We humans have a profound need to connect and express ourselves. We live in groups, share stories and talk about our favourite things. With the advent of spectacular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and several others, our world became a giant global village. Browsing these sites has become our top recreational activity.
When was the last time you checked your phone? I am sure you must have scrolled your social media feed once in the past 10 minutes. What if I tell you how every scroll changes you, and that little notification on your home screen might be manipulating you? I know this sounds creepy.
You might think social media is fun, harmless, and helpful. It doesn’t charge a penny but takes away your day in return for its services!
Do you think you control your screen time but are you sure? Several researchers claimed that social media sites are carefully designed to be irresistibly appealing to you? They make use of an intelligent algorithm to keep you hooked. These companies have boiled down to psychology to make you spend maximum time scrolling, sharing, and commenting. No one can kill the urge to ignore that one innocent notification.
Not just extra time, you are giving away your health, your peace, your beliefs, and maybe your sanity. Yes, chronic users of social networks are more prone to developing anxiety and depression. Chances are you might also experience adverse effects.
People are persuaded that everyone is leading a happy year and a better life. Their friends and colleagues are excelling in their careers while you are struggling to meet daily needs! How can you count on authenticity? You might never know.
We hardly know whether all that we see on social media is reality or a facade.
I can tell you how you are now fooled with highly staged photos that sell the fantasy of a perfect life.
People use social media to show the selected highlights of the day. I am pretty confident that you would have compared it with the dull moments of your day. It must have felt awful; well, it was meant to.
It might be possible that a person you see enjoying career milestones could be in massive business Debt or on bad terms with a partner.
Everyone looks good on social media, and everyone seems to have an attractive lifestyle. Everyone has new ideas. You have to know that often content is plagiarized. The big plan of your contemporary might not be practical at all, while your small idea is entirely yours and has the strength to pay you big.
With several filters and Photoshop, all you see is a tampered reality. But blinded by the mirage, you might end up hating your work.
Behavioural Psychology keeps you hooked. You lose productivity and your sleep.
Monetization has turned social media into a hotbed for business. Social media now collects all your data to harvest personalized ads.
The ads, though seemingly harmless, are largely unregulated. One is constantly bombarded with a mind-tickling ad every time they click on refresh. We exploited to buy things we don’t need.
Social media users should not invest in items just because their favourite influencer has promoted them. And instead, they should buy a service or a product from a talented creator who has worked hard on their product instead of mindless marketing.
Spend more than 1-2 hours on these sites every day and ready for an eye doctor’s appointment.
Notification can make you scroll mindlessly. Owners earn massive profits while you drop your productivity and sacrifice your sleep.
Social media is the most celebrated platform for creative individuals. You can put yourself out there and gain leads. But his catch is to dodge you from the mercy of platform owners.
Some creators aren’t headstrong; they get dissolved in shortcuts. Yes, paid ads enhanced reach but not for long if you make art for likes.
True, to win at social media games, you need to post and gain followers, but not at the cost of external validation. Wildly following trends and not creating content that you love might demotivate you in the long run.
How does social media affect us? Due to the effect that it has on the brain, social media is addictive both physically and psychologically. According to a new study by Harvard University, self-disclosure on social networking sites lights up the same part of the brain that also ignites when taking an addictive substance.
You should use social media, don’t let it use you. Social media presents opportunities, but success will come if you maintain moderation.
1. If you are a creator, create for yourself. Show your niche, and strategize to grow at a balanced pace.
2. Have a scroll-free day (for me it’s Saturday), unfollow blingy creators, and lose touch with social media marketers. Follow only those who are adding value to your life.
3. Turn Off Your Notifications- One of the easiest ways to feel less inclined to check your phone is disabling those notification pop-ups that draw you in.
4. Avoid recommended feed and search for what you want. Be more strong
5. Develop hobbies and friendships offline. It will harness creativity, which can later transcend into a new idea!
6. Follow only those people who brings value to your life, career, skills not just for time to pass.
Always remember social media lightly; don’t let the glitters consume you. Keep working hard and mind your own business.
There is a Comment section below, Share as many suggestions you can give to prevent the dangers of social media.
Suggestions to My Design Community
Take inspiration from your favourite artists, use it to learn and work on your skills, share your own raw work (Without Expecting a Single Like, Please), as a designer I understand the need for screen time for us but don’t forget we are most the affected one’s, Take some time off.
We started focusing on social growth instead of working on creativity, making this world looks beautiful with our design
Find Your Pencil & Paper, Where are they?
Watch this documentary once, when you get time – The Social Dilemma
Don’t worry. I won’t spam you!