I am sharing some hard truths and adverse realities of social media that might be hurting you, – it’s the “excessive use of social media”, or in other words, the social media addiction. It’s based upon my personal and professional observations and experiences, – so don’t be mad at me.
On social media, it’s really fun; meeting new people, reconnecting with old ones, talking to those whom in real life you might never be able to talk to, exploring new things, etcetera. This is the very, very cool thing about social media.
On the other hand, every minute you spend on social media is another minute you aren’t writing, reading, or nurturing your creative spirit. Every moment you’re on social media is another moment you’re letting yourself waste.
I always encourage people to share their stuff on social media: their creativity, a tweet that gets retweeted, a blog entry that people read, and their thoughts that they want others to know. I appreciate it; it’s really heady stuff.
However, it becomes a big problem when you are helpless and get addicted to social media.
A few years ago, I was distracted and frustrated because of the excessive use of social media. I was unable to get a grip on things. I asked myself some hard questions, though. You should ask yourself the same. Namely, how much time are you really wasting online? You need to keep a record of your online time, mainly on Twitter and Facebook, for a week or merely a couple of days. Don’t exclude the time when you get away for a few minutes; count that time too. Add that time up at the end of the week or the days and do a truthful audit of your time,. Be honest,. It’s you facing yourself,. Just don’t cheat.
I guarantee you; it will surprise you how much of your time social media takes.
Do an audit of your online time; ask yourself these questions:
- Is social media compromising my family time?
- Am I reading or writing less because I’m spending more time online?
- Am I neglecting real friends and loved ones for social media friends (strangers)?
- Do I waste my time answering and responding to the questions and comments on my posts and liking or reacting to others’ posts?
- Does the online discussion and malarkey in groups and on pages really deserve the time I should spend on my other irreplaceable activities?
- Am I constantly available online, and do others take me for granted forever?
- Am I distracted and frustrated by the excessive use of social media, and I don’t know it?
- Is social media the first thing I check after I wake up?
- For how much time do I talk to the people in my real life and how much to the strangers on social media?
- Do I have no proper schedule for social media but wander online at any time, regardless of any appropriate routine?
There are many more such questions to ask ourselves, but answering the above honestly, will show us a mirror. When I did the same self-examination, honestly, I was in shock for days – how badly I wasted my time.
I had made some rules for myself and would follow them very strictly. For a month, I used to check social media once a day. The first week was hell for me, – missing everything on social media, the people having fun there, the members gossiping in various groups except me, the content being shared online, and whatnot. But then I got the results, I got things even better than ever. I saved my energy; I saved my time, and I didn’t compromise my creativity.
I was able to build and launch six websites of my own and over 15 for clients, write more than 50 ghost blogs and articles for clients, and get selected for high-quality training programmes in a couple of months.
And; that is enough of an indicator for me and everyone else of how social media ruins creativity and real-life so badly.
Here is the heart of the matter.
I don’t mean writers, creative people, bloggers, writers, and other professionals who create or write pithy social media posts that amaze the world. I mean, taking all that energy and time you’re spending online and refocusing it on your real life and real work. and mean,
Why is it so easy to say that social media is fun? Why is it so hard to back it up with results?
For hours, you’re talking to social media friends, followers, group members, and all sorts of strangers. You are following your heroes and the people you’re inspired by. We have all been greatly inspired by some posts, articles, blogs, and visuals on social media. That’s all very, very cool stuff.
But if you are forsaking your real life, your energy, and your whole creativity, – taking the easy way out, then it’s a dilemma and a serious problem, and you need to fix it. You have to do a bit of self-examination and decide if it’s really worth it.
You have “friends” and followers who are online anytime, and you receive their replies and comments in a minute—mostly in seconds when you comment on their posts or send them messages. I can’t help but wonder: where are they working? When they are working on their skills and creativity?
Since the last 6 years, I have been working as a digital media manager, providing digital services to clients, and training people in social media management. Currently, I’m managing several social media channels, pages, and accounts for my clients, including businesses, small startups, and government departments. BUT; despite this huge amount of online work, I have very well managed time for my online activities. I have set and follow some rules for this purpose, (some are listed below, as recommendations).
However, on the other hand, my personal pages and profiles are apparently dead. In fact, I comment on my close friend’s posts, talk to people whom I know in real life, and respond to the questions others ask and the comments on my posts. However, I have no time to waste; even if I have some spare time, I like to meet or talk to the people in my real life.
We have seen people spend hours on social media, particularly Twitter and Facebook. The grievous fact is that their online world becomes more important than their real one.
Social media is more ruinous for readers. They have their own resistance, their own challenges managing their online time. It’s eating into their invaluable time. When you can read a worthwhile book, you roam social media. Every minute spent conversing online is another minute we aren’t reading.
How to overcome the excessive use of Social Media?
Now, what’s the best practice, if you’re not in a position to stop your online activities?
Here are the best practises, recommendations;
- Like and follow only verified pages and profiles, or those who share true content.
- Have a specific and scheduled time for going online. A couple of hours daily is more than enough.
- Don’t join groups where members mostly chitchat and prattle. It’s a complete waste of time and energy. Most fake people exist in such purposeless groups. It’s not your place if you are a professional or have some great activities in your real life.
- Join only those groups where people share content and discuss things related to your interests—only when they really need it.
- Prefer Twitter over Facebook. Facebook is a breeze, and it can easily increase your anxieties. Twitter will give you more real and accurate information and feedback than Facebook. (However, it’s your choice where to go.)
- Important: Go online and post, then leave. Come back after a day, or after 12 or even 6 hours, to see the comments and respond accordingly.
- Stop aimlessly surfing social media and listening to the gossip and chitchat on pages and groups.
- And; social media is evil in real life when its use becomes an addiction and excessive. Stay away from evil.