The average person will spend over five years of their life on social media according to Mediakix, crazy. Social media can be used to either enhance your life or bring it down. How we choose to spend our time while on twitter, IG, Facebook etc is up to us in the end. If you are going to spend time on it then it may as well be spent in the right way.
How not to use it
Social media has a strange addicting power on our psyches. Every last segment is designed to keep us hooked and engaged for longer duration than before. Like any competitive market is extremely fierce. As such, each platform is employing ever increasing tactics to keep us hooked and tagged. This is apparent in the form of ‘(insert social media platform here) stories’ to keep us coming back for more and more.
As every platform copies the positives from another and incorporates it into their own, it can be increasingly difficult to differentiate between them. The aim is to have us spend as much time as possible on their site. The way they do this is to keep our eyes glued to the screen. After all, each individual represents dollar signs in the form of advertiser income. Nothing wrong with that, but its important to be aware of it.
Once you know the tactics they employ then you can begin to fight back.
How to use it
It is an amazing tool if used correctly. It has the power to bring people together from all across the globe. Ideas can be shared rapidly and within the blink of an eye change the world. The ease of access of information has expanded our horizons that we thought not possible before. Bonds can be formed with people that have never crossed paths which can be stronger than those in person.
Social media is a fantastic way to Network and find like minded people who share your interests. For business this is great as everyone can learn from each other and pass on valuable information to their followers. It breaks down the barriers that were once in between, say an author and fan.
There are those whose job and income is wholly based off these online platforms. This is not about them. It is for those who are coming home from work and spending four hours on Facebook watching cat videos. It isn’t the best use of your time. If you enjoy that then suit yourself but for those who want more out of life then a priority check is in order.
You are reading Rise and Claim aren’t you?
Think of all the time we waste on these sites (me included). What could be achievable if we directed it towards something more productive? Going to the gym, starting a side business etc.
A point of diminishing returns
When used correctly the positives outweigh the drawbacks.
It can be tempting to continue hunting down information forever. The stream is endless and if you’re not careful hours can slip by like nothing. I love a good meme as much as the next man does but they should be used in moderation. At some point you have to know when to quit.
Circumstances like the Great Meme War of 2016 are exceptional.
It is easy to fall into information overload. At such point any benefits can be lost as we become burdened by knowing so much and doing so little. If we were truly knowledgeable we wouldn’t be getting in this mess in the first place.
The ‘info high’
After we eventually switch off it can be hard to come off the ‘info high’.
This makes it even more difficult to concentrate on a certain task after such as writing or reading. The fast paced scrolling effect and pop-ups left, right and centre cause havoc on our ability to focus.
Like pornography, social media hijacks our reward system. We feed off the dopamine high from likes, retweets and favourites. This gives us a false sense of achievement and can lead to loneliness and low feelings of self-worth in the real world if not used correctly.
As I am writing this I remember an article from calmandcollected.com titled –Age of the Twitter Man aka Beta Male: Post Your Greatness Instead of Living it (Is This You?).
Dylan hit the nail on the head perfectly here and it ties into this post as well.
We can project a false reality onto those who follow us. If not backed up by real world success it can harm all involved. Hiding behind a computer screen never ends up well when people start asking for actual results.
Don’t drink the online kool-aid. I’m not referring to those who hide their identity which is acceptable in the world we currently live in.
Users who say one thing and do another are the problem. There are legit people out there but you just have to find them among the fakes.
Fighting back against the pull of the ‘info high’
Not everyone has to switch off and completely delete their accounts. Like alcohol it can be used in moderation. It is such huge part of the modern world we live in. It is impossible to get by without a platform whether you are an ideological movement or a business.
The tough part is knowing your limits and staying focused. The best of both worlds is possible if you are disciplined.
Here are a few tips I have picked up and heard recommended:
- Only like/follow those related to your niche/business. This will help keep ESPN out of your timeline.
- Separate work and play. Segment a period of time off in the evening after the work is finished to browse.
- Block the apps/sites that cause you the most distraction. Use apps such as AppBlock to help.
- Limit your time e.g 30 mins. I don’t care if you are “still looking”. Turn it off and be strict.
- Take a ‘social media detox’ if you ever need it. Sorry I am not promoting any fit teas or juices.
This should put you on the straight and narrow. Knowing how to survive without drowning is challenging but it’s possible.
Thanks for reading,
P.S Leave a comment down below to let me know what you think. How do you best handle social media addiction?