You and I have a duty. We must do it every day, it is better if we do it every few hours and the worst part is that we do not fail at it. No matter how busy or how hard it might be but we can and we always find out time to check our social media accounts. Facebook checked? Instagram checked? Snapchat? Yes, I have now checked all of my social media profiles and I have also looked at how other people are doing.
Looking at the lives of other people have become one of our best hobbies and no it is not only that millennials are hooked to this. I see people as old as 50 going through Facebook accounts in a 30-minute journey but then again it has become a norm and it is fine to do so. Inc.com published an article back in 2014 which was titled “Social Media Is Making You Stupid” and I completely agree with it, there are other articles and research out there which will tell you why and how they affect your life.
Now, it is a basic fact that Facebook makes money because of us i.e. because of all the people who use it, Google does the same. You would be startled to know that Facebook’s second-quarter earnings are at $6.44 billion which we all know is a staggering number. I have been talking to friends and seeing how Facebook keeps us all engaged, how it makes the platform so addictive and the key is constant change. Every day, you see them making a few changes which make the platform more interesting, things like weather updates, news, live video feature, sports update, relevant news feed and so many other features that get hauled every day. Now, tell me how many times you checked your facebook today and how many times did you see the relevant ads in your Facebook. Unlike other websites, Facebook places their advertisements very strategically which makes sure that you don’t get pissed off but still end up clicking on the links and that also makes the website more addicting. You continue to get tailored news feed and what happens is that you spend hours and hours on it.
Take a walk in the office and I guarantee that you will see many Facebook tabs open or people browsing through their phones because it is hard to not stay updated on your friends, it is important to be a part of the conversation that is happening on some status update/photograph. All this affect us and mostly in a negative manner, we are constantly looking at other people’s life and we are comparing ourselves but the reality in most cases is that everyone is pretending to have a good life on Facebook but we choose to ignore it because somewhere we ourselves are pretending to have a better life. Excessive use of social media not only changes your mindset, it also affects your relationship, your communication skills and fills you with a sense of urgency. You upload a photograph on Instagram and Facebook and for the next few hours even for the whole day you are busy checking the likes and reactions you have on that post, you are waiting for interaction and you want it fast. Once you get those likes, then it is time for a new post and the same happens again.
Next time you pick your phone, your fingers swipe for Facebook/Instagram/Snapchat app and then you do your duty of checking them all. We love doing that. I write this post because I find myself doing the same, not at an advanced level but I am moving towards it. I would rather check my facebook instead read good articles on New Yorker or HBR or even take a course on Khan Academy or watch a TED talk but Facebook is easy and fun, so I just log in and then time just passes by.
I am trying to limit my time on Facebook and Instagram because they make me feel bad, that is it (also, I shall find a better way to explain it). I waste time which can be utilized for so many other things like taking a course (as I mentioned above), practicing a hobby (calligraphy, reading , writing, photography in my case), etc.
Try taking a break from all this and maybe something good will happen. Also, Facebook owns Instagram and WhatsApp that are amongst the most used apps in the world.