Are you looking for a reason to stop social Media? Yes! The more years come and the more it seems like we all agree to the fact that SOCIAL MEDIA SUCKS…
7 Reasons to Stop it since Social Media sucks…
They make your life worse. And that’s why.
I have bad news for you: there are hundreds of thousands of sick people among us, addicted to social networks. Many of them do not understand that the virtual world replaces live communication, devours time, reduces productivity and spoils the mood. The saddest thing is that people live the best moments of their lives on the Internet.
Perhaps it’s not too late to change something, change your attitude towards social networks and limit your presence in them, thereby improving your life? Let’s figure out how to do it.
- Comparison is the thief of pleasure
Many psychologists have long warned that social media use can take a toll on mental health and self-esteem. Social networks open up unlimited opportunities to compare yourself with others.
It is very easy to get depressed and feel dissatisfied with your life when you see photos of friends from a seaside vacation, a demonstration of a new car (a country house, a cool gadget) on Instagram, a selfie from the gym, or just a variety of other people’s leisure.
I will add to this the ability of the social network to embellish the story of a “perfect” life, because you can choose only the most successful photos, pass them through filters. And now a trip to the sea looks like pictures from glossy magazines.
On the one hand, it encourages you to improve your own life, on the other hand, it leads to neuroses.
How to fight:
Compare yourself only to yourself yesterday. Learn to enjoy your own ability to develop. For example, as a photographer, I look at my photos taken in 2009 and compare them with how I shoot today. Face progress. It makes you happy and boosts your self-esteem.
- Reality shows that no one cares about
In continuation of the previous paragraph, I will add that “sick” people embellish their lives too much through social networks, doing crazy things for the sake of likes. For them, the approval of subscribers becomes the most important component of their lives.
The addiction to “likes” is so strong that people do something just for the sake of posting information about it on a social network. People begin to realize themselves only through the feedback of other people. But it doesn’t make sense. This is a true Attention Deficit Disorder and needs to be addressed. In anticipation of a positive evaluation, you allow others to control your emotions and feelings.
How to fight:
Free yourself from dependence on the opinions of others. Remember, while you are taking a photo of a beautifully cooked dinner – the food is cooling down, while you are choosing a filter for a photograph with shells – your seaside vacation is passing by, etc. Do not bring the situation to the point of absurdity. Just enjoy the moment. Life is a tape of memories and impressions, not beautiful photos on the net. Feel the beauty of real life.
Do you need broadcasting? Keep a diary, on paper or download the appropriate application. Write for yourself, structure ideas and thoughts. Firstly, it will help you deal with your own desires and make appropriate plans for their implementation, and secondly, it will clear your brain that is already overloaded with information.
Is this not enough and you want to write even more? Try to write a book about a field you know about. Be useful to the world, from such things you get a real sense of self-satisfaction.
- Useless workers
Companies around the world are losing millions of dollars because their employees spend hours on social media during work hours.
It’s almost useless to fight it. “Working” on social networks has become at one time as bad a habit as working smoke breaks.
Information to think about:
- Russia wants to ban social networks at work
How to fight:
Stop smoking. At work, ignore the unnecessary. Ask yourself – am I effective? what is the final goal of the work? Set several goals for the whole working day and you will not have time to “sit” time on the social network.
By the way, read how one of our best journalists Roman Yuryev motivates himself:
- How do I achieve my goals
- Bad reflexes at meetings with friends
Do you also have friends who are so addicted to social networks that even during a meeting in a bar or restaurant, they scroll through the news feeds? It is clear that the quality of such communication and the pleasure from it falls.
How to fight:
Many of my friends have introduced a very effective rule. When we gather in a cafe/bar/restaurant, everyone puts their smartphones in one pile; whoever reaches for his phone first pays for the supper of all the players. Light version – the loser pays for the desserts of those present.
- Learn to deal with your loneliness
We are all afraid of loneliness, we are afraid to be alone with our thoughts, we constantly turn on music (or TV) in the background and check our page on the social network at every opportunity. It has become a habit for many to fill the voids of waiting in line by scrolling through the “news” feed.
The question is, is the information provided useful? Or are you just disconnected from real life, looking at “seals” online?
How to fight:
Replace social networks with reading something really worthwhile and important to you personally. Choose the areas that you want to study in the near future, find educational sites and applications on this topic. Take advantage of the pauses you have. Finally, keep an interesting book in your bag.
- Media hoax
Public very often cite unverified information. A sort of news channel that steals other people’s pseudo-news, which receive thousands of reposts, and a lively discussion on the network.
Here is one of the most famous examples of lies. Many have heard the running tale that Coca-Cola would be green if it had not been tinted.
Do you know that representatives of Coca-cola even had to write a refutation of this information on the official website ?
How to fight:
Clean up the groups you subscribe to, subscribe to the official channels of companies. Filter or validate the information you receive.
- Social media destroys relationships
According to a report by specialists from the St. Petersburg Psychoanalytic Center, 15% of marriages break up due to the influence of social networks. In Europe and the US, the social network is the cause of every third divorce.
A harmless like or an innocent comment can cause jealousy and scandal, communication with the former can lead to an attempt to restore relationships, smartphones forgotten in a conspicuous place with personal correspondence cause quarrels and quarrels.
How to fight:
Build relationships on trust. Add your loved one’s fingerprint to your Touch ID profile, don’t lock your laptop with a password.
Thanks to social networks, you lose a huge amount of time that you could spend with your loved one. Find a joint hobby and share your successes with others, be one.
By the way, some married couples, in order to reduce the risk of quarrels and scandals, create joint pages on social networks and use them at the same time.
Imagine how much you could learn if you didn’t waste time consuming useless content on social media. Introduced? It’s time to clear your head of rubbish, reduce the list of publics that you are subscribed to, and do the really important things. It’s not too late to make your life better. Good luck!
“Don’t stick around on your own foolishness.” Why Social Media Owners Don’t Use Social Media
Developers of platforms like Facebook admit that they were designed in such a way as to be addictive. Should we follow the example of social media managers and stop using them? And are mere mortals capable of this?
Mark Zuckerberg does not use Facebook in the same way that ordinary people do. According to Bloomberg , the 33-year-old CEO has a team of 12 moderators who remove comments and spam from his page. A “small number” of employees help him write posts and compose speeches, and a few professional photographers capture carefully prepared shots of his meetings with veterans in Kentucky, small business owners in Missouri, or cheesesteak vendors in Philadelphia.
Facebook’s ability to restrict access to posts means that mere mortals can’t see private posts from the Zuckerberg timeline, but it’s hard to imagine him getting into an argument over a racist anti-migrant meme post. And it’s not just Zuckerberg who does this. None of the company’s key executives have a “normal” presence on Facebook—they can’t be friended, rarely post publicly, and keep some of the information that the platform suggests public by default, such as the number of friends, private.
Same story on twitter. Of nine senior executives, only four tweet on average more than once a day. Ned Segal, CFO, has been on the site for six years and tweets less than twice a month. Jack Dorsey, co-founder of the company and a relatively active user of the service, has made 23,000 tweets since the launch of the site, but this is much less than how many tweets were left by more or less regular users during the same period. Dorsey rarely answers strangers and avoids discussions and arguments. He does not commentate live on TV shows or sports. In fact, he doesn’t actually “use” Twitter, he just makes notes from time to time.
This pattern of behavior is repeated throughout the industry. Despite the popular idea of using your own products, the most dedicated users of social networks are rarely those who manage them.
I’m a social media maniac and have left 140,000 tweets since I signed up in April 2007 – six times more than Jack Dorsey. I use Instagram, Snapchat and Reddit every day. I have Ello, Peach and Mastodon accounts (remember those? No? Don’t worry). Three years ago, I managed to leave Facebook. I teared up from him, deleted the account at the moment of enlightenment, when I realized how he makes me feel and act. I never regretted it, but I could not pull off such a trick a second time.
At one time I looked at the heads of social networks and it annoyed me that they did not understand the structure of their own sites. Ordinary users find errors, vulnerabilities, see bad design decisions that managers will never understand if they do not use the site themselves. How, I wondered, could they create the world’s best product if they didn’t use social media the way regular people do?
Now another question comes to my mind: what do they know that we do not know?
Sean Parker, Facebook’s founding president, broke the omerta last October by revealing at a conference in Philadelphia that he was “a sort of conscious opponent” of social media.
“The reasoning behind creating these apps — and Facebook was the first of them — was, ‘How can we absorb as much of your time and conscious attention as possible? “ or left a comment on your photo, post or something else. Which in turn will make you post more content, for which you will get even more likes and comments, ”said Parker.
“It’s a closed chain of social validation. Exactly what a programmer like myself would come up with to exploit a vulnerability in human psychology. Inventors, creators—me, Mark Zuckerberg, Instagram’s Kevin Systrom, all of these people—are aware of this principle. And yet they created such a product.”
A month later, Parker was joined by another Facebook adversary, Chamath Palihapitiya, a former vice president of the company who was involved in increasing the number of users of the social network.
“The short-term closed loop feedback we create and actuated by dopamine destroys the normal functioning of society. There is no discussion to achieve mutual understanding, no interaction – there is misinformation, lies, – said Palihapitiya at a conference in Stanford, California. – And now it’s not about Russian propaganda. This is a global problem that destroys the basic principles of human communication. I can control my decision and that is to not use this crap. I can control the decisions of my kids, who aren’t allowed to use this shit either.”
Palihapitiya’s statements left Facebook so embarrassed that the company issued a press release acknowledging its past failures, a rare move from a company that, despite its mission to “bring people together,” is infamous for hushing up its shortcomings.
“When Chamath was at Facebook, we were focused on creating new social media experiences and growth around the world,” the spokeswoman said. “Facebook at that time was a different company than it is now. Along with this growth, we realized how much our responsibility has increased. We take our role very seriously and work hard to be better.”
A few days later, the site took a more interesting turn and published the results of a study stating that Facebook makes users feel bad, but only when they make few entries.
“In general, when people spend a lot of time passively absorbing information—reading but not interacting with others—they say they feel worse afterwards,” two Facebook researchers said in a review of existing work on the topic. On the other hand, “active interaction with people—especially messaging, recording, and commenting with close friends and remembering past interactions—is associated with improved well-being.”
According to Adam Alter, a psychologist and author of a study on technology addiction called Irresistible , the question of whether social media makes you happy or gloomy in the short term is almost irrelevant. The deeper question is whether you use them compulsively or even suffer from addiction.
“The concept of addiction is used more broadly and refers to more behavioral patterns than we think, and thus applies to more people,” says Alter. Nearly half of the adult population has at least one behavioral addiction. Few of us are addicted to any substance, but the fabric of today’s world is full of behavioral patterns that we find hard to resist, and many of us develop self-destructive addictions to habits that border on or become addictions.”
Alter argues that these dependencies do not appear out of the blue. On the contrary, it is a direct result of the intent of companies like Facebook and Twitter to create “hooky” products that we want to come back to again and again.
“The companies that make these products, especially the very large technology corporations, are investing in them with the intention of hooking the audience. They do their best to ensure that we spend as much time as possible on their programs and applications, but they do not care at all about preserving our well-being. This is their key goal: it is not to create a product that will bring people pleasure, and therefore will be profitable; it’s about making a product that people can’t refuse and that’s why it will make a profit.
What Parker and Palihapitiya imply is that the companies they personally dealt with at the highest level in their formative days were built on the principle: “We must do everything in our power to crack human psychology, to understand what gets people involved, and use these techniques not to make them happier, but to maximize engagement.” And that’s exactly what they do,” says Alter.
Parker and Palihapitiya aren’t the only Silicon Valley residents to be outspoken about their concerns about the addictive nature of modern technology. As reported in October, an increasing number of programmers and engineers are leaving because of the negative consequences that their work entails. From Chris Marcellino, co-creator of Apple’s push notification system, to Lauren Britcher, who is currently building his home in New Jersey and previously came up with the “pull to refresh” action that turns many apps into miniature slot machines. Many UI developers have doubts.
Others realized the same thing, but decided to take advantage of this absurdity. For example, Los Angeles-based Dopamine Labs offers a service that personalizes “moments of joy” in applications where it is used. The company promises to its customers: “Your users will yearn for it. And they will miss you.”
In this case, social media managers are just following the rule of drug dealers and dealers – the fourth of the “Ten Crack Commandments” in the song of the hip-hoper The Notorious BIG: “Never hang out on your own dope.”
“Many managers of large IT companies are very careful with the use of technology in their personal lives, with how they allow their children to use it, with children’s access to monitors, various applications and programs. But then some of them get on stage to perform and say, “This is the greatest product of all time.” But if you study the problem, you will see that they do not allow their children to use the same product,” says Alter.
In January, Apple CEO Tim Cook said: “I don’t have children, but I have a nephew for whom I have set limits. Some things I don’t allow. I don’t want them to be on social media.
Technology in itself cannot be good or bad. You need people to make sure you’re doing the right thing with them. And people are needed in the development process to make sure that the right product is being created.”
Alter says the classic example of this approach is Cook’s predecessor, Steve Jobs, who “told all the good things about the iPad and then kept his kids away from it.”
“Children don’t use it. We restrict children from using technology at home, ”Jobs told The New York Times a few months after the introduction of the iPad.
And not only children.
“You can see it in the behavior of the managers. I think Jack Dorsey is very careful about how much time he spends on Twitter. Obviously, this is a busy person, with a heavy workload, and he is probably distracted by other worries, so he can tear himself away from the site.
But the same can’t be said for all Twitter users – many believe they are “hooked up”, to use a colloquial expression. Whether this addiction is clinical or not, users feel they could spend less time in it because it destroys their well-being. And I think that’s true: for many users, twitter is a black hole that sucks you in and it’s very hard to stop using it.”
Those are my thoughts on twitter. I wanted to reduce the amount of time I use it after realizing how much time I spend in it staring at a tape of short sayings that range from a little funny to a little traumatic. I deleted 133,000 tweets in an attempt to ease the feeling that I couldn’t give up on something I had spent so much time on. Removed the application from the phone and computer to sit in it only through the browser. Repeatedly arranged pauses, but still returned.
It’s one thing to be a kid with parents protecting you from technology. It’s quite another thing to live like you’re the CEO of a tech company and reflect the collaborative effort of thousands of the world’s smartest people who want to make you want to open an app every day. I am not alone in this fight.
Kevin Holesh, a freelance developer, is one of those who have tried to reduce app usage time. He wrote the Moment program, which keeps track of how much time you spend on your phone. For a typical user, this is more than three hours a day. The statistics were enough to give him the will to change.
“Once I had the data ready, it in itself helped to use my smartphone less. Since then, I have taken several steps in this direction, but even seeing the numbers was already half the battle. The numbers I saw actually changed my attitude. I didn’t do anything productive for more than an hour a day, I just wasted time,” he says.
Holesh eventually deleted his social media accounts and his work email from his phone.
“This step has helped me the most – just being out of the availability zone. At first, my task was to understand how much time with the phone makes you happy. But now I’m taking a more extreme approach, worrying less about the news or my uncle’s provocative Facebook posts. I’ve found that I’m better at communicating with the old ways.”
Alter says willpower can help to a certain extent, but at the same time, not having electronics available for casual, thoughtless use can be even better. Ultimately, however, breaking an addiction is difficult on your own.
“Could it be that in 20 years we look at the current generation of kids and say, ‘Look, they are socially different from previous generations, and that’s a big problem. Maybe we need to regulate their behavior?” Or maybe we look back and say, “I don’t know what all the fuss was about, I don’t understand why we were so worried.” Until we get some data, until the facts come out, I think it will be difficult to change the behavior of people in the mass, ”says Alter.
If you can’t bring yourself to reduce your social media usage, you can follow Zuckerberg’s lead and hire a team of 12 people to do it for you. Maybe it won’t be as cheap and easy as deleting a Facebook page, but probably easier.
The harmful effects of social networks that we do not think about
Social networks, search engines and instant messengers have become an integral part of our lives, we use them for free in exchange for a small amount of unobtrusive advertising, and it may seem that this is a mutually beneficial deal, but every day there is more and more news about the dangers of social networks, users complain about addiction , anxiety, depression, and we can see that the number of mental disorders and suicides since 2011 among American teenagers has only been growing.
To determine the harm of social networks, you need to determine how social services work, how users interact with them, how it affects them, and how software engineers modify human behavior and take advantage of human weaknesses.
Platform and marketing
If we talk about the initial motives for creating social services, then such services were created based on interest and good intentions. The desire to simplify life, to facilitate the search and systematization of information, to give a person tools that will help him in life. Great convenience and opportunities attracted a large number of people, including creative ones, who used the services to share their creativity, communicate and give birth to new ideas and formats within the platform. Such novelty and freshness attracted even more viewers’ eyes, and at the same time, marketers and advertisers who are interested in human attention and ways to retain it. Marketing and advertising have begun to seep into these platforms, promising big money to the creators of these apps, and big money is fueling unethical ways to get attention. So the Services began to expand, and our attention became the currency of those expansions. Any aspect that will bring more attention to the platform will be valued above others, as it will bring more money to the people behind this application and free hands in the direction of studying behavior, incorporating their research in this area into their platforms, and modifying user behavior based on their requirements and desires.
Likes and news feed
During the operation of the services, tools were discovered that affect a person more than others – likes and a news feed. The Like button in mass use appeared on the social network Facebook in April 2010. Such a button allowed them to quickly show interest, show their interest, belonging to a certain idea. But at the same time, she introduced a universal metric by which a person could judge the influence, the value of information within the platform and about himself. Created as the mere equivalent of a minimal social action, the button has become a digital currency. With the advent of likes, the value of the information expressed and, at the same time, the personality can now be accurately measured, and the metric of our life, which was always hidden from us, has become publicly available. The new level of frankness could not but affect the minds of people, the amount of insecurity, anxiety, depression, neuroses among people who failed to integrate into the platform increased dramatically. Teenagers who are trying with all their might to join life receive feedback in the form of likes, with the help of which they judge their own significance and value. At the same time, the understanding of a person as a person suffers, because such complex views that require prolonged reflection are lost in rapidly changing, stimulating information and do not receive a proper response in social media, and are interpreted by the end user as something unclaimed, complex and unnecessary.
Now I propose to pay attention to the news feed. Upgradable and adaptable to the characteristics of the user, it has become so additive due to the fact that it parasitizes on human weaknesses. Anticipating a result or information causes the release of the hormone dopamine. Post new content to a social network and check the number of likes every hour, or mindlessly scroll through the page, perceiving useless information, but at the same time getting ambivalent pleasure, a familiar picture for every user of social networks. In the book “The Fourth World War” Andrei Kurpatov writes that a person not only cannot stop consuming information, but has completely forgotten how to process it. A person who has spent an hour or even two on a smartphone cannot remember what “was there”. Information is not absorbed by a person, but simply passes through it. After all, again, the physiological mechanism supporting this process is a positive dopamine reinforcement. Dopamine is produced in our brain at the moment of image recognition, regardless of its complexity. Thus, if there is an alternative: either recognize primitive images and immediately get an instant dopamine pleasure “for this”, or strain and build complex intellectual objects in order to see meaning in them (and only then enjoy this recognition), the first strategy naturally wins. , which, in fact, is the psychophysiological basis of Internet addiction. The peculiarities of the work of the brain are such that, given the opportunity to choose tasks, it always chooses the one that is easier. Which, with a large variety of content, leads to a “natural selection” of primitive content, while complex, on the contrary, just washed out. The brain consistently makes choices in favor of more and more simple “irritants”, and the content industry adapts to this request, offering more and more primitive content. That is why we have consistently observed the evolution of social networks from text to visual. Next on the list will be a social network with virtual reality, since the feeling of physical presence is so far the only thing that modern social networks lack in order to completely absorb a person.
As Gary Wilson, author of Pornography and the Nature of Addiction, says, “constant novelty at a click can cause addiction.” New stimulus information with every click can cause addiction. In this regard, people are addicted to pornography, casino games and modern games that exploit the uncertainty of the outcome of an event. We can go to the news feed and it will offer us something new, and with each page refresh this endlessly generated feed will offer something stimulating and the average user can only guess what he will see next, but thanks to the huge amount of statistics, the creator of the platform can ensure that this content is addictive and attention-grabbing. The unknown outcome of the event causes a rush of dopamine, which in the future pushes to repeat the addictive behavior.
There has been a giant spike in depression and anxiety among American teenagers between 2011 and 2013. The number of teenage girls out of 100,000 in this country admitted to hospital every year because they cut themselves or otherwise harmed themselves was fairly stable until 2010-2011 and then began to rise sharply. For adolescent girls aged 15-19, this number increased by 62%. Among girls aged 10-12, the increase was 189%. The same pattern is observed among suicides among girls aged 15-19, their number has increased by 70% compared with the first decade of this century. For girls aged 10 to 14, this figure increased by 151%. The generation of children born in the late nineties of the last century is the first generation of children who ended up on social networks in high school.
Social media is the real drug
Andrey Kurpatov in his book “The Fourth World War” writes about research conducted in 2017 by a professor at Seoul University. Han Suk Seo conducted a comprehensive study of people with digital addiction, which showed that digital addiction is a drug addiction in the truest sense of the word. He conducted a study using MRI, which recorded chemical changes in various parts of the brain of volunteers suffering from digital addiction and addicted to drugs and alcohol. The study showed that digital addiction leads to the same changes as traditional types of drug addiction. Constant addictive behavior causes the production of dopamine, but also the DeltaFosB protein responsible for addiction. People suffering from drug addiction or alcoholism also produce the DeltaFosB protein, which changes the human brain, as well as his response to pleasure. Ordinary worldly pleasures no longer stimulate a person, life looks gray and uninteresting, but at the same time, habitual addictions cause hyperstimulation. From such addictive behavior, the prefrontal cortex decreases, and with it, willpower fades. It’s also worth mentioning that it’s easier for the adult generation to get rid of addiction, unlike teenagers and children, whose lot has been to use smartphones during the greatest neuroplasticity and dopamine production.
Highly stimulating prolonged behavior causes a range of symptoms such as ADHD, social anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, but they are rarely associated with addictive behavior. Dr. Simon Lajenesse conducted an experiment to find out the effect of pornography on young men, but the study failed because he could not find a single male student who did not watch porn. This ubiquity of use makes it impossible to distinguish between people under the influence of pornography and people free from this addiction. A similar problem of total use is also characteristic of social services. According to official statistics in Russia, 97% of people aged 16 to 29 are connected to the network and the Internet, and 95% of this value are registered in one or another social network.
It can be concluded that we are losing a layer of the population that is not under constant modification of its behavior. Gradually, all the harm in the form of anxiety, ADHD and depression will become a familiar companion for the younger generation. If social networks were the equivalent of smoking, then we would live in a world where everyone starts smoking at the age of 10 and there is no control group that would not do so, with all the resulting ideas about the health of a “normal” person.
Jaron Lanier, author of Ten Arguments for Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now, writes that we should delete our social media accounts for our own good and for the good of society, based on the fact that a person is constantly under change in his behavior. Algorithms constantly monitor the information we consume, how many times we viewed an image or video on Instagram, how many seconds we spent on this or that image, who we are interested in based on how many times we visit a person’s account and who we are indifferent to. After that, it gradually modifies our behavior and our views of the world, bringing into our information environment “wolves in sheep’s clothing” Information that looks familiar and interesting to us, but whose goal is to push us to this or that action, to buy something, choose someone in the elections or change their views in favor of certain ideas. He writes that if you refuse such services, you can feel a more conscious look in relation to the world and yourself.
We are the first generation to use social media so actively. And we do not properly understand its effect on our own brain. Using services created by engineers in order to attract attention, we get stimulation thought out to the smallest detail. And we ultimately do not know how our body, our psyche will react to such an impact, and whether we will be able to find ourselves addicted or get bogged down to such an extent that there will be no opportunity to critically look at our situation. That is why you need to be careful and skeptical about all new features in actively emerging social services, and the excessive dissemination of your personal information, which may become part of the data array that will not be used in the most ethical methods.