"Oh, let me check what's up on Facebook" This is exactly what goes around my head every time I'm trying to execute a task. Probably knowing that Kim Kardashian just launched a new clothing brand or Floyd Mayweather is now sipping champagne with supermodels in Las Vegas is more interesting than doing our homework. Nowadays, access to information around the world is very easy. You are just a click away from knowing what an average person from Southeast Asia does on his or her daily life. However, is social media an absolute benefit to society?
Social media has created a platform for celebrities or even any average person to share every single detail of his or her life. People are sharing pictures on the beach on Instagram or criticizing a political conflict in Ukraine on Twitter. People now have more than ever the freedom of expressing their thoughts and opinions. That's great! But, are we using this privilege towards improving our realities? Or, are we escaping our realities to cling to how many Retweeted or likes we received?
When it is really difficult to maintain a conversation with a friend without either one of you checking their phones, we know that we have a problem. Real human communication is becoming more difficult day after day. Are we really friends with people who friended us on Facebook? Are we really popular for having + 10K followers on Instagram? Do we really know the people we follow? Social media has become an escape from reality for a lot of people.
The availability and variety of information in social media has become a major distraction for a lot of people. Instead of working on a project that is due tomorrow you are checking if there are any updates on Instagram. There is a reason for using social media as a procrastination tool. People generally share posts of the highlights and successes of their lives on social media and while watching those posts we are struggling towards our own success. However, for most people it is easier to quit working on their own success and support or envy others.
Nevertheless, some could argue that there are a lot of users on social media that provide useful information. Yes, that's true. The flow of information is too high that people have started knowing useless details. I start on a personal trainer's page and I end up learning about types of food in Austria. This is certainly expanding our knowledge about the world but I don't believe that it is the most important information we need while executing a task at work or school.
Alright, now that we have discussed how we often misuse social networks. How can we control our consumption? I have a number of suggestions that helped me in concentrating more on my work:
1. Set a time period during the day to explore social media. For example, I will go through Facebook, Instagram, or twitter from 6:00 pm to 6:30 pm.
2. Turn off app notifications.
3. Always log off your account.
Most importantly, we have to realize that the person you are talking to deserves more attention than "cutiepie600".