#2. Hide social media slot machines
‘Slot machine apps’ is a pejorative phrase to refer to apps that use variable rate rewards to try to trigger mindless and addictive behavior. That’s how the app tries to become your boss — although maybe boss isn’t even a strong enough word. These are virtual drugs and due to societal oversight, your dealer (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat) is allowed to pose as a respectable member of society.
Thankfully, you can configure all of your social media to eliminate the addictive elements.
- Move Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Pinterest, Periscope, LinkedIn and Tumblr into a folder on your second screen. These are addictions.
- Some people call this folder ‘Social’ or ‘Media’. For a while, I titled my folder Worthless. That was overly judgmental. I’d recommend calling this folder Leisure so that you’re being clear with yourself about when to open it.
- This setup goes a little bit deeper, though: hide your favorite social apps on the second screen of that folder.
This last trick comes from Tristan Harris.
Here’s what I mean. When your addictions are in the first screen of a folder, they’re still visibly calling out to you. Still bad:
Instead, move your apps to the second screen of that folder, like so (the first screen has just one app, the second screen has the rest):
This second-screen-of-folder-on-second-screen strategy requires that at least one app be visible. When you reach this decision point for social media apps, you obviously should choose LinkedIn. It’s the least addictive.
Extra credit for people that are actual productivity nuts: just delete all your social media apps.