My Project Cyclops Lite

This Project Cyclops not this one.

I usually thought that I had my media consumption under control. Until I noticed two things: Whenever I am “bored” in a situation I would get out my phone and instead of doing something worthwhile (which would be OK depending on the situation) I would open the “reddit is fun” app and browse reddit. So far so usual. I defended that practice as reading reddit is informative and educational. Then it hit me (second thing I noticed): I was only browsing image links — I was crazy good at spotting the domain-names that would most likely send me to image posts and just opening those links. So I was not at all using reddit as the source of educational and informative content that I had tricked myself into believing to find there.

Instead of throwing out the App or disabling the site (informative! educational!) I filled the “block content” (Settings->Content filters->Post filters) list of reddit is fun with the following domains:

This was about three months ago. Using my phone has almost immediately become a different thing altogether: I read more long-form articles from my read-later-list, I read more long-form articles from (yes!) reddit. And I am more likely to not open my phone at all and instead be interested in my surroundings. I was astounded how fast my brain knew that opening the App would not give the instant gratification and would “allow” me to open other apps instead.

Today I was sick at home and not able to concentrate long enough to really read — so I deactivated the filters and enjoyed a few memes and other image-posts. All-in-all many of them are interesting — but not enough to warrant getting my brain an easy fix. So I have activated the filters again.

TL;DR: Try reddit without image-posts — it’s amazing!