Take Control

What We As Individuals Can Do

If we all make choices that reflect the technology we want to see in the world, we can regain control and together change the way technology is built. Grab a friend or family member today and join the movement by starting with your own devices.

Don’t just defaultreboot and rewire your experience with your technology with these actions: 
Note: The resources linked here will direct you to organizations who we think are doing great work. These third-party sites are not formally affiliated with CHT and their content may change without notice. Please review with care and discretion.

Turn Off Notifications

Red is a trigger color that instantly draws our attention. Reclaim your time by turning off notifications.

Take Control

  • Go to Settings > Notifications, or swipe left on any incoming notification and hit Manage > Turn Off

Remove Toxic Apps

Remove apps that profit off of addiction, distraction, outrage, polarization, and misinformation.

Take Control

  • Remove Facebook → Message friends with Signal.
  • Remove TikTok → Send video messages by direct text or with Marco Polo.
  • Remove Snapchat → Get creative in Text instead.
  • Remove Instagram → Use VSCO for photography.

Download Helpful Tools

We’re not going to fix the problems of tech with more tech, but some tools are more helpful than others. Check out more useful tools at the bottom of this page.

Take Control

Eliminate Outrage from Your Diet

We vote with our clicks. Don't support sites that pollute our cultural environment with vitriol via clickbait and outrage.

Take Control

  • Unfollow outrage-chasing voices on Twitter → Use iUnfollow to clean up your Following. Start fresh and intentionally choose the voices you expose yourself to. 
  • Unfollow outrage driven Facebook Groups → Check your Groups > Settings > Following.
  • Remove sharply polarized media outlets from your news feed → Both MSNBC & FOXNews.

Follow Voices You Disagree With

Social media serves us content we already agree with to keep us online longer, eroding our ability to engage with people who don’t share our views. To solve problems from poverty to racism to climate change, we have to come together and expose ourselves to different perspectives.

Take Control

  • Check news sites whose perspectives you disagree withAllSides gives readers a cross-partisan view of world events covered by the media, and sustains itself on a consciously created hybrid revenue model to avoid bias and clickbait incentives.

Be Compassionate

Social media profits off hate and anger because it generates more engagement. Let’s fight back with compassion.

Take Control

  • Pause → Remember there’s a real person behind the screen. Don’t be so quick to unfollow or publicly argue with someone who posts something you disagree with.
  • Be compassionate → Try a private message to ask why they feel that way, with genuine curiosity and a desire to understand.

Set Boundaries

We use our phones and news feeds from the moment we wake up, to falling asleep, and even in the bathroom.

Take Control

  • Clear your morning & evenings → Set clear bounded blocks of time without technology.
  • Device-free dinners → Play a game where the first person to check their device does the dishes.
  • Create a shared charging station at home → Charge your family's phones away from bedrooms overnight.
  • Buy a separate alarm clockWake up without getting sucked into your phone first thing in the morning.

Fully Disconnect 1 Day Per Week

Take one full day off your phone and social media per week. It’s not only good for youif everyone did this, it would reduce the total time on social platforms by 15%, hurting their bottom line.

Take Control

  • Pick a date and let your friends and family know you’ll be offline → Ask them to do it with you by sharing this page with them.

Remember the Positive

If you receive 99 positive comments on a post and 1 negative comment, which do you focus on? Our survival-biased brains tend to focus on the negative, even after we turn away from our tech.

Take Control

  • Take screenshots of the positive messages you receive to store in a folder on your phone → Let the rest go. Tech warps how our brains receive feedback, and we can fight back by remembering the positive.
  • Practice cultivating gratitude for others and using technology to share your love Send a special video to a friend with Tribute or Montage.

Support Local Journalism

Don’t force your local newspaper to play social media’s clickbait game. Support your local newspaper directly by paying for a subscription so that we can remain the customer, not the product. Democracy doesn’t work without healthy journalism.

Take Control

  • Find your local newspapers and support them → USNPL directory.
  • Upgrade your membership on platforms that provide meaningful content.

How We Change the System to Work for Us

Changing our individual use isn’t enough. We all have a role to play in changing how tech is built and regulated. Together, we can rebuild the system.

1. Get Educated

Learn more about the toxic harms of social media business models from our Ledger of Harms.

2. Join a conversation group

Join Upcoming Conversations to connect with other citizens who are concerned about this global problem.

3. Demand Policy

Raise your voice and demand policymakers and future presidential administrations push for Comprehensive Humane Technology Reform.

Learn more  →

Will you support policy change?

Join the movement for humane technology

Demand government action to reduce the dangerous incentives of social media, towards humane technology.

Useful Tools

Get More Sleep

  • Turn on NightShift (iOS): Blue light from screens late at night tricks our body into believing it’s still daytime, which disrupts our natural ability to sleep. Go to your Settings > Display & Brightness > turn on Night Shift.
  • Flux (Mac, Windows): Reclaim 15 mins of quality sleep by cutting the blue light from your screen.

Understand Your Screen Time

  • Moment (iOS): See how much time you spend on your phone and learn how to change your habits with daily coaching. 

Reduce Distractions

  • Distraction-Free YouTube (Chrome): Removes recommended videos from the side bar of YouTube, making you less likely to get sucked in to unintentional content-holes. (Does not currently disable autoplay.)
  • Facebook Newsfeed Eradicator (Chrome): Removes the Facebook newsfeed and blurs the sidebars and notifications, allowing you to use some of the more utilitarian features of Facebook without getting sucked into the newsfeed.
  • uBlock Origin (Chrome, Safari, Firefox): Reclaim ~30-40% of your attention with every article you read by blocking content, ads and tracking.
  • Siempo (Chrome): Replace your home screen with an interface that allows you to batch notifications, unbrand icons, randomize their location, and set restrictions to prevent unconscious usage.
  • InboxWhenReady (Gmail): Focus your inbox by only showing messages when you click “Show Inbox” instead of getting distracted as new emails arrive.
  • NoMoRoBo (iOS, Android): Blocks robocalls and decreases the time you spend dealing with spam and telemarketers.

Stay Focused on Your Goals

  • Flipd: Stay focused together in live study sessions with friends and protect yourself from distraction by temporarily erasing apps from your phone.
  • Freedom (Mac & Windows): Create custom blocklists on your desktop, tablet and phone for set periods of time.

Practice Mindfulness

  • Calm: Leading meditation app helps you reduce anxiety by creating calm and stress-free time in your day.
  • Insight Timer: Online community for meditation featuring guided meditations, music and talks posted by contributing experts.
  • Ten Percent Happier: Discover guided meditations from experts and practical teachings that you can carry anywhere.
  • Headspace: Zone in on what matters most with a meditation practice that focuses on your progress and improved well-being over time.

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