Social media platforms earn most of their revenue from advertising. The more ads you watch the more money they make. They are designed to keep you scrolling no matter what, and unfortunately that 's what most people end up doing.
In this article, we are going to talk briefly about how powerful social media is and how to use it to your advantage and finally get to enjoy it without any regrets.
Why social platforms are powerful ?
The simplified answer is that social media take as an input your interests and give you content to consume. The more you consume, the better recommendation systems become at suggesting things you would like to see and react to. Let's get into the details.
These are not the drawbacks of social media. Just a list of smart features.
Connecting people with similar interests
Social media create echo chambers through different algorithms, which gives the illusion that everyone agrees with you and have the same interests as you. Which gives the user a sense of belonging and satisfaction and keeps them hooked.
Social media is built on people's need for external validation, whether it’s an opinion or aspects related to self worth and self esteem. The concepts of likes, views and comments all add up to make you associate your self worth to how many likes and comments you have.
All social platforms have implemented some form of infinite scrolling. There is always more to consume. The user can hardly get to the end of the feed. Even if the user's network is limited, social platforms are engineered to push you far beyond your limited network to discover new content and follow new users.
Notifications are one powerful too used by social networks to keep you on their platforms. Notifications are informing you that someone reacted or commented on your content, or letting you know about an update on your feed or to suggest you something you like to watch. A notification is always good news.
The user experience on social platforms is designed to make It easier for user to consume and react to content. "double tap" for like, "tap and write" to comment, in some cases videos are playing without even taping. The user hardly makes an effort to use social media.
Why do you regret being on social media ?
What makes us human beings happy is progress. We always wish for a better ( job, car, health.... ). You can't spend a week laying in bed doing nothing but scrolling on social media without having regrets.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of content out there that can remind you daily that It's normal to waste your time and not be productive. Let's see some examples.
These kind of posts can seem funny at first, but in fact they are dangerous. Seeing content that validates your fears and reassures you that everyone is going through the same thing is wrong. It has a bad influence on your mental health, and It keeps you from moving forward.
The pages responsible for this content usually have millions of desperate followers who unconsciously seek them daily for reassurance. Content creators who rely on people's weaknesses to build a following and make money without providing help aren't worthy of being on your feed.
How to reshape your social media feed ?
With the previously discussed features, social media are a powerful tool. You can use them to your own benefit if you take certain measures.
Detox your network
- Unfollow all sources of irrelevant content
- Unfollow spammy accounts (quantity over quality) even in your interests.
- Do not follow things out of peer pressure
- Unfollow accounts whom interests doesn't interest you ( even friends )
- report/block irrelevant pages and accounts ( help the algorithms know your interests )
- Limit the number of interests
Put your professional life first
- Do not get too personal
- Use social media for personal branding
- Disable unnecessary notifications
- Detox all the platforms you use ( Facebook, YouTube, twitter.... )