I started TokyoFinds when I first moved to Japan and within several months it was doing well. Posts were getting picked up by major blogs (Bored Panda, Buzzfeed, etc.) and a lot of my friends in the US loved it.
Well. My login and password were saved in my phone and browser, so I hadn’t manually logged-in for over a year. When I switched phones, it set off some security trigger and prompted punching in email and password manually on both browser and app. Lo and behold I have zero clue what the log-in and password is.
I’ve been trying to ask Tumblr for help but they’re basically useless. So I’m closing that chapter of my internet life. (I’m blogging about Japan more in-depth here, if anyone’s interested.)
So long, farewell, see-ya TokyoFinds!
And good riddance. I never look back darling, I live for the now. ;)
Several people immediately asked how I was able to pry myself away from my phone. Actually the conversations were more or less like this: how in the fuck does someone like you stay unplugged for so long?
It’s not as hard as I thought it would be.
For operation Internet detox, I started by reorganizing my homescreen too look like this:
Social apps have always been strategically placed where they are the easiest to access. I swapped social apps with apps related to the activities I committed to do more: read and write. With help of muscle memory it’s working. I’ve been in the habit of constantly checking Facebook or Instagram and my fingers would touch the icons on the phone without thinking. Now, when my fingers automatically touch the screen where Facebook or Instagram were, Kindle and iBooks launch. In lieu of WhatsApp or LINE, Simplenote and Werdsmith open, prompting me to write.
I still have Facebook, Instagram and a few misc social apps. They’re just tucked into a folder where it takes effort to access. I turned off notifications* for all social sites and scheduled notifications for most messaging apps.
I also told myself to only check Twitter for news — being unplugged shouldn’t allow ignorance. Nuzzel is my favorite news app. Of all the news apps I’ve used, it’s the most solid with delivering articles most interesting to me. I barely need to launch Twitter anymore.
Since I didn’t trust myself, I took it a step further and disabled Wi-Fi in my home. So now my phone can only browse on mobile and if I go over my allotted 4gigs, I pay data overage fees. When money is involved it’s pretty easy to be disciplined.
It’s been less than a month but I barely go on Facebook anymore (just Messenger). Look at Twitter once or twice a day for news. And Instagram only in the morning — if that.
And that is how to wean off phone addiction. If I can do it, anyone can. Anyone.
*Backstory re: notifications: in 2011 I got fed up with notifications. It felt like my phone was constantly pestering me: someone commented on your post! You got a new mention! Email, email, email, respond, respond, respond. Text, text, text.
One day I got so irritated by my needy phone I turned off badges (the little red circle). My phone went from looking like this (left), to like this (right)
(I’ve also always had a one screen only rule: only keep apps I use.)
Turning off notifications made my life better. I was now in charge of when and what to respond to instead of letting my phone control my life. So I am used to having minimally invasive notifications.
For over a decade almost every free second has been spent online. When social networks gained momentum, not only was I spending all my free time online, I started making time to go online. Combine that with a constant need to learn new things, it was over: I now had to force myself to go offline. I’ve even resorted to pulling the plug so my laptop dies. Embarrassing, I know.
I came across a post from a blog that taught me something so great, I wanted to share with everyone. However the writing was so painful to read (like fingernails on a chalkboard cringe worthy painful), I didn’t feel compelled to pipe it out on my networks, and did the next best thing: blog about it myself.
The 4-7-8 trick is actually not a trick. It’s a breathing technique used during meditation, yoga, wellness practitioners swear by it, etc. and now that I think about it, I’ve done it many times before during yoga. It never occurred to retain what I learned after leaving the session until now.
If you feel anxious, stressed, or have trouble sleeping, try this. I swear. It works.
breathe in through nose for 4 seconds
hold breath for 7 seconds
exhale from mouth for 8 seconds
Stress, anxiety → adrenaline pumps through veins → causing heart to beat rapidly = under-breathing.
4 second inhale forces more oxygen intake
7 second breath hold allows oxygen to affect bloodstream
8 second exhale emits carbon dioxide from lungs
above slows heart rate and increases oxygen in bloodstream to relax your heart, mind, and overall central nervous system; almost like a natural sedative.
The human body never ceases to amaze.
To learn more, I think this man pioneered the technique.
*Sidenote: not sure how I feel about the first post of 2015 being about some metaphysical mumbo jumbo but whatever, maybe this is a sign I need to think of myself and my well being more? Who knows, not really reading deep into it.