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纽约时报双语:心理学家教你三招戒掉“手机瘾”

心理学家教你三招戒掉“手机瘾”
It’s Time for a Digital Detox. (You Know You Need It.)
BRIAN X. CHEN
2020年12月17日
纽约时报双语:心理学家教你三招戒掉“手机瘾”

When is enough enough?

什么时候才算是个头?

Even though the presidential election is over, we’re still doomscrolling through gloomy news about the coronavirus surge. The rest of your daily routine is probably something like mine while stuck at home in the pandemic: Divided among streaming movies on Netflix, watching home improvement videos on YouTube and playing video games. All of these activities involve staring at a screen.

虽然总统大选已经结束,但我们仍然不断看到新冠病毒激增的悲观新闻。在因为疫情肆虐而困在家的情况下,你的其他日常可能跟我的差不多:不是在网飞(Netflix)上看片子,在YouTube上看家庭装修视频,就是打电子游戏。所有这些活动,都需要盯着屏幕。

There has to be more to life than this. With the holiday season upon us, now is a good time to take a breather and consider a digital detox.

生活一定有更为丰富的内容。随着假期季的来临,现在是休息一下,考虑数字排毒的好时机。

No, that doesn’t mean quitting the internet cold turkey. No one would expect that from us right now. Think of it as going on a diet and replacing bad habits with healthier ones to give our weary eyes some much needed downtime from tech.

不不不,不是说要你一下子戒掉互联网。我们不会出这样的馊主意。就把它想象为节食,用健康的习惯取代坏习惯,让我们疲惫的双目暂时远离科技产品,获得一些亟需的休息时间。

“There’s lots of great things to do online, but moderation is often the best rule for life, and it’s no different when it comes to screens,” said Jean Twenge, a psychology professor at San Diego State University and the author of “iGen,” a book about younger generations growing up in the smartphone era.

“在网上有很多有意思的事情可以做,但节制往往是人生最重要的规则,涉及屏幕也是如此,”圣地亚哥州立大学(San Diego State University)心理学教授、关于手机时代长大的年轻一代的《iGen》一书的作者简·特温杰(Jean Twenger)说道。

Too much screen time can take a toll on our mental health, depriving us of sleep and more productive tasks, experts said. I, for one, am experiencing this. Before the pandemic, my average daily screen time on my phone was three and a half hours. Over the last eight months, that has nearly doubled.

专家表示,长时间盯着屏幕会损害我们的心理健康,影响睡眠和工作。就自己来说,我正面临这种状况。在这次大流行病之前,我每天使用手机的时间是三个半小时。在过去八个月,这个数字几乎翻了一番。

So I turned to psychology experts for their advice. From setting limits to finding alternatives to being glued to our phones, here’s what we can do.

于是,我向心理学专家寻求建议。从设置限制到寻找沉迷手机的替代方案,以下是我们可以做的事情。

Come Up With a Plan

制定计划

Not all screen time is bad — after all, many students are attending school via videoconferencing apps. So Step One is assessing which parts of screen time feel toxic and make you unhappy. That could be reading the news or scrolling through Twitter and Facebook. Step Two is creating a realistic plan to minimize consumption of the bad stuff.

并非所有对着屏幕的时间都是不好的——毕竟,许多学生现在是通过视频会议应用来上课。所以,第一步是评估屏幕使用时间中哪些部分是有害、让你不开心的。这有可能是网上浏览新闻,或者刷社交媒体。第二步,就是制定切合实际的计划,减少用于不良部分的时间。

You could set modest goals, such as a time limit of 20 minutes a day for reading news on weekends. If that feels doable, shorten the time limit and make it a daily goal. Repetition will help you form new habits.

目标不用订得太高,比如在周末的时候,每天最多就拿出20分钟看看新闻。如果感觉可行,就缩短时间限制,让它成为每天的目标。反复这么做会帮助你养成新的习惯。

That’s easier said than done. Adam Gazzaley, a neuroscientist and co-author of the book “The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World,” recommended creating calendar events for just about everything, including browsing the web and taking breaks. This helps create structure.

说起来容易做起来难。神经学家、《一心多用:高科技世界中的古代大脑》(The Distracted Mind: Ancient Brains in a High-Tech World)一书的合著者亚当·加扎利(Adam Gazzaley)建议,给所有事情都创建日历事件,包括上网和休息。这有助于建起一个结构。

For example, you could block off 8 a.m. to read the news for 10 minutes, and 20 minutes from 1 p.m. for riding the exercise bike. If you feel tempted to pick up your phone during your exercise break, you would be aware that any screen time would be violating the time you dedicated to exercise.

例如,你可以在早上8点拿出10分钟看新闻,下午1点用20分钟时间骑车健身。如果你在锻炼休息时想看手机,你会意识到,屏幕使用时间会占用你用于锻炼的时间。

Most important, treat screen time as if it were a piece of candy that you occasionally allow yourself to indulge. Don’t think of it as taking a break as that may do the opposite of relaxing you.

最重要的是,把看屏幕的时间当作一块偶尔纵容自己的糖果。不要把它当成休息,因为这可能会起到相反的作用。

“Not all breaks are created equal,” Dr. Gazzaley said. “If you take a break and go into social media or a news program, it can get hard to get out of that rabbit hole.”

“并不是所有休息都有一样的效果,”加扎利说。“如果你休息的时候扎进社交媒体或新闻节目,就很难爬出那个兔子洞了。”

Create No-Phone Zones

创造无手机区域

We need to recharge our phones overnight, but that doesn’t mean the devices need to be next to us while we sleep. Many studies have shown that people who keep phones in their bedrooms sleep more poorly, according to Dr. Twenge.

我们需要整夜给手机充电,但这并不意味着我们睡觉时手机必须在身旁。据特温杰说,许多研究表明,卧室里放手机的人睡眠质量更差。

Smartphones are harmful to our slumber in many ways. The blue light from screens can trick our brains into thinking it’s daytime, and some content we consume — especially news — can be psychologically stimulating and keep us awake. So it’s best not to look at phones within an hour before bed. What’s more, the phone’s proximity could tempt you to wake up and check it in the middle of the night.

智能手机在很多方面对我们的睡眠有害。屏幕发出的蓝光会让我们的大脑误以为身处白天,而我们摄入的一些内容——特别是新闻——可能会对心理产生刺激,让我们睡不着觉。所以,最好不要在睡前一小时看手机。更重要的是,与手机的亲密距离可能会诱使你半夜醒来时查看它。

“My No. 1 piece of advice is no phones in the bedroom overnight — this is for adults and teens,” Dr. Twenge said. “Have a charging station outside the bedroom.”

“我的第一条建议是晚上卧室里不要放手机——这对成人和青少年都适用,”特温杰说。“卧室外要有个充电的地方。”

Outside of our bedrooms, we can create other No-Phone Zones. The dinner table, for example, is a prime opportunity for families to agree to put phones away for at least 30 minutes and reconnect.

在我们的卧室之外,也可以创造其他无电话区域。例如,餐桌就是一家人同意把手机放到一边至少30分钟,重新与彼此交流的绝佳机会。

Resist the Hooks

抵抗诱惑

Tech products have designed many mechanisms to keep us glued to our screens. Facebook and Twitter, for example, made their timelines so that you could scroll endlessly through updates, maximizing the amount of time you spend on their sites.

为了让我们紧紧盯住屏幕,科技产品设计了许多机制。比如Facebook和Twitter设置了时间轴,让你可以无限滚动浏览更新,将你花在他们网站上的时间最大化。

Adam Alter, a marketing professor at New York University’s Stern School of Business and author of the book “Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked,” said that tech companies employed techniques in behavioral psychology that make us addicted to their products.

纽约大学斯特恩商学院(New York University’s Stern School of Business)营销教授、《不可抗拒:成瘾科技的兴起和让我们欲罢不能的生意》(Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked)一书的作者亚当·阿尔塔(Adam Alter)表示,科技公司采取了行为心理学中的技巧,让我们对其产品上瘾。

He highlighted two major hooks:

他着重指出了两大诱惑:

• Artificial goals. Similar to video games, social media sites create goals to keep users engaged. Those include the number of likes and followers we accrue on Facebook or Twitter. The problem? The goals are never fulfilled.

• 人为目标。与电子游戏类似,社交媒体网站也会设定目标以保持用户粘性。这包括我们在Facebook或Twitter上获得的点赞数和关注数。问题在哪?这些目标永远都不会实现。

• Friction-free media. YouTube automatically plays the next recommended video, not to mention the never-ending Facebook and Twitter scrolling. “Before there was a natural end to every experience,” like reading the last page of a book, he said. “One of the biggest things tech companies have done was to remove stopping cues.”

• 无间断媒体。YouTube会自动播放下一个推荐视频,更不用说无休止的Facebook和Twitter滚动。“以前任何体验都有一个自然的终止,”就像读完书的最后一页,他说。“科技公司成就的最重要的事之一,就是消除了终止提示。”

What to do? For starters, we can resist the hooks by making our phones less intrusive. Turn off notifications for all apps except those that are essential for work and keeping in touch with people you care about. If you feel strongly addicted, take an extreme measure and turn the phone to grayscale mode, Dr. Alter said.

那怎么办呢?首先,我们可以通过降低手机的打扰来抵御这些诱惑。除了工作上必不可少的以外,关闭所有应用通知,并多与你关心的人保持联系。阿尔塔说,如果你严重上瘾,就得采取极端措施,将手机调至灰阶模式。

There’s also a simpler exercise. We can remind ourselves that outside of work, a lot of what we do online doesn’t matter, and it’s time that can be better spent elsewhere.

还有一个更简单的做法。我们可以提醒自己,在工作之外,我们在网上做的很多事情并不重要,把时间花在其他地方更好。

“The difference between getting 10 likes and 20 likes, it’s all just meaningless,” Dr. Alter said.

“获得10个赞和20个赞之间的区别,都是毫无意义的,”阿尔塔说。

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