March 15, 2019
In Part 1I talked about the effects social media use has on different aspects of our lives and ourselves. Its purpose was to present you the most important effects of using social media. If you have not yet read it, I suggest you do so by clicking here. Now, the sane next step is to uncover how to limit it. Here’s how I distanced myself from using it much too often.
Now, a lot of it has to do with properly configuring your smartphone or computer, but I will leave that topic for another day (will be covered for sure, I promise). However, two basic tips about them could be stated right now:
- delete all but the absolute necessary apps, which cannot be as effectively reached with a web browser
- turn off all social media notifications
In this post I will focus solely on the configuration of social media platforms. For the sake of simplicity, let’s assume that you are (just like I was) using the 4 biggest and most popular social media platforms out there: Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter. In this Part 2, I will cover Facebook and Snapchat. Upcoming Part 3 will cover Instagram and Twitter.
Don’t get me wrong, social media is not bad — too much of it is. In fact, I think it’s a brilliant tool for self-promotion, one that I still have to conquer though. You should at least fill out all the relevant information about yourself to be displayed on your first page — it’s all about leaving a good first impression.
Now let’s dive into it.
Facebook, as unpopular as it is getting, is connecting-wise still probably one of the best social media platforms out there. You are able to use its Messenger with which you can share a lot of important data, events, calendar and contacts. However, the problem arises with Facebook’s news feed. Each like, comment or share your friends make gets published on your news feed. This includes all the things you don’t even want to see, follow or need to know in the first place. Your news feed gets so packed with all that it’s going on that it’s easy to get all distracted by unimportant things, losing focus. That on the other hand provides a great opportunity for self-promotion or promotion of your product or business. So what worked for me? It’s all about making the best out of its benefits. There was once this brilliant Chrome extension that allowed you to do bulk operations on Facebook, for example unfollowing all your Facebook friends. And that’s exactly what I did. My feed went to zero in no time. I know it’s harsh but hey, it helps. You can do the same with pages you have liked without unliking them. This automatically prevents you from checking your feed at every spare second you get in your day. This does not mean you will lose friends, you only won’t see their activity. The sad part however is that the mentioned Chrome extension is nowhere to be found, so you’ll have to unfollow them one by one, but it’s definitely worth it.
Although I deleted the Facebook app from my phone and access it from web if absolutely necessary, the one thing I kept is the Facebook Messenger. And I’m glad I did. Probably all my school communication is based on it, therefore it would be nonsense not to keep it. I do suggest you objectively look at what you really need.
Why Snapchat is nonsense
So, Snapchat…sending photos with some text and emojis and some other fancy stuff to multiple people or a specific person. They do say that a picture is worth a thousand words. You are able to improve your efficiency by sending more photos, while writing less. This is true. But two things come to mind. Once again focus, which most definitely deteriorates because of constant stimulation from received photos. The second thing is connected to Snapchat’s rewarding system — the more you “snap” with a specific person, the higher your streak (the count of your “flames” and some other emojis about which I am not familiar) is. I think this is again a system designed for keeping you there, keeping you snapping and spending time on it, which you could more efficiently use for other things. I don’t think Snapchat is a keeper among the social media platforms on which you want to stay active.
No matter how much we try to implement such principles, we are still only people and will sometimes fail at staying true to them. In no way do I want to give the idea that I never reinstall Snapchat and just out of curiosity look at what’s happening — I do, but it stays on my phone for the minimum amount of time possible. In no way do I want to, as I wrote in the beginning, say that social media is only bad. No, but I think each of us should ask themselves about what they want, make a decision and commit to it. If you want to spend time on social media go ahead — time spent this way will not be a waste for you. But I believe in the science written about in Part 1 and cannot stress enough how much of a game changer this has been. I hope it will be for you as well.