THE FIX FOR MINDLESS SCROLLING

I know you know that pang. 

It comes when you realized that you've wasted 46 minutes scrolling through the social feed of someone who made a weird comment on a post you no longer remember. Someone you don't even know. Yet now, you know the highlight reel of their last 6 months—and have wasted time comparing your life to theirs, for better or worse.

Sigh.

That pang signals you've fallen down the rabbit hole again. You could have used that time for something better. Maybe you could even have been on time for bed/the gym/your commute, damn it.

Maybe tomorrow will be better. #probablynot

Because when you're mindlessly scrolling, you're falling right into the trap set by the major feed designers. They work very hard to show you whatever will keep you sucked in and scrolling on. Provoking outrage and insecurity are favorite tactics. They're not too worried if you're triggered by the news or feeling ever more anxious about how much better everyone else's life seems. As long as it keeps you scrolling and the ad dollars flowing.

Mindlessly scrolling through content you don't have control over—that is designed to drive ad revenue—is not about helping you live your best life.

Yes, it's fun to keep up with friends and easily share photos and updates (when you can find those posts). It's great. When it happens.

But companies that design feeds driven by ad revenue have priorities that conflict with our well-being. They can't connect you with your friends if it doesn't drive dollars.

It rather horrifies me to think about how much time we're spending on the daily, being intentionally fed whatever triggers us to spend as long as possible feeding on someone else's agenda. The impact of this compulsive feeding habit we've developed is staggering.

Pretty sure I don't have to convince you of that. If you've spent any length of time on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Pinterest, or Twitter, you already know.

My frustration with how much time I waste mindlessly scrolling is matched only by how often I forget what I mindfully collect. 

I define mindfully collecting as the habitual gathering of content we think will help us live our best life. I'm referring to the:

  • Screenshots we take on our phone of the things we swear we'll check out someday (and pretty much never do).
  • Pile of journals and notepads we've scribbled down our deepest thoughts, best ideas, and favorite bits of wisdom.
  • Loads of inspiring quotes we've found on Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook.
  • All those books we've underlined, notated, and bookmarked with things we wish we could remember.
  • Our Notes app or Evernote or Pocket that we've rigged to try and keep hold of "all the things" that matter.
  • That draft email that we will never send, but keep adding to—that's filled with interesting or inspiring bits.
  • The notes we've jotted down when we took that course or had that coach or therapist or simply watched SuperSoul Sunday.
  • Those Post-It notes we've strategically placed so that we can retrain our brain to think positive thoughts. They don't stick as well as we'd like.
  • That file of cards and letters and photos and handmade artwork we save to flip through when we need a pick-me-up (that is, if we remember it's there).

I could certainly list more, but I think you get what I'm talking about?

We humans are a curious folk—especially those of us I call Seekers. We can't stand it if we're not learning or growing or moving forward in life. So we're constantly hungry for content.

We are always looking for a better way to feel better.

Globally, we are feeding an average of 135 minutes a day (that's on social media feeds alone), yet still starving for that which reminds us that we are enough and we're going to be OK.

As "connected" as we are via these major feeds, we remain so disconnected to what we're feeling and what matters most to us.

Thus, why I am obsessed with the possibility of creating an entirely new kind of feed—one that makes it harder to mindlessly scroll and easier to mindfully collect so that we can feed ourselves what actually feeds our humanity. Something that helps us humans feel better about being human.

Because as long as we keep:

  • feeling badly about getting sucked into something that's literally designed to suck us in—then confusing it as our personal failing
  • comparing ourselves to everyone else in our feed and feeling like we're not good enough or are failing life
  • forgetting the things we most want to remember, that actually help us feel better

...we're going to keep feeling those pangs of regret, having wasted time yet again. We're going to keep hopping from post to post and spending our real life comparing ourselves to artificial representations. And when we do that, nobody wins.

The truth that's been true for all time

We all feel alone. We all are wondering if we're enough, if we're doing enough, if we're going to reach our goals or fail the people we love. Because we're human and this is our shared human experience. The eternal irony is that despite all we know, we still believe we're the only one who struggle with the things we don't want others to know.

Bless us and all our human parts protecting our human hearts.

Far too often, we forget that we get to choose. We do not have to remain at the mercy of the creepy algorithms driving record-breaking ad revenues.

But we haven't found a better option to feed us better. That's why I'm creating one.

It's time to disrupt our feeding habit with a new technology that lets us choose what we're fed.

The app I'm creating—Recollect—will help us collect what we love and then feed it back to us based on how we're feeling in that moment.

Because you know when you're scrolling and see something that is exactly the thing you needed to see in that moment?

It's the right quote, the right photo, the right story—the right thing in that moment—that reminds you: you're not alone, you're going to be OK, and you can do brave shit.

You literally feel it. It feels like relief. Like a softening or grounding or relaxing into your truth. You're not alone and you're not crazy. You're just human.

That's when content feeds can be life savers.

Recollect is going to be the feed that gives you that amazing feeling over and over and over again.

It'll be kinda like if the wisest person you know was available 24/7 to remind you of just the right thing at the right time so you feel better—no matter what you're feeling. 

Like if you could text Oprah any time you wanted and she'd respond with the perfect piece of content to help you feel better. Because in this fantasy, Oprah would know all that content you've collected: the screenshots and notes and pins and quotes and highlights—those special mementos you would grab if your house was on fire. She'd have all that content you love, ready to remind you of it. 

Since Oprah cannot be the Santa of content, we need Recollect.

No matter what you're feeling—whether it's tired or excited or content or overwhelmed—every single feeling you feel is welcome.

You get to be exactly where you are, as you are, and be reminded as often as you need that you're not alone and you can choose to remember what feels better. Recollect will remind you of the right thing at the right time.

There isn't anything I've found that does what Recollect will do, which is why I decided to create it. 

Because I believe in the exponential power of a collective and the transformative power of community, I'm not creating this on my own. 

And you're invited to help me make it amazing.

Together, we're going to create the app that will be our very favorite self-care tool and the easiest way to remember what feels better.

I've been developing Recollect in collaboration with an incredible group of Founding Members who believe in this concept and want it in their hands. If this mission resonates with you, join us.

And if you're excited about the concept, but would rather eat the finished product than be in the kitchen perfecting the recipe, request an invite. You'll find the sign-up at the bottom of this page. We'll keep you posted as we go and you'll receive an invite to the beta version.

Until then, I remain obsessed on our behalf. The feed that actually feeds us is on its way.

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Amy JonesComment