I know I am not alone in my love/hate relationship with social media. If Instagram was a person our relationship would be in trouble.
I have a friend who isn't on any social media. Before you make any assumptions let me tell you she is a 35 year old woman who has made a conscious choice. For those of us who spend more time than we want to admit online I want to share some thoughts to help you start to rethink your relationship with social media. I don't think social media is evil. I do think, it is highly addictive and we need to be smart about how we use it.
But first, I want to address why I don't think you should take a break. I hear a lot of people say or post, "I'm taking a month off social media" Or "I'm giving up facebook for Lent." The last one is usually posted on facebook - thank you for letting us know how pious you are. I view this approach akin to admitting you have a problem in your relationship but instead of exploring how to fix it you are going to avoid it. Instead of taking a break how about establishing some criteria and thinking about your social media habit?
Social Media is about image. I love Paul Jarvis recent blog post recently on curated images. Read it here. Why do we post things? Often it is because we want to impress other people. We want them to look at our perfect latte, our Kinfolk inspired picnic or our happy family and think good things about our life. I know. I am as guilty of this as the next person! Sure we may tell ourselves that we are sharing with our friends. All 2500 of them. Before you post something try asking yourself, "Why am I posting this picture/comment/update?"
Social media is driven by consumerism. In exchange for the use of these online platforms we offer our personal lives up to the advertisers who can the target us in their campaigns. According to Investopedia, "The crux of Facebook's source of revenue is digital advertisements. The company reported advertising revenue of $7.9 billion last quarter."
Social media is sucking up our time. Currently, total time spent on social media beats time spent eating and drinking, socializing, and grooming, according to research done by Social Media Today. The full article can be found here.
I recommend reading Deep Work by Cal Newport. He gives a reasoned and thoughtful approach to Social media. He suggests,“Identifying what matters most in your life, and then attempting to assess the impacts of various tools on these factors, doesn’t reduce to a simple formula—this task requires practice and experimentation.”
I'm considering some of my social media use. I have been thinking about this for several months. I have made some good decisions and I know I will continue to refine my use over the next few months.
I want to help people live truthfully so that we can heal our world. Let's get honest about our social media addictions and the impact it is having on our relationships and mental health. If you would like coaching around social media or any other barrier you have that is keeping you from living your life connect with me.