Cyber Strikeout

Consider why you are on the internet.

I’m on because it is an effective way for me to share my writing, communicate quickly and learn. I need to remember these reasons because the internet, like certain people, can be an emotional drain.

In cyberspace, I operate a one-strike-you’re-out policy. When I come across a source of discord, I block it. Following a decade of pruning, this only happens once a quarter and keeps my mind free of clutter.

I’ve noticed that many of my pals take Facebook quite seriously, with posts and comments impacting their mood. I’ve heard…

  • Did you see that…
  • I can’t believe that…
  • Why did they…
  • I wish I had less friends…

Most people struggle to break free from tabloid journalism – we’re all hardwired for voyeurism. The way I started was to eliminate one site for a month – I started with a chat forum that I used to check hourly. It was tough but I told myself that I only needed to last 28 days.

Because our brains are wired to notice negatives, more than positives, it only takes a small trigger to adversely impact our mood. Within your online life, it might be worth considering your strike rate.

How often does a site, a person or a situation trigger negative thoughts?

In my life, Facebook and chat forums had a strike rate of once per login. It was easy to see an immediate benefit from breaking their hold on me.

Similarly, because they have a low value-to-noise ratio, there aren’t comments sections on any of my websites. My sites exist to share useful information and free my mind via publishing.

Leaving a habit behind forever can seem daunting. As humans, we’re very attached to our habits, even those that hurt us (smoking, abusive relationships, toxic people, media sources that generate fear & anger).

Take a break for 28 days then ask yourself if you miss it.

This habit will change your life.