Social Media as a Jealous LoverFeb 11, 2021
Social media is not your friend.
Unfortunately, I know many people who disagree with that statement.
Not only is social media not your friend, but it’s a jealous lover. In other words, they want you to stay on their platform…forever. And, even after that.
Dead people can have memorial pages on FaceBook.
“Show me the money!” is a classic line from the 1996 film Jerry Maguire.
And while Friendster wasn’t created until 2002, MySpace in 2003, Facebook in 2004, and Twitter in 2006, that quote might have well been a prediction of the future.
Social media is about the money and selling your information.
Sobering social media stats
According to MediaKix:
- As of 2018, 3.1 billion people — roughly one-third of the global population — use social media. Globally, the number of social media users has grown by 13% (362 million) in the past year.
- Estimates posit that over 210 million people suffer from internet and social media addictions worldwide.
- The average person spends nearly 2 hours a day using social media, which amounts to 5 years and 4 months of his/her lifetime. In that time, a person could run more than 10,000 marathons or travel to the moon and back on 32 separate occasions. (For teens, social media time spent could be up to 9 hours every day.)
- A study found that 71% of Americans sleep with or next to a mobile device.
- 90% of drivers admit to using smartphones behind the wheel. Of those respondents, 50% reportedly use their smartphones to check social media. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports that 9 people are killed each day, and more than 1,000 are injured due to smartphone use while driving.
- 68% of Americans have a Facebook account, and 74% of those users report checking the app at least once a day — 51% report checking Facebook several times daily.
Before I tell you how you can control social media instead of it controlling you, I want to tell you about a guy by the name of Aza Raskin.
First of all, he’s sorry. Why? Because he’s the creator of “infinite scroll” or, as it’s also known as, endless scroll.
According to The Times UK, Mr. Raskin, “the man behind our ability to endlessly scroll through content on social media sites without ever needing to click a button said he regrets what his invention has done to society.”
I don’t have anything else to add to that…I just wanted you to think about it and how endless scroll affects your productivity.
Let’s get tactical for controlling social media
- Track how you’re really using your device. Activate Screen Time (iOS/Mac/Apple Watch) or Freedom, ZenScreen, Moment, to name four. Don’t assume how much time you’re spending on social media. Know the truth.
- Take time to think about what you want to do each day. This way, when you’re tempted to go on social media, you can look at your plan and have a greater chance of choosing something else that will move the needle toward your goals.
- If you’re a planner — which I hope you are, schedule time to be on social media (no more than 60 minutes, but less is better) and then have something scheduled after your social media time.
- Use your phone’s timer. Please set it to no more than 60 minutes, so you are alerted when it’s time to do something else. Less is better. Without this, you could wind up spending way too much time on social media instead of needle-moving activities.
- Pick the social media platforms you’re on carefully. You don’t have to be on them all. Ask yourself: “what platforms do I want to be on and why”? Avoid the temptation to be on an app just because “everyone” else is or because it’s trending.
- Remove apps that are too distracting. If you can’t stay off a particular social media app (or apps!), remove it from your device.
- In extreme cases, delete accounts on apps that are out of control for you. Of course, this is the last resort option, but sometimes this is the only option to get you to focus.
- Don’t have any social media apps in the dock of your phone or on the main home screen. Out of sight, out of mind. Put them on another screen or in a folder on another screen.
- Disable notifications for ALL social media apps. Always ask yourself if a notification is a distraction or if it serves you. Do you really need to be alerted by the social media apps? When you log into the apps, every notification is there…waiting for you. By turning off notifications, you are less distracted. Try it out. Turn them off and see how you feel.
- Do not leave tabs logged in to social media open on your laptop/desktop. Why? As soon as you get a notification, there’ll be a number on that tab. Your brain will try to convince you that you need to see what you’re missing. Avoid this by closing all tabs with social media apps.
- Instead of reading social media, read a book or great articles on Medium, where I post a new article every day. How much value are you getting from social media compared to reading a book or a value-packed article on Medium?
- Yes, FOMO is real. I get it. You think you need to know everything that’s going on in the world as soon as it happens, but you don’t. It is best to let go of your need to know what’s going on everywhere, all the time, and focus on needle-moving activities that’ll help you reach your goals.
A blessing and a curse
I’m not saying that you need to get rid of social media. It can be a blessing, keeping you in touch with loved ones scattered across the miles, as well as a curse, by sucking up all your time.
Just keep things in perspective.
Social media should serve you, not the other way around.
You are the human and should be the one in control. If you don’t think you are, turn off your device after reading this article, and see how much control your device and social media have over you.
How do you ensure you’re in control of social media instead of it controlling you?
I hope you enjoyed this article. Thank you for reading it.
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