"Smartphone App Phobia" Triggers Young People to Try "Digital Minimalist"

  From using the mobile phone’s screen for more than 10 hours a day, to seeing the phone’s disgust, to finding a new mode of getting along with the phone... In the past month, Zhong Ning conducted a "digital minimalism" experiment. She found that she Some positive feedback is being received.

  She does not deny the convenience that mobile phones bring to life.

The concept of digital minimalism was touched by her when she used her mobile phone to search for "how to get rid of mobile phone dependence". It points to a new way of life: get rid of dependence on electronic products, establish a set of rules for rational and restrained use, In order to reduce the interference caused by excessive information, save one's attention, and focus more on the current life.

  A reporter from China Youth Daily and China Youth Daily learned that there are many people who have the same troubles as Zhong Ning both online and offline.

On Douban.com, some netizens have formed a "Digital Minimalist" theme group, and more than 13,700 people have joined.

"Time is shattered"

  Zhong Ning is 34 years old and is a new media editor for a cultural media company in Wuhan.

She is used to opening WeChat every day when she wakes up to see what hot events or topics are in the morning; she also checks her work group and circle of friends before going to bed, "for fear of missing important information."

  Since its birth in 2011, WeChat has unknowingly become the number one app for many people’s work, and it is also the app that annoys Zhong Ning the most: there are more and more work-related groups, and all kinds of news are constant every day, but anything that is slightly important She didn't dare not read the new news from the group; in the address book, various "friends" might leave messages at any time.

Sometimes she is busy, and the leader, colleague or partner is looking for her online, she has to stop the work at hand and reply one by one.

  Zhong Ning came into contact with "Digital Minimalist" in early August.

When a new round of the epidemic hit, work was changed to work online from home.

One week later, the phone’s automatic statistics showed that she used the phone’s screen for more than 10 hours a day.

  Zhong Ning spends more time on WeChat, but his work efficiency drops.

She found that the seemingly casual "click" and "take a look" were very exhausting and "time was shattered" at the end of the day.

During the day, it is difficult for her to find a relatively complete time period. Some tasks that require a high degree of concentration can only be moved to the evening, which also causes the rest time to be crowded out.

  After finishing work at night, Zhong Ning likes to open Douban, Douyin and other apps to relax.

Brushing and brushing, often fall asleep after zero o'clock, and the mental state of the next day is affected again.

  Zhong Ning lamented "I am trapped in my mobile phone": on the one hand, it is passive, for example, WeChat is "have to be used by workers."

  Chen Ting, a human resource engineer at a laser industry company in Wuhan, does not look at apps that are not related to work during working hours, but she also "does not leave her hands" on weekends and after get off work.

  Chen Ting is a senior user of Weibo and likes to compile and post dynamic pictures and texts.

Every time she posts, she can't help but click on it from time to time to check whether she has received a "like" or message, and reply one by one; if not, she can browse the content of interest at will.

Often, an hour or two passes without knowing it.

  At one time, Chen Ting noticed that the content on Weibo was relatively fragmented, and he should read more books, but the hand that flipped the book often slipped to the phone.

Unsuccessful "uninstall"

  Now, in the eyes of 22-year-old Zhu Zhidong, smart phones are roughly equivalent to "new drugs in the Internet age."

  Zhu Zhidong has just graduated from university and is preparing for the judicial examination.

At one point, between reading books or online classes, he liked to click on short entertainment videos.

These short video apps are personalized based on user interests. “It’s not easy to stop when you watch them.” The first way Zhu Zhidong thought of was uninstalling.

  But soon, the uninstalled App was reinstalled by him.

So back and forth.

He didn't know whether to blame the phone or to blame his lack of willpower.

  In contrast, Zhong Ning is even more depressed: Facing WeChat, without resigning, she "does not even have the right to uninstall."

  Every day, a steady stream of new information on WeChat once made her feel "brain hypoxia" and "neurasthenia".

After finishing get off work one day in mid-August, she tried to set her phone to "Do Not Disturb" mode.

  Even so, every half an hour she would still check if she missed important information.

Recognizing that other apps have also killed herself a lot of time, she complained to her girlfriends and felt that she had a "smartphone app phobia".

  Until the two groups "Digital Minimalist" and "Digital Minimalist Life" were discovered on Douban, Zhong Ning seemed to find a trace of comfort and hope.

  The group members are mainly young staff and college students.

According to everyone, these apps are the most troubled: WeChat takes the lead, followed by Douyin, Weibo, Douban, Zhihu, Xiaohongshu, etc.

  Regarding the minimalist solution, many team members also mentioned "uninstalling", and someone immediately replied "unsuccessful".

Some suggestions are changed to use on the computer side, after all, computers are not as convenient to log in anytime and anywhere like mobile phones.

But some people objected to saying that the symptoms are not the root cause, "As long as you still want to use it, you will still reinstall it on your phone."

  Others suggested "use back the elderly machine".

On August 20, Zhong Ning placed an order, and basically only can make calls and send and receive text messages.

What Zhong Ning fancy is that it cannot install any apps.

  But here comes a new worry: Zhong Ning only dared to use this "elderly phone" for a short time on weekends. After all, she has to use WeChat to go to work on Monday; in addition, the "elderly phone" has no online payment function and cannot provide it. If you only bring the health code, Zhong Ning can't even enter the supermarket.

In order to reduce the use of mobile phones, merchants even launched "self-discipline artifacts"

  In the view of 24-year-old Jia Qingyang, to avoid being trapped by smartphones, certain objective conditions are needed.

For example, last year, when he was still a student, preparing for the postgraduate entrance examination.

  In order to reduce the time spent on the mobile phone preparing for the exam, he tried many methods: Invite his classmates to review "mutual supervision" together, and the frequency of turning on his mobile phone is indeed reduced; uninstall Douyin, Weibo, close WeChat Moments, he spends It took three or four days to get used to it; in addition, he downloaded software that reminded him to stay focused; at the same time, he told his relatives and friends that he was preparing for the exam, "Don't disturb you in a hurry."

  In the middle and late stages of the review, Jia Qingyang put his mobile phone in the dormitory before going out in the morning, and only brought a tablet computer that could only watch online classes.

After trying for a week, he found that he would miss some urgent things.

He adjusts his method and leaves himself three times a week to bring his mobile phone to self-study, usually on days when there are important matters that need to be dealt with in time.

  After all the operations, Jia Qingyang felt that forcing himself to reduce the time of using the mobile phone, his learning efficiency has improved a lot.

  The business has already smelled the business opportunity.

A China Youth Daily·China Youth Daily reporter found that some e-commerce platforms have some "mobile phone self-discipline locks" for sale.

  This type of device consists of a box with a code lock, and the price ranges from several hundred yuan.

The merchant also gave it a nice name "Self-discipline Artifact", and can only make and receive calls when the box is locked.

Some are also set as a "couple box", which can hold two mobile phones, printed with words such as "Don't play! Lock it up" and "Focus on making me happy".

  Some people say that they "rely on it for postgraduate entrance exams", which overcomes the temptation of being distracted by the mobile phone; some people say that the mobile phone is locked at 8 o'clock in the evening and turned on again the next morning to help adjust the work and rest.

But in the opinion of some office workers, this type of device is only suitable for people who are "qualified to not use WeChat."

  Xiong Nian, a junior at Wuhan University, did not download any software to help him stay focused, and said that he would not buy the above-mentioned devices.

This past summer vacation, with the help of an offline closed training, he gradually cultivated the habit of reducing the use of mobile phones.

  Xiong Nian is a member of the School Memory Association. In order to prepare for the World Memory Championship in October this year, the association held 21 days of training in August this year.

According to regulations, you cannot touch your cell phone every day from 8 am to 12 noon, 2:30 pm to 5:30 pm, and 7 pm to 9:40 pm.

  For 21 days, Xiong Nian strictly enforced it. He did not chat with WeChat or QQ during class time. Sometimes he simply shut down. “When practicing the memory method, you must concentrate and devote yourself to this state. Otherwise, you will be a little careless. , The results will decline."

  At the end of the training camp, Xiong Nian found that his life didn't seem to be affected too much in the days when he didn't use his mobile phone.

  The situation facing Jia Qingyang is different.

Since the postgraduate entrance examination did not "go ashore", now he has become a professional.

He didn't dare to turn off the phone at will, and he spent more time on his mobile phone than when he was taking the postgraduate entrance examination.

Actively adjust yourself and rebuild your balance so that you won’t lose yourself easily

  Smart phone apps are easy for people to "love and hate". This phenomenon has attracted the attention of experts and scholars at home and abroad.

  In 2019, Carl Newport, an American scholar and PhD in computer science, wrote the book "Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Concentrated Life in a Noisy World".

He wrote that the new message reminders of various apps are set to red because the level of warning is the highest; people like to frequently check whether they have received "likes" and comments, because they naturally pursue the approval of others and are curious about unpredictable feedback. .

"What makes people feel uncomfortable is the'out of control' caused by investing too much time and energy on the App."

  "The best way to get rid of weeds is to plant wheat." Carl Newport suggested that he re-examine what he thinks is meaningful, make rational use of technology products, save time and concentrate on moving towards life goals.

At the same time, learn to choose leisure methods that are more likely to bring a sense of value and accomplishment to fill the emptiness when doing nothing, so as not to passively look at the phone.

  In addition, for social information, you can select a time period for batch processing; if the other party has an emergency, they will generally make a call.

Try to communicate with relatives and friends face-to-face, "More efficient and enhance the relationship, even across the screen."

  “The endless stream of apps on smartphones is a double-edged sword. Instead of passively accepting restraints, it’s better to take the initiative to do something.” Hu Yun, 27, works in an institution in Beijing. He has been learning how to be more reasonable for more than half a year. Coexist with it.

  Hu Yun chose to periodically withdraw from some irrelevant WeChat groups, unfollow official accounts that are not entirely of interest, and read paper books instead.

He is not completely repellent to the content of Moments. He divides WeChat friends into groups. For example, he has been following entrepreneurial groups for a long time, so he selects a time period to focus on the Moments of this group and screens out useful information for archiving research.

On weekends, when he was free, he went out to meet friends for cycling and mountain climbing. “After exchanging feelings and relaxing, it’s much more fulfilling and happier than using short videos from "Ge You Lie" at home."

  Zhong Ning chose to spend a weekend reading "Digital Minimalism" and many related papers.

Now, she has deliberately reduced the time she spends on her mobile phone, and the WeChat messages are processed in different time periods. Generally, she responds collectively after lunch and before get off work in the afternoon; the circle of friends is browsed once a day, and more friends can meet offline.

  These changes seem trivial.

But Zhong Ning felt that he gradually recovered some sense of control over life.

She firmly believes that redundant information is reduced by digital simplicity, which "will eventually bring back the freedom of the soul."

  The new semester started, Xiong Nian tried not to spend too much energy on the phone, and chose to read paper books and study in his spare time.

There are still a lot of new messages on WeChat and QQ, and he shuts down more frequently. "Now think about it, what can students do? Nothing requires you to reply immediately."

  In the opinion of Professor Hong Jiewen from the School of Journalism and Communication of Wuhan University, some young people choose to reduce their mobile phone use time or retreat from social media, which represents a kind of "self-awakening": they are beginning to reflect on social media apps from users. What's taken here, how people deal with themselves in the digital age, and how to deal with technology.

  Hong Jiewen introduced that according to Maslow's hierarchy of needs theory, social needs are a strong need second only to physiological needs and safety needs.

As early as the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th century, the United States had developed "anti-technicalism" criticizing the negative effects of technology.

Even now, some scholars choose not to use mobile phones or WeChat in order to avoid being disturbed by electronic products and focus on the work at hand.

  At present, some people choose to turn off App push notifications, WeChat Moments Little Red Dot, or force themselves not to look at their mobile phones during certain time periods and occasions, or even uninstall social software and log off their accounts. These are all specific manifestations of "social media burnout."

  “The restraint on social media is actually the independence of technology. Only by actively self-adjusting and rebuilding balance can you not easily lose yourself.” The research conducted by the team led by Hong Jiewen showed that some interviewees have reduced their WeChat Moments. After self-expression, there were still unaccustomed feelings that could not be revealed due to a strong desire for expression at the beginning, but after adapting, I felt that reducing the use of social tools had a more obvious positive effect on individual happiness, social interaction, and work or study engagement. The overall life The quality has improved.

  (At the request of the interviewee, Jia Qingyang, Xiong Nian, and Hu Yun are pseudonyms)

  China Youth Daily·China Youth Daily reporter Zhu Juanjuan, intern Zhang Ran and Zhang Zihang Source: China Youth Daily

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