In what can only be described as somewhat ironic, discussions of “monk mode” have been gaining popularity on social media platforms—notably TikTok—where users share tips on the best way to reach peak productivity.
You can also read about the advantages of using SME senior contributor Jack Kelly wrote earlier this week, “Monk mode—inspired by the disciplined lifestyle of monks—refers to intense periods of uninterrupted focus to optimize productivity. This involves focusing intensely on one task while removing distractions.
Some experts say that it’s better not to use social media at all. It is a distraction in the modern world.
“Faced with an overwhelming and ever-growing amount of information, every day, and every minute, be it by news portals, friends on social media, topics of interest and random topics that we did not know we needed to know, we are currently immersed in a sea of information,” Dr. Patricia Páez Manjarrez, professor of Organizational Development, Business Administration, and Human Resources Management in undergraduate and graduate programs at the CETYS University International Campus in Ensenada, explained.
Manjarrez continued, “A few decades ago, most of us only used one screen during a limited time period of time. Now, our screens are constantly with us. They can be a smartphone or tablet in our hand, a smartwatch, video games or multiple tabs open on various devices simultaneously. We scroll endlessly across different networks.
Manjarrez said that it was not so long ago we didn’t have as many screens. It’s also important to note that social media was designed in order to maintain our engagement, which is good for their respective bottom line even if not for society.
Helen Marlo is the dean of Notre Dame de Namur’s School of Psychology. She said that social media, with its wealth of information, is a world of reaction rather than reflection.
Social media culture is one of likes, follows, shares, and posts—and as much of this is polarizing, it can alter how we think and feel.
Marlo said that social media addiction can have a significant impact on how we relate to others. It limits our ability to communicate and listen, especially if another’s story is longer than 2880 characters. “Social media addiction can significantly alter ways of relating to others partially by limiting our ability to communicate and listen to others’ stories—especially if another’s story is longer than 2880 characters!”
Younger Users Are Being Impacted
Monk mode is most likely to benefit younger users, both in terms of their schoolwork and social life. Many teens and young people prefer to communicate mainly with peers using their mobile devices.
Consuming social media by students can affect their social function. Social media consumption has definitely affected students’ ability to form healthy sexual and romantic relationships. Dr. Adrienne White, Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Virginia Commonwealth University said.
She explained that she has spoken to students about their social media consumption, and even those who spend a lot of time on social media do well in class—but they’ve already taken a monk mode approach, even if they didn’t actually know of the term.
Baldwin-White said that many people have noticed the benefits of having an established time when they can use social media.
Social media can be a time-waster, especially if it interferes with your work or studies.
Manjarrez continued, “If you’re afraid to miss out on information or you feel negative emotions when scrolling down social media because you see others enjoying life in a way that is different than what you desire; you may be fearful of not being able to keep up with the latest news.” If you’re unable to achieve your goals or you’ve set them but can’t seem to reach them, you should pause and refocus.