa.
This can be quite a dangerous path to go down if you don’t recognize its consequences.
It’s been said that we are the average of the five people we hang out with the most. When we start to attract and associate with the same people that share our weaknesses — we’re stuck. We stop growing, because there’s no one to challenge us to be better. We start thinking that this is the norm and we remain comfortable. This is not a place you want to be.
Now let’s talk about the cure. Here are 5 ways on how to not give a fuck.

How To Not Give A Fuck

1. Know Your Values

First and foremost. You need to know what’s important to you in life, what you truly value, and what you’re ultimately aiming for. Once you know who you really are and what matters to you, what other people think of you become significantly less important. When you know your values, you’ll have something to stand up for — something you believe in.
You’ll stop saying yes to everything. Instead, you’ll learn to say no when friends pressure you to go bar-hopping, or when a tempting business opportunity that distracts you from your business.
When you have your values straight, you have your shit straight.

2. Put Yourself Out There

Now that you know what your values are, it’s time to put yourself out there.
This can be done several ways. Here are a few suggestions:
  • Blogging
  • Wearing a polka-dot sweater
  • Public Speaking
  • Flirting/Asking someone out
Keep in mind that when you’re doing any of these activities, you have to speak your mind. Be honest with yourself and what you share, because the world doesn’t need another conflict-avoider who does what everyone else does.

3. Surround Yourself With Pros

Surround yourself with people who are self-assured, and live life without comprising their core values. These people will rub off on you quickly.
One of my best friends, Cody, has been a big influence on me. Having spent the summer with him, I’ve observed countless times where he strongly voiced his opinion on controversial topics. What I learned was that he was simply voicing opinions that people already had in their heads, but were too afraid to voice. People admired him for being so honest and direct, even when they disagreed with his views.
Thanks for not giving a F@$% Cody.

4. Create A “Growth List”

OK, now we’re getting personal.
I haven’t told anyone this, but I have this list called the “Growth List.”
A Growth List is comprised of all the things in life that makes you uncomfortable. These are fears, insecurities —anything that gives you the jitters.

My Growth List
Here’s how it works.
You start by writing all the things that make you feel uncomfortable.
Then one-by-one, you do them. Once you complete the task, you move on to the next. Repeat.
My first growth task was taking a cold shower (The Flinch). I turned the water as cold as it could get, and I could feel my body shake before I even entered the shower. This was the inner bullshit voice in my head talking.
It was hard at first. But surprisingly, it got easier the second time. Then even easier the third time. Before I knew it, my body stopped shaking — I was no longer uncomfortable, I’ve conquered my fear.
This exercise does wonders. I have yet to find a better way to get out of my comfortable zone. You can read all the books in the world about being confident or getting over your fears, but if you don’t take action, you’re just someone who’s read how to ride a bicycle without ever having ridden one.

5. Travel Alone

If you’re looking for an ultimate transformation that combines all of the points above, you should travel alone. Traveling with other people can be fun, but you won’t get the opportunity to truly get out of your comfort zone.
You’ll be exposed to different social cultures, break social norms that you didn’t even know existed, and ultimately be forced to burst out of your small bubble.
Bring as little as possible, and fit everything into one backpack. Plan nothing, except for a one-way flight ticket to your destination — figure everything else out when you’re there. Trust me, you’ll be just fine.

It won’t be easy initially, but don’t get discouraged. Being comfortable with the uncomfortable will grow with time. I continue to struggle with it everyday, as do many others. But you need to get started today.
The world is already full of people who obey the status quo. But the people who don’t give a fuck are the ones that change the world.14
Be the latter.
Start living life the way you want, be fearless like you once were as a child, and always, always stand up for the truth.
Someone has to.

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