How I broke compulsive social media scrolling forever

I used a content blocker called Freedom to block social media websites and apps for 12 hours at a time.

That’s it.

Habit formation isn’t about will power.

It’s about designing an environment that makes the best choice the easiest one.

It’s all about reducing friction.

Because habit formation comes down to volume.

So after struggling for years to quit social media for good, I used Freedom, and unironically it helped me break free.

I had used content blockers in the past, but I found they’re all quite easy to get around. Freedom was the first one that I used that made it genuinely difficult to end a blocking session.

“Locked mode” is so difficult that you actually have to email tech support to stop the session. It’s a great feature.

Why block social media?

Because I don’t want to spend my days reacting to others.

I like being in the driver’s seat of my life. To make room for critical thinking and for creativity.

I came to realize that I will never expand beyond the opinions and ideas of others, if I do not regularly engage in critical thinking, which requires significant space and time.

I got something back I thought I had lost forever

Creative restlessness.

In just a few days of blocking, a restlessness to DO SOMETHING quickly set in. Like when I was a kid, and I had free time but didn’t know what to do. And everything in me would scream out to GO. Go find something to play with! Explore something new! Create a new world!

All of that creative energy and get-up-and-go: it came back and is a regular feature of my daily life again.

What a wonderful surprise that has been.

These days, I’m stronger.

I sometimes even like to think that I couldn’t care less about social media.

Until I look at it.

And I’m reminded of how much better my life is without it.

P.S. I get no kickback from Freedom. I recommend them because they helped me.

November 4, 2023