September 17, 2020

Here’s the dilemma…

  • ChrissyLeigh
  • 164

 

You’re being lied to (kinda). 

If you’ve felt stressed or anxious during this pandemic, you’re not alone (talking to you Drama). I’m sure on some level this year has felt a little crazy for all of us and I’m here to shed some light on why that may be. As someone who loves Documentaries and works in the world of social media advertising, I HAD to check out the buzz around The Social Dilemma, and trust me, I wasn’t disappointed. The film sparked conversations with my friends and I about anxiety and how social plays a role by actively tricking and manipulating our behaviors. Good news is, we can 100% change that course and take back our mental health. Hopefully, at least one other Kathy will take something away from this to help them get through the end of 2020!

I’m sure by now you’ve watched The Social Dilemma on Netflix, if you haven’t then you’re missing out. Well, not on the acting the acting is terrible but the content is 10/10. It helps to identify and give context to that weird, can’t-put-your-finger-on-it feeling that we all have in 2020.

Here’s the fast facts:

~The Social Dilemma is a Docudrama following a series of tech experts bringing light to the dangerous impact social media has on society as a whole – polarization, isolation, mental health, addiction, and more.

~It’s clear throughout the film that the dangers of social media can’t be pinpointed onto one person, company or software but the ideology of the tech industry itself.

~Phenomenon like fake news, AI algorithms, the psychology of persuasion and how tech changes human behavior are all on the menu to be hashed out.

~The most interesting component? Many of these tech experts share how they themselves have struggled with avoiding the very tools they’ve created, how the original purposes were for good and how the codes in these systems are susceptible to flaws… just like the coders who wrote them.

As someone who’s struggled with crippling anxiety my whole life, a lot of Drama’s messages on the pod really resonate with me. Most recently, that feeling of how “the good old days” have already come and past. I was curious if I was the only one who felt this way…so I did some research.

Prior to coronavirus, nearly 1 in 5 Americans felt some level of anxiety or depression. During the pandemic, that number has increased to 1 in 3. While these unprecedented times are stressful for anyone, I was curious what portion of that was correlated to screen time. The answer? The verdict isn’t out on this yet. But many people are noticing they are spending increasingly more time on their smart phones. Even celebrities are speaking out, like David Spade, “My iPhone just told me my screen time last week was nine days. Is that even possible, isn’t a week still 7? I have no idea,” and Sarah Silverman, “My screen time was up 118 per cent last week! I’m killing it!” Raise your hand if this sounds like you 🙋🏽‍♀️.

We’ve all heard of the studies linking screen time to increased feelings of anxiety, depression and overall detriments to mental health. It’s a common theme throughout The Social Dilemma.

 

In an era where the “new normal” is a digital normal, how do we take control of our mental health?
We take back the control of our screen time, our attention and ourselves.

Right Chrissy… but how do we do that?

I don’t want to give away all the tips and tricks from the docudrama, but there’s some valuable tidbits I think everyone should know.

  • Turn off notifications. Seriously. If it doesn’t need your attention right now, don’t let it.
  • Agree to a screen time for yourself and your family. Then, set the screen time limit on your phone for downtime.
  • Never accept what’s recommended to you, be conscious about the content you are choosing to consume and fact check. If it seems like it’s designed to push your emotional buttons, it probably is. (Don’t worry, Group Chat content is approved ✅)
  • Be mindful that many people in the tech industry don’t give these devices to their children. Think about that.

 

As promised, this newsletter isn’t all about The Social Dilemma.

I want to share a few things about myself and daily habits that have helped me manage my anxiety on the day to day so hopefully another Kathy can take something out of this. It’s good to remember – I’m only human. Do I wish I did these things every day? Hell yeah! Does it happen? No. No one’s perfect. But if I can do just one thing on this list, I feel a million times better.

    1. Meditate. Even if it’s for 3 minutes. I’ve tried a lot of different apps and methods – Headspace  is the best one!
    2. Have a set morning and evening routine. Doesn’t have to be complex! Mine is wake up, shower, grab a cup of coffee get to work. In that order. Then for evening, dinner, TV for an hour, then bed. Phones down 2 hours before going to sleep.
    3. Set social media free periods – could be a month off one app, a week, or even just a few hours.
    4. HOLISTIK. ‘nough said.
    5. Do 1 thing every day outside of my apartment and outside of my comfort zone.

 

Speaking of jumping out of my comfort zone, I’m throwing it over to my fellow Kathy’s to help me out! Over the next 2 weeks I’ll do something every day suggested to me that’s out of my comfort zone.

Join the conversation @groupchat to share your suggestions. I’ll document daily on Twitter and Instagram.

Best suggestion wins a free pack of HOLISTIK.

-Chrissy Leigh

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