Since the past decade, social media has increasingly become a part of our lives. It has reached a point where urban existence without social media is unthinkable to most people.
It is the norm to share your daily stories on Instagram and comment on the lengthy, crafty caption of the vibrant picture from your school friend’s party the previous night. While the benefits of social media are quite obvious, there is more of a negative impact on the modern human than most would imagine.
Social media has become exceedingly part of people’s personal lives to the point that most people are spending hours scrolling through their Instagram and Facebook feeds. If you’ve ever sat scrolling on Instagram thinking you’d be done in 5 minutes, you find yourself surprised 20 minutes later, exclaiming, ‘Where did the time just fly by?’.
This applies to you if you are conscious of this.
The social media time warp is a concept that is slowly coming to surface. Moreover, there is more research being published about how social media works as a massive stimulant for dopamine. Fact is- the entire ecosystem of social media and its success is based on companies regularly providing nouvelle stimulating experiences so that users are hooked onto social media for as long as possible. With how easily scroll-friendly Instagram and Facebook is, this objective can be achieved by the platform fairly easily.
Cal Newport in his book Deep Work points out that the way to truly find meaning in your life, to enjoy what you do and to not waste time, you’ve got to quit social media. He makes the argument that social media is not as quintessential as most people think. In fact, Cal says that people would be better off without social media.
Social media is not a necessary evil. It is an evil that can be controlled for our own good, provided we use it that way. It can be used for us to gain knowledge about our passions, hobbies and other things that really matter. Like the Internet, social media has a lot of information that is worthless to us. Most of it is vying for our attention like online advertisements. With the power to access so much information, we also have the power to curb and control the information that we consume.
This power is called content curation.
There are 3 steps to achieving content curation:
First, you have to identify why are you using social media. The reasons could be endless, it is up to you to decide the reason you give to yourself. For example, I use social media to keep in touch with like minded people from across the world.
Second, you must identify the sources that align to your reason. This is an important step. You might realize that once you do this, most people around you do not align to your reason. Say if you want to use social media to learn more about the developments in the world of running, chances are that most people around you are not interested in it. Hence, you’ve got to find the people and the sources that cater to your growth and development.
Subscribe to these people and sources.
Lastly, you must avoid ‘discovering’ other content. This type of content will serve only as a distraction. Most websites that cater various lists, random information and other content catered to be fun and entertainment falls under this category. This content is designed just to get your attention so that advertising revenue can be generated. And if you are honest with yourself, you will know that most of this content is inconsequential to you.
The question you must ask yourself is: Is this really important for my growth and development? In most cases, you will realize it is not.
The above might seem difficult to do, and even bothersome. But there are many benefits to controlling the information that you consume.
It will save you a lot of time, make you more motivated to invest in your passions by connecting with like minded individuals, remove unnecessary distractions that sap your energy and greatly improve your overall wellbeing and mental state of mind.
Take a 2 weeks challenge today and experience the positivity yourself.