Take Control

Rewire Your Relationship with Tech

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: 

Turn Off Notifications

Notifications appear in red dots because red is a trigger color that instantly draws our attention. Avoid being lured back into apps that profit off your attention and 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

Delete Toxic Apps

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

TAKE CONTROL

  • Delete Facebook → Message friends with Messenger.
  • Delete TikTok → Send video messages with Marco Polo.
  • Delete Snapchat → Get creative in Text instead.
  • Delete Instagram → Use VSCO for photography.

Download Helpful Tools

Many apps can help you do more of what matters to you and spend time disconnected from technology.

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 with → Use this media bias chart from AllSides to follow a balanced mix of sources that challenge your views.

Be Compassionate

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

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 sending a private message and asking them 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 for 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 spent on social media companies 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 100 comments on a public post and 99 are positive and one is negative, which do you focus on? Our brains not only focus on negative things people say about us, but we loop on them even after we turn away from our tech.

TAKE CONTROL

  • Cultivate gratitude and let the rest go. Remember that technology is warping how our brains receive feedback, and we can fight back by remembering the positive.

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

Change How Tech is Built

Changing our own use isn’t enough. We all have a role to play in redesigning the future of technology.

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.

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. 
  • RescueTime (Mac, Windows): See how much time you spend on different apps on your desktop along with various websites.


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.
  • 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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