This morning as I was making my breakfast I thought about how many times I would take a picture of my plate and publish it in my stories but this morning my thought was “no one cares about what I’m eating for breakfast.” In fact, when it really comes down to it no one really cares about what you’re doing every minute of everyday. They may be curious but they don’t care. I think that’s why people who are highly addicted to social media feel so lonely. The constant posting may bring attention but what it doesn’t bring is connection. People now spend more times on their phones than actually connecting with people.
And if you have a business that you promote through social media things get more complicated. The truth is my personal posting on social media did boost my #DateLikeAWoman brand. But suddenly I found myself always looking to find something to share because it helped with brand awareness. However that looking for something to post? That became stress for me.
I am an introvert, in the beginning social media was a way for me to interact with people without actually “interacting.” But after speaking with consultants about how best to sell my book they all said the same thing, the best way to sell my book was to sell “me.” And they were correct. I had to open up to people online and post much more.
This was difficult for me to do. While I have the right personality to sell my brand on social media I also value my privacy and my quiet life. The stress of what to share and how to share was getting overwhelming. At the same time I noticed a shift in the algorithms of the social media platforms.
The ignorance online is astounding and the people who are rising to fame through social media are often the most ignorant. I became frustrated with what I was seeing. Disgusted at how fast and far ignorance was spreading. And I saw that part of the reason it was spreading so easily is because no one was speaking up against it. That’s when I started countering the ignorance online. However, although countering ignorance is effective it is also stressful and draining and there aren’t enough people fighting back so it’s futile. But now, I’m off!
I’m not going to lie, breaking the habit of daily checking social media is difficult. We have been on social media for so long that now that constantly checking, reacting, and sharing is essentially normal behavior. Which is crazy when you really think about it. We have been behaviorally trained to use social media in an addictive way. That’s why there is a “like” button. That’s why we post constantly. The companies are keeping humans addicted to theses platforms to sell us products. (In fact, I can’t even deactivate my personal Facebook page without losing my ability to manage my business pages.) The increase in advertisements is noticeable. The tracking of our clicks and habits used to form a profile so that they can tailor advertising to each person is alarming. The use of these platforms to modify behavior is happening right before our eyes. That’s why the Russians used Facebook and other social media tools to influence the election. There is something inherently wrong with what’s happening online but getting off of social media is difficult, it’s a part of the fabric of our culture now. It’s how we keep up with family members. It’s how we share our lives. It’s our “connection” to others.
Well social media is actually not our connection to others. And I am unlearning all of those habits now. It’s not easy but so far it’s worth it. I have already spoken to more friends in a week than I have in months because they were checking on me since they hadn’t seen me online. I have also become more productive in my work and my blogging. And I have to say that it feels good to be free of my social media habit.
While I am not going to try to tell others to leave social media I do hope you do take a moment to evaluate how it makes you feel and what positive things you are getting out of it. If you do conclude as I have it’s more negative than positive, I hope you find your way back to the real world. It’s pretty nice out here. There are awesome people, trees, flowers, and blue skies when you look up from your phone. You should definitely check it out! 😄