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Step-By-Step Plan to quit your social media addiction

Before you start your journey of lessening your social media consumption, take the time to fill out this step-by-step plan, as it will help you tremendously.

 

1. What is your ideal identity?

Ex. I want to be a screenwriter who is respected in the community and leaves the world a tad better place than when he found it.

2. List all the negative consequences of your current social media addiction: what is the cost of inaction? What does this person look like now, in ten years, twenty, or thirty? Be very descriptive and give them a name! How different is it from your ideal identity?

Ex.: My Youtube addiction looks like Hugo with heavy bags under his eyes and a crooked posture. An addict to dopamine. A failed writer. A man who has surrendered the precious seconds of his life to meaningless entertainment. I call him “Hugo that needs Help”. The description should be so visual and visceral that it evokes a powerful emotion inside you.

3. What is your exact surface and below-the-surface craving?

Example: On the surface: I scroll on Instagram to give myself a break at work.

But dig deeper, and it’s to relieve anxiety. I watch Youtube to relieve the immense, superhuman, ridiculous, mountain-range proportions of pressure I put on myself to succeed. If you can't find your exact craving, do some self-reflection.

4. What else would you rather be doing to satiate this craving?

Example: After quitting Youtube I delved right into the Stormlight Archive by Brandon Sanderson. A fantasy book series with a total of over 5000 pages. I read it compulsively. Enough to get me through the early withdrawal storms.

5. Environment Design: Identify what cues in your environment are triggering your craving.

Example: Whenever I ate food, I’d open Youtube. I’d eat for 2 minutes, watch the Youtube video for 15, and then move to recommended videos for 60 mins. You catch my drift. Before you know it, one bad habit can ruin your entire day.

 

6. How can you remove as many cues as possible and create friction where they cannot be removed?

Example: To quit Youtube I removed the app from my phone and blacklisted the Website on my computer.

 
7. Plan what you are going to do when you are tempted. You want to decide PRIOR to temptation.

Example: When I feel the urge to go on Youtube, I will grab a book instead or play a game of online chess.

 

8. Make your commitment. Get extremely precise and clear about what you are trying to achieve and the conditions of your promise.

Example: I want to quit using Youtube for one year. I recognize that the subscriptions tab and recommended videos are my weakness.. Hence, I will not go on the Youtube site. If I need to watch a tutorial, I will grab the URL and download the video directly on my computer so I'm not exposed to the Youtube interface. If a Youtube video is embedded on another website, I can watch it as long as it's not fullscreen (so I won't be exposed to the Youtube interface).

9. How can you introduce accountability?

Example: You can purchase our social media chips one year in advance so that they will be sent regardless of your success. This will leverage your guilt in not achieving your goal! You can also join our Discord server full of people who are doing the same thing and find an online accountability buddy.

 

10. How will you track progress? Tally the days that you have beaten your social media addiction. The checking of the boxes will become a reward itself.

The Social Media Recovery Chips are also an excellent tool to show progress and affirm your new identity of someone who doesn't waste time on Youtube, Instagram, or whatever platform is your poison!

 

11. How will you reward yourself? Plan rewards to celebrate what an awesome job you're doing.

Not to sound like a broken record, but if you become a Committed Member of Algorithms Anonymous, we will send a recovery chip of your platform directly to your home for each milestone as a reward. But you could chose whatever reward you wish!

12. We behave like people "like us". Can you join a community of people who already have the same habits you desire?

Ex. Our Algorithms Anonymous discord is full of people on their journey of quitting their social media addiction.

13. When you relapse, never relapse twice in a row. Breaking your promise twice is forming a new habit. But beating yourself up isn't any good either. Remember, each action is a vote you cast for your new identity. You just need to win the approval of your inner congress. Good luck!

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