April 10

“It is the part of the wise man to resist pleasures; but of a foolish man to be a slave to them.” – Epictetus

Those little pleasures, getting an email notification, a ding from the social media app on our phones, a text from a friend. Those little notices, someone liked our picture, our post, someone thought our tweet was funny, these all trigger the pleasure center in our brain. And it’s addicting. And we become very dependent on those little notifications and those little impulses that fire into our pleasure centers.

It is not always a bad thing, it is nice to hear from friends who live far away and it is nice to receive feedback on life decisions. It is fun to share jokes and to have people compliment our lives.

But when we can’t go a few minutes without checking our social media pages. When we can not ignore the ding of an email, text message or notification that someone has liked our post it becomes a problem. We become addicted. And we may choose to spend time on social media over actually doing productive work. After these periods we will feel the regret and self loathing that comes with feeding an addiction. We will wonder why we wasted all that time and we will promise ourselves to work twice as hard tomorrow. And tomorrow morning, the notifications will come and we might very well get sucked back in.

Not today. Today, let’s take steps to disconnect from social media and our phones during the times we are supposed to be productive. Even if social media or our phones are part of our job we can work on ideas, projects and make lists without being on social media.

Today let’s remind ourselves we are not slaves to the dark side of this wonderful technology but instead connoisseurs of the bright side.

virtus fortis vocat

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