Take Control

Here are a few important steps you can take right now to increase your digital well-being and regain control. Start with your own devices and invite friends or family to join you. Our collective individual actions are creating a powerful growing movement. Together, we can change the system.

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

While we can’t solve tech with more tech, there are some tools out there that can help. Here’s our short list (see our longer list 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 clock → Wake up without getting sucked into your phone first thing in the morning

Fully Disconnect 1 Day Per Week

Disconnecting can be a powerful way to reconnect with yourself and your loved ones. It’s not only good for you — collectively we can reduce time spent on social media platforms by 15%, impacting bottom lines.

Take Control
  • Pick a date and let your friends and family know you’ll be offline → Or better yet, invite them to join you

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

Ready to join us and help change the system?

Additional Resources

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.

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.
  • InboxWhenReady (Gmail): Focus your inbox by only showing messages when you click “Show Inbox” instead of getting distracted as new emails arrive.

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: 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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