It’s funny that the author of this article uses Reddit’s app as an example of the problems with infinite scroll, as it’s the app I’ve most recently deleted on my phone. I installed it because I had to in order to continue reading a particular subreddit that I needed access to, but then the front page is just, so interesting for easily-distracted people (i.e. all of us) that I had delete it a few days later.
As a parent, there are some apps I don’t allow my kids to access at all, and other ones I kind of tolerate if they access them through the browser. The combination of notifications and infinite scroll is a dangerous drug for the mind.
When I take a minute to think about the things I enjoy doing with my devices, it helps me realize that they’re the ones where I’m deliberately using it. Talking to people I know, for example. Watching that movie I had been looking forward to. Looking up the origin of an oddly spelled word. Creating, rather than just consuming, and using it as a tool to improve my life, even if that little improvement is a one word answer to a tiny question that had been bugging me.
I don’t have any quick fixes or easy answers. I’ve struggled with this for a very long time. I’ve gotten much better at dealing with it, but I find I have to remain conscious of it. That’s where admitting defeat helps; I know how my brain works, and I can work with it. Let’s not install that app with the infinite scroll, since we can probably get by with just the mobile web version. Let’s not log in, unless there’s a reason you need to, since they’re after you with recommendations for your account. Let’s try to be conscious of how much time you end up spending on certain sites.