Unstuck Newsletter #015 (June-03-2020)

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Weekly newsletter helping people navigate in this disoriented world, make progress and become more rational.

Hello online friends,

It’s me, Ivaylo Durmonski. And this is the 15th edition of Unstuck. A weekly newsletter designed to help people navigate in this disoriented world, make progress, and become more rational. By sharing the lessons I learn from the books I read (and other interesting things), I want to help more people find direction in this directionless world.

In this longer issue of Unstuck (and in the one next week), I want to introduce two topics for further discussion that are dear to me. I also believe they are important for our society as a whole:

  1. The inability for most people to stop using destructive sites – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and other fancy web portals designed to keep you inside with the sole intention to suck the life out of you – and the money you have.
  2. The ever-growing library of newsletters, books, sites, videos, “must-watch” talks, articles, etc.

In this particular issue, I’ll share my opinion about topic 1 along with a couple of solutions. Next week, I’ll do the same about topic 2. You can share your own opinion by replying to this email.

Of course, below my brief rant, the usual collection of links is available. If you want to skip my short observations about why social media is evil, just scroll down.

If you’re here and reading, here’s my comment on the destructive sites that are monopolizing our attention:

Problem #1: The inability of most people to stop using destructive sites:

Wherever I look, wherever I go, people, regardless of their political views and religion taste, all do the same: they stare at pictures of other people eating, traveling, or dancing half-naked in their living room.

Even while they are clearly in a good company – surrounded by friends and family – this is somehow not enough for them. A piece of their mind, and usually one of their hands, is occupied with someone else – someone on the other side of their smartphone. Not only is this disrespectful for the person sitting near, but it also becomes addictive.

Not that I’m a saint. 

When not reading books on my phone I’m mostly obsessed with finding quality sources of information online – so I can later share them with you. But since the rabbit hole of the internet increases with every second, I always end up spending more time mining for content than what I originally planned – the second problem mentioned above.

But let’s get back to social media sites…

The sophisticated design and the fact that seemingly everyone is online, makes it really hard for most people to get out and do something productive – like actually working out, not watching a guy on Instagram doing burpees on the beach.

When inside social media, everything seems so easy. So, “you can have it. Just purchase this or get this and you’ll become prettier, stronger, [insert what you desire here].”

But say you’re better.

Say that the posts of the people you follow online do inspire you. Great. I’m glad for you.

Even if that’s the case, you’re most probably suffering from the other common problem of extensive social media use – online envy.

The picture-perfect profiles of the celebrities can make you feel like a beggar who was raised by monkeys – out of style and penniless.

Also, even if you’re a really tidy person, the never-ending flow of carefully aligned desks can make you feel like you’re a total loser. And to correct your mood, you’ll most probably end up buying the same equipment you just saw, hoping to copy the style of the filtered pictures. Unfortunately, the end result is rarely as good as what was seen online.

The solution to this madness?

Here’s what I came up with:

  • Option 1: Use social media to help people get unstuck. Share short practical info that can inspire more folks to go “outside”. Once outside of social media, beat them with books.
  • Option 2: Rant about how social media is bad and hope you’ll convince more people.
  • Option 3: Teach kids to be smart about social media. If we do a good job, these online platforms will go extinct after around 20-30 years.
  • Option 4: Some people think that by removing the likes the mental health damage caused by the competitiveness online will be less destructive. We’ll see soon about this. It seems like Instagram is hiding (slowly) the likes.
  • Option 5: What do you think?

Book Summary:

Update: Which book should I read next?

Thanks for everyone who voted last week! I’ll soon start to read the following two books (they gathered all of the votes):

  • Bullshit Jobs: A Theory by David Graeber
  • Make Time: How to Focus on What Matters Every Day by Jake Knapp

Weekly Finds:

  • Instead of taking the time to read a book, teenagers around the world are corrupting their attention span. Just when you think it can’t get any worse, a new platform (TikTok) rises and makes it even harder for us to get things done.
  • Everything you ever wanted to know about Tony Robbin’s coaching (also video version). I thought these types of trainings were a complete waste of time and money, but I’m not so convinced after reading this honest review. However, I believe that there are cheaper and better options. You just have to find a group of people to help you along the way.
  • “A Framework for Putting Mental Models to Practice is a series of posts that examines the notion of putting ‘mental models’ to practice in one’s life, in the pursuit of learning better decision making.” Amazing series of articles! I love this website.

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My weekly newsletter is sponsored by my dearest members and Patrons. If you want to support my online project and help me produce even more eye-opening content you can become a member yourself. This way, you’ll gain access to all of the book summaries published on my site and give me the strength to continue doing what I do best – convert long books into short practical lessons.

Thank you for your time!


Ivaylo Durmonski

P.S. Did you read the intro? What do you think?