Conscious internet usage

Overcoming COVID-19-related bad internet habits

This week, I became aware of a bad habit that I’d developed over the past month or so, and decided to correct it.

With the ongoing COVID-19 situation, I’d allowed regular checks of the news creep back into my life, and that had opened the floodgates for other stereotyped internet usage.

Initially, my habitual response to an idle mind became to open a new tab and check for the latest COVID update… what was the latest death toll? which famous person had it now? what measures were the government taking? It felt important to be in-touch with the rapidly-evolving situation.

However, for some reason this habit rolled out into other things. For example, I started checking my email more often and I started following the trends on Twitter more closely (whether COVID-related or not).

This week, I became acutely aware that I’d stopped being intentional with what I read on the internet, and wasn’t spending much time on websites that I would consider more valuable in terms of personal and intellectual growth.

To resolve this, I wrote out a list of websites to avoid, and made a list of websites to go to in free moments that arise in future. I then added the BlockSite chrome extension for the websites I wanted to avoid and added my desired sites to the chrome Bookmark Bar.

If interested, some of the top go-to websites are Slate Star Codex, Ribbon Farm, Towards Data Science and The Healthcare Blog - all websites I can wholeheartedly recommend.

How have you been spending self-isolation time on the internet? Any tips for managing news-checking impulses? Any new interesting or productive areas of the internet you’ve come across? I’d love to hear your exepriences.


LINKS

Machine learning in medicine

Personal

  • I stretched my creative muscles this week and made my first ‘travel vlog’ video from a trip to Malaysia last year, which was a lot of fun. (I think I may have gone a little heavy with the music)


Have a great week!

Chris