How to avoid distractions online?
The average attention span of the human species has gone down a lot and most of it is due to the constant distractions. We use multiple platforms like WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, Instagram, Medium etc on a day to day basis. It is essential that we understand why we are using the platform and streamline the content on that platform to suit and extract the best out of the platform.
There are 3 main points that I follow and suggest.
Choose the purpose:
The first thing to do is to realise which content to consume from which platform. How I go about this is that Instagram is definitely for fun and social interaction since I basically sacked off Facebook as a social platform. The number of ads to content was huge there (I do use it very occasionally) So Instagram is for maintaining contact with people and seeing what they're up to in life. Whatsapp is for personal contacts only. Twitter I see it as a knowledge medium and just follow accounts relevant to my areas of interest.
Avoid Cross Mixing of content:
Once we have defined a purpose for each of the platforms the next strategy is to keep it clean. Mercilessly purge follows to maintain consistency. For example, I used to follow news on Twitter and as with news relating to India, I started seeing a certain kind of bias in the news feeds. So I unfollowed anyone and anything to do with news, I have a news app that relays news for me now I spend 20 minutes what happens in a general context every day.
If and when you need multi-purpose usage of a platform then create separate accounts for each of the purposes, that is easy to do in social and media. But then there comes a trade-off question of how many platforms and how many accounts. The golden rule is to stick with one account per platform.
To ensure that there is equitable usage of platforms it is better to set controls and alarms on phones on certain apps to avoid over-usage of the apps. All smartphones have a parental control feature it is important to have this so that not a lot of time is burned down in a useless aspect of life and very less in something else.
I believe that this framework will help reduce distractions and help in a better overall experience of the internet. This will also ensure smooth usage and attain goals if any while remaining on the internet all the time.