Let's celebrate intentional living
So, you think you waste too much time on social media or a specific social media platform?
Otherwise, you wouldn't be here. Congrats! Acceptance is the first step!
And that's alright! Everyone has their weaknesses, it might be binging streaming VODs on Youtube (like it was for me), or perhaps cat videos on TikTok, or plant influencers on Instagram, or browsing Reddit until something controversial stirs you up inside so you start your day nice and pissed off.
I'm not here to beat you up more than you're probably already doing yourself. At least, that's what I used to do. The whole idea formed when I asked myself: What if I rewarded myself for good behavior instead of punishing myself for bad behavior?
I admit, I'm not inventing a cancer cure here. But, for the self-flagellating mind, it's quite the mental bombshell! I used to think that every problem was solveable as long as I was hard enough on myself. All these nasty thoughts barraging me for not doing enough. So where did I turn to to hide from them? My social media addiction.
Drinking more of the same poison is never going to cure you.
So I tried, you know, being kind to myself.
And what do you know? It started to work. *Wow, I achieve more by being nice to myself?* Who would've thought!
Algorithms Anonymous is about celebrating intentional living. Not punishing auto-pilot living. Two different approaches to the exact same thing, with drastically different outcomes.
So, are you ready to live just a tad more intentional? To not go to bed feeling like you've wasted hours of the day? To feel accomplished? To grow your confidence by focusing on a small win every day, no matter how silly that might be to someone else. How silly that might be to *yourself*?
Then read on.
(if you're here for the Social Media Recovery Chips, keep reading on to know more! Or if you're really impatient, click here)
Making a promise to yourself is powerful. Keeping it even more so.
You have to have a reason for quitting the social media platform of your choice. For me, I got an email from Google during the pandemic summing up my internet usage. 40 hours were spent on YouTube in a week. That's a whole WORKWEEK. Sheesh. I spent a man's living wage watching streamers playing strategy games better than I ever could. I mean, they were really good at League of Legends, like masterfully good, but was it really worth ruining my day for?
Surely, there was a better way of spending my time.
Your attempt to stop a bad habit isn't trivial. It won't be easy. But it will be accomplishable. The time for half-hearted attempts is over. No vague promises or hazy boundaries. We're going to shine a spotlight right on your soon-to-be victory. But first, let's consider...
The cost of inaction
We think that magically, in ten years, we're going to be a different person. You ever seen a person well into their thirties or forties with shit habits? Like they remind you more of a teenager inhabiting an adult body instead of an actual adult? Yeah, that might be you! I'd be tumbling down Youtube's recommended videos in my 40s if I didn't take any action.
Your bad habits are not going to magically disappear. You have to make them disappear. Reflect on the compounded effect of your social media addiction over thirty years.
Picture that person in your head. That version of you. What do they look like? What energy do they exude? Are you happy to see them? Do you like that version? Does it scare you? Feel the emotion it makes you feel, and remember it. It will help when you're tempted later.
If you feel anger toward them, contempt, or hatred, I would strongly recommend finding a professional psychologist to talk about those feelings. I don't have the necessary training to help you, but harboring ill feelings toward your future self is not constructive.
Let's give your bad-habit self a name because we are about to help them out! I call mine "Hopeless Hugo".
You're about to embark on a pattern interrupt. Our brain doesn't like that. That habit has been edging grooves of dopamine in your brain like a natural river. The dopamine now wants to flow in the path of least resistance, which is your social media habit/addiction you've built up over the years. There are two things you can do.
First, engage in an even larger pattern disrupt than quitting this habit. For me, I quit Youtube when I went on a three-week vacation. On vacation, everything's different. There's no status quo, so your brain is OK to abandon the habits... For now. Once I returned back home, I had a three-week advantage on my "withdrawals".
Second, replace the craving that your current social media addiction feeds. That craving isn't going away if you take away your social media poison of choice. So it's your job to find something more meaningful and use that.
If you are unsure what gives you fulfillment, try reading the 80/20 principle by Richard Koch. Or any of the other great self-help books lining the Indigo or Amazon shelves. What time do you love spending?
For me, I found fulfilment in reading, writing, climbing, and spending time with my friends.
So instead of watching Youtube, I buried myself in the fantasy series *The Way Of Kings* by Brandon Sanderson. Those 5000 pages vanished in a heartbeat.
Remember how I said you shouldn't be hard on yourself? That brings me to my next point:
Yep. Quitting social media is saying to yourself "yeah, my time is valuable. I value it! And I'm willing to make changes in my life cause I am indeed a total bawler, and I deserve everything good that comes my way". You catch my drift.
It's a noble pursuit. You have to reward yourself for pursuing it.
Quitting or changing behaviour is very hard and you're a hero for trying. Any step toward the path of intentional living is a good one, and you should commend yourself. How would your life be different if you were to celebrate all your good deeds instead of berating yourself for your bad ones? List a few rewards that you really want. Indulge. Don't hold back. Could be a PS5. Could be a spa day. Could be a Lego set of a velociraptor. Go crazy but be true to yourself.
If you become an Algorithms Anonymous member, we'll send you a social media recovery chip for your platform for your very first day, first week, and each respective month after that!
Here's a list of previous rewards I've given myself to spark your imagination:
1. A Youtube Recovery Chip for each milestone
2. Towel racks
3. A festival ticket
4. Storage boxes from Ikea (i f*cking* love those)
5. A 1600$ workshop I wanted to take but found too expensive
6. A leprechaun's soul forcibly stolen from an archdevil
7. Commissioning artwork for a story I'm writing
Check out other Chips
But there's a balance. Where there is reward, there needs to be...
If you want to give yourself the best choice of success, you need to include ACCOUNTABILITY in breaking your social media addiction. This is where the Algorithm's Anonymous community can play an essential part. It's much better if you communicate your plans to the outside world.
Otherwise, you're left to the whims and follies of your own inner world. It helps if here's something on the line. Our membership is cancellable on a monthly basis. However, I suggest you buy the whole year package. That way, you've already spent your money. I'm going to ship those pins to you on the preset dates no matter what. They're coming for you. Even if you break the promise you've made to yourself. It's going to feel really bad if you break the promise to yourself and still receive those chips! Which is a good thing!
You'll also receive a nice holder that holds a year worth's of chips which will function as a "progress bar" you can keep in areas where you are most tempted!
Cause that's what this is all about. It's not just some "stupid" social media addiction. It's making a promise to yourself and keeping it. No matter how small. Make the promise CLEAR, make it TANGIBLE, and keep to it. Suddenly, you'll find yourself growing more confident.
Small promises bleed to larger areas of your life. This stuff compounds emotionally!
Making your commitment
How are you about making promises to others? Do you normally keep them? If so, good. Now make a promise to yourself and stick with it.
Let's make the promise as clear as you can make it. So clear, that if you add any more specificity to it, it would be weird.
Here's an example:
If I don't watch Youtube for *one* year, I get to pimp my rusty 2009 Toyota Camry with a huge sticker and paintjob of my favorite anime waifu.
I'm not judging what your reward is or which obscure anime you watch. I only judge the clarity of your promise.
Because a promise is best made publicly and loudly, so you are accountable to it, I'd recommend posting it on our discord server. Your anonymity will still be protected by your avatar, yet it will still weigh on your subconscious as an external promise made. Once typed, those words are no longer in your inner world. They're out there. You've said them. They hold power now.
As a wonderful bonus, you'll also surrounded by likeminded people who are going through the exact same thing and wish to support you! In addition, you can also find an accountability buddy in the server.
Now set the rules of that promise. What does "Watching Youtube" mean? Social Media has almost gotten to be like food. You can't completely quit it. It's necessary in our lives. Ironically, it's probably how I reached you in the first place.
When is the commitment broken?
You might want to quit Reddit because of its endless scrolling. But if you're looking to fix a part in a page of code you're writing, and the top answer on Google is Reddit, will you still use it? That's up to you. Figure out what the exact essence of your problem is. Figure out what the exact CUE is of your addiction. What's the problem inside your problem? For me, it was the recommended videos and subscription page on Youtube.
Let me give you the rules I used to quit Youtube for the first year:
I will *never*, during this year, visit the Youtube.com frontpage.
If a Youtube video is embedded in a third-party website, I can watch it but not full screen (because that's where all that recommended stuff pops back in)
If a mate of mine sends me a video I "have to watch", which is rare, I can copy the URL and download the Youtube video as a file directly on my laptop. This takes time and space and was a great friction creator for my bad habit.
The same applies if there is a tutorial I need on Youtube. Some video tutorials are much more effective than written blogs.
It's your job to make *your* rules. Anticipate what temptations you will find, and figure out how you are going to deal with them in advance, We don't want to figure that out when our self-discipline is at its weakest. Plan.
Also, plan for when you fail. Let me give you the permission to fail once in a row. But never twice. You might slip up one day. But never two times in a row. That's a new pattern.
I just dumped a whole lot of information on you.
I've distilled the wisdom of my trials and tribulations, my self-anguish, and arrogance, into a nice Step Plan that you can follow to start your social media detox TODAY. You can read all about it here.
There is one way where you can introduce a reward system AND an accountability system simultaneously. You can do so by becoming an Algorithms Anonymous Member and subscribing to one of our Social Media Recovery Chips.
As an Algorithms Anonymous member you will:
Receive the Social Media Recovery Chips for Tiktok, Youtube, Reddit, or Instagram (whichever you chose) sent directly to your home for each milestone. You'll also get a neat holder to collect them in! And don't worry, we'll take care of shipping (limited to North & South America and Europe, currently)
Receive a cheat sheet checklist with everything you need to fill out to give yourself the best possible chance of success
Get full access to our community, be able to make your promise and grant yourself accountability.
All this for just 24.99 a month for a year!
The chips are not for sale. You can only earn them through actually doing the program.
If you're not ready to fully commit yet, you can check out our Discord server here.