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Self-help author Tim Ferriss says social media is making us miserable

Ferriss says taking “social media fasts” has made him happier and less reactive.

Acquiring The Skill Of Meta-Learning - 2013 SXSW Music, Film + Interactive Festival Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images for SXSW

"The 4-Hour Workweek" author Tim Ferriss has a new book, “Tools of Titans,” about the life advice of winners from tech, business and entertainment. But he also has some important advice to share about staying sane in 2017.

“I’ve noticed the more reactive I feel, the more miserable I am,” Ferriss said on the latest episode of Recode Decode, hosted by Kara Swisher. “The worse I treat myself, the worse I treat other people. Social media is just jet fuel for reactivity.”

If that sounds like you, he says, think about taking a social media fast and spending the first hour of your day not looking at your phone. Ferriss doesn’t use Facebook at all “for personal purposes,” and has been happier since he mostly unplugged from Twitter as well.

“Even people who are usually optimistic and proposing solutions, instead of bitching about problems, are so negative right now,” he said. “There are a lot of understandable reasons for it, but it’s spun out of control and I find it contagious.”

Talking to Swisher two weeks ago, he said January is the perfect month to plan time for getting off the grid throughout the year. Later this year, Ferriss and a friend are set to journey into the Nevada desert with no food and will force themselves to “figure it out.”

“I very strongly believe that voluntary suffering is underrated,” he said. “If there are two sides of the scale, one is hedonism and one is suffering, and you’re constantly piling on hedonism, you adapt to that very quickly.”

“This hedonic treadmill, we see it all the time in Silicon Valley,” he added. “I have met people who are worth hundreds of millions of dollars who are utterly miserable because their frenemy from some other startup has a bigger jet, and it eats them. it just kills them.”

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