My Information Diet

My Information Diet

In which John discusses the dumbing of his phone and his new information diet, all designed to protect him from the self he becomes when twittering.

I’m not sure if the social media anxiety/malaise I feel is something others will be able to relate to, or if it’s specific to my life, but I am trying to sort through whether the architecture of the social internet makes it an inherently unfun/unhealthy place for me to hang out, or whether this is just a phase, like that time in ninth grade when I wore a trench coat for six months even though I lived in Florida and it was hot all the time. But for now, I’ve decided to experiment with a low-information diet.

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20 Responses

  1. Derpy Loo says:

    Notification Squad! Hello Nerdfighters!

  2. Charminglily says:


  3. vlogbrothers says:

    Hello. Some of you will probably be curious about your clue for the week. You’ll need to figure out the following coordinates:

    Resposta à Pergunta Final da Vida, do Universo e de Tudo
    write-in Puck, nice to meet you Oscar
    off and untouchable
    a beaver, a bear, our strength
    $1.70 for West Arlington to Lauraville
    China had a vacant position
    one digit between predator and prey

  4. Christopher Willis says:

    Do what I do, open a tab, wait a week, if you still want to read it it is worth reading.

  5. Dorvid says:

    “Youtube still feels different to me from the rest of the internet.”

    Never scrolled down, have you?

  6. Emily White says:

    I generally don’t use twitter.. I have an account but don’t get on much.. it’s very boring. Facebook on the other hand… I use every day. And yes, it does stress me out, but I can’t help but get on it. YouTube will always be my de-stress app to fall back on.

  7. Swolo says:

    The problem is it is really hard to have discussions online that are good. The best discussions and conversations happen in real life.

  8. Princess Zatra says:

    I have completely gotten rid of my social media avenues except for YouTube. For news, I rely on NPR and BBC podcasts for the most part because I am too busy to read. When I do read, it is usually from the NYT, WSJ, CBC and The Guardian websites. I quit most American news sources long before fake news was huge because I despise the amount of attention celebrities get on mainstream news.

  9. mudbrowneyedgirl says:

    Seriously. I worked at a public library where one of my responsibilities was maintaining the news print sections, and now I’m in library school and my literal job at the university is checking in physical newspapers and magazines from around the world.
    Libraries have this stuff waiting for you, for free. Many also offer free access to online subscriptions. Please, don’t forget the libraries!

  10. Danny Revill says:

    Kind of off topic a little but I am one of those people that idolizes certain individuals on social media and also compare my life to theirs. So maybe deleting Twitter would help me with this problem.

  11. therabbithat says:

    My phone cost 20 euro and it makes calls and texts. I never got a smart phone. you all laughed at me*. Now you are copying me and I laugh**.

    * none of YOU laughed at me

    ** actually I just feel smug

  12. Gracie James says:

    I’ve deleted every social media account from my phone except YouTube, and I can honestly say that the quality of my life has increased since doing so.

  13. mrgresick says:

    Gave up all social media entirely for lent and have enjoyed the peace. Did not make a formal announcement, except this one, just gave up on Ash Wednesday. Started to feel like a mouse clicking the food button and I hate feeling rodent like.

  14. Michael Grey says:

    My smart phone died in Decemeber and I went for 6 weeks before replacing it, and I have to say it was refreshing. Just everything from not being contactable to my work outside of office hours, to just being able to day dream while waiting for a train.

    I’m sorry to say I ad to get another one. Just having a map at my fingertips alone is necessary when I’m taking three kids to three seperate birthday parties and need to know if the nearest hardware store is still open while I’m waiting. Also: audio books. It’s the only way I can read these days due to a busy life.

    However, I did end up getting a very low data plan and have not reinstalled Facebook, twitter or anything like that, forcing me to not constantly check things and making me avoid telling people where they’re wrong.

    In the end, I feel I ‘ve reached a happy medium where I have the usefulness, but not the distraction and stress.

    Also, I didn’t give me new number to work, so they still can’t call me.

  15. pd says:


  16. Rasgonras says:

    This is why me and my wife never really joined the social internet.

  17. Someone Mystery says:

    I’ve been on a semi-dumb phone for the past few weeks for Lent, and it definitely feels better not checking social media every few minutes, but somehow I still ending wasting a lot of my free time

  18. Billy Bran says:

    My experience is pretty good. I only have Instagram though, and don’t have much of a presence on it, so you know.

  19. Stephen Holmes says:

    What’s the name of the soccer app?

  20. AprilDawn Bennett says:

    I actually do something similar. I get skimm emails weekdays, which I love btw, and only watch comedy news shows. I’ve also been working on refraining those feelings I get into thoughts about why it upsets me and if I can do something (like write or call my Representative.) I also only use Facebook and with a little work was able to game the algorithm so I don’t see political posts for the most part. Early results are positive, but it’s too soon to know for sure. (see what I did there? lol)

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