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Gen Z is embracing #MonkMode — by turning off social media


Gen Z is in their monk era.

The screen-obsessed generation is limiting their time on social media in order to focus on a trend known as “monk mode.”

The addictive nature of the internet has caused the cohort of young people to be locked on their screens, enthralled by the never-ending scroll of TikTok and hooked on the dopamine rush of Instagram likes.

But now #MonkMode has amassed more than 76 million views on TikTok — how ironic — as users tout the benefits of a social media detox.

Despite the potential for withdrawals — read: FOMO, or fear of missing out — some users are quitting social media cold turkey, with a wave of anti-app Zoomers spurring a larger movement to unplug, despite living in a device-driven age.

“When you delete it, you realize you don’t need it,” college student Gabriella Steinerman, 20, previously told The Post, saying it was “toxic” to obsess over her best angle to post online.

And that obsession can clearly run deep.

“I think it’s incredibly hard by willpower alone to have a smartphone and not waste a significant amount of time on it,” London-based author and attorney Susie Alegre explained to the BBC.

But not everyone can or wants to cut out social media entirely. Some, like Alegre, are enlisting the help of website-blocking applications.


“When you delete it, you realize you don’t need it,” said Steinerman.
Getty Images

By using the app Freedom, which can block social media sites or shut off the phone’s internet entirely, she is better able to concentrate without the distraction of incessant notifications.

Similar to Apple’s Screen Time feature, Freedom users can set time restrictions for certain apps or enter “locked mode,” during which time the indicated applications are inaccessible until the time limit expires.

But humans’ goldish attention spans isn’t an inherent flaw, said Freedom CEO Fred Stutzman — social media is to blame.

“Meta employs hundreds of Ph.D.s and behavioral scientists to make the app more stimulating,” he claimed. “That’s not a fair fight for the average person.”


People in a circle on their phones
#MonkMode has amassed more than 76 million views on TikTok as users tout the benefits of a social media detox.
Getty Images

Vladimir Druts, the co-founder of the website blocker FocusMe, sees the “monk mode” movement as a response to today’s hustle culture, praising the attention that device addiction is now getting.

But he fears that artificial intelligence will further diminish the ability to focus by “just increasing the amount of content” that exists.

“We’re going to see exponential growth of apps vying for your attention,” he said. “Monk mode is definitely going to be gaining steam.”



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