Unsubscribe: Radical strategies for taking back your time, attention and purpose

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Jessica DuLong

Published January 31, 2024

Does the number of unread messages in your inbox leave you lightheaded? Do your thumbs ache from tiny-keyboard typing? Have you forgotten what your real-life friends look like without an Instagram filter?

It’s time for an intervention, and Julio Vincent Gambuto has just the remedy: unsubscribe.

Thirty-one percent of adults report being “almost constantly online,” according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Americans spend, on average, more than two and a half hours on social media each day. Of the nearly 10 billion emails sent each day in the US, each full-time worker receives a daily dose of 120 messages.

Gambuto, author of “Please Unsubscribe, Thanks!: How to Take Back Our Time, Attention, and Purpose in a World Designed to Bury Us in Bullshit,” says it’s time to pry back control of our lives by silencing the pings, rings and dings of Slack, Gmail, WhatsApp and other alerts that interrupt us all day long.

His book offers practical strategies for stepping back, reevaluating and unsubscribing from the ideas, habits and tech engagements that keep us from happiness. He hopes that by reframing our relationships with our devices we can create the “sacred space” necessary to commit to a life that we really want.