The other day, I accidentally discovered that my friend deleted his Facebook account, disappeared on Instagram, he simply disappeared from these social networks. Bad thoughts crept into my head, the phone did not answer calls, but Telegram showed that he was online some forty minutes ago. Vadim dialed me later, and our conversation can be safely called a sign of the times:
– Vadim, hello. Are you all right?
– Hello, hello (laughs). Do you know how many people have called me with this question in the last month?
– Something happened? Your social networks have been erased. All!
– I deleted them.
– What for?
– I’m tired of sitting in them all day long, charging the phone twice a day, walking down the street with my eyes on the screen. I just got bored, ate it up to nausea. Disconnected, and you know what a thrill it is to live without all this? As if released from prison.
Surprisingly, the feelings of my friend will be easily shared by many people who stick to the screens of their devices every day and cannot tear themselves away from them. In my work, I come across this every day, people write that they need a smartphone that works on one charge for a full working day, and the display should work for eight hours. They don’t do anything special, they need social networks, Internet pages, instant messengers. There are those who buy smartwatches so as not to miss important notifications, but in fact the watch vibrates every few seconds, as messages from social networks are poured on them non-stop. There is no sense in the watch in this scenario of use, since you instantly stop paying attention to notifications, they become familiar.
Eight hours a day on a smartphone screen is a lot, infinitely many. For many, eight hours make up a full working day, albeit without a lunch break. How did it happen that we spend our lives looking at social networks, communicating with strangers, and sometimes even bots? What went wrong and where?
You can’t do without personal experience, although everyone will have their own and may differ in big or small. In no case do I extend my experience to everyone; rather, I use it to illustrate what is happening around me.
When Twitter appeared, the number of people on this social network was not large: a sandbox in which you can quickly discuss certain issues. Gradually the number of people began to grow, and the quality of the discussion began to decline proportionally. Random people appeared, but just crazy, who began to comment on whatever they got and share their vision of the world. This happens with all social networks, sooner or later a crowd appears in them, which, willingly or unwillingly, smashes the fragile world of adequate communication to smithereens. And if at the very beginning of Twitter’s journey, an hour a day was enough for me to read everything written by friends and colleagues over the previous day, then then this time was not enough. Twitter now has the ability to add accounts to separate lists, view them selectively. But there was no more time in a day, as before, on our planet it was 24 hours.
Diving headlong into social media doesn’t seem like a good idea because it takes time and energy. I have a Facebook account where I do not write anything, do not share my thoughts with the world, and do not expect the same from the world. The reason for its existence is that strangers contact me so often. Once every few days I check the messages, I see who sent them. A purely working tool. In the rare moments when your eye catches on a message in the Facebook feed and you start flipping through posts, there is almost always some kind of oppressive feeling. The feeling that people are using this social network as a cheap surrogate for psychotherapy, splash out negativity and literally bring it down to others. Complain, moan, whine.
I am writing this text and decided to open my Facebook feed, dynamically formed, it shows me messages from my friends – one learned to cook a chocolate fondant at home, another bought a shelf for a cat, there is a controversial discussion of the latest Formula 1. There are many questions about what is worth reading, seeing. Nothing criminal or annoying for several dozen messages. A spoonful of an unpleasant substance is often found in this barrel of honey, which forms the perception. Social networks have given us the ability to block, erase from our field of vision what we don’t like (as an option, the one we don’t like). And this leads to another question, that we form the world that is convenient and comfortable for us, we limit our field of vision.
Perhaps we need to make a temporary stop here and formulate the first difference between our time and how our parents lived, and even more so our grandparents. For the first time, we can reach other people’s lives so quickly and painlessly. Our social circle has become truly gigantic, so, I have 4630 friends on Facebook, and a little less subscribers.
Seriously? Can 5000 people be considered friends? The word itself is devalued entirely and completely, since there cannot be such a large number of friends. I have few close friends, as well as most people inhabiting the planet, there are several of them. There are noticeably more friends-buddies, they are fun, interesting, and we communicate more or less constantly. But even with my social circle, there are dozens of people, not hundreds. It’s physically impossible and unnecessary to read the Facebook feed of everyone I know.
But there are still strangers who write to the mail, social networks, they have their own questions and their own problems. I try to answer and, if possible, help people, which usually causes serious surprise – they wrote at random, just to express themselves.
For the first time in history, we have the opportunity to reach hundreds of people scattered across the planet, participate in their lives, empathize and learn something new. I am interested in the lives of loved ones, those I know. But I don’t see the slightest point in spying on the lead singer of a rock band or a famous athlete, why should I know what exactly they ate for breakfast? What interesting things can they bring to my life? With age, an understanding of this moment comes, but in youth everything is exactly the opposite, and you create idols for yourself in batches, they act as a role model, and this is normal. You just need to experience this moment in your own development.
We cannot be friends on social networks with hundreds of people. We can find in them friends with the same interests, those who share our views. But maintaining relationships with dozens or even hundreds of people is impossible. This is an indisputable fact, otherwise we will not have time for our own life.
Another sign of our time is anxiety, phantom messages, when people constantly fiddle with their phones to see what has appeared in them. Every day people who do not have a large social circle create it for themselves, it’s easier and cheaper. Instead of making friends and communicating in real life, they create a surrogate, immerse themselves in spying on someone else’s life. And they are constantly involved in what is happening with another person, a kind of endless “Dom-2”. This is a waste of vitality when people live someone else’s life, and there is no longer any left for their own strengths and opportunities. Everywhere you need balance and a clear understanding of what you are doing. Addiction to social networks (as an option, phones) has become a disease of our society, and this is a very serious ailment that is not so easy to deal with. And is it really necessary? We will not get a massive vaccination from this, at least until we all realize that social networks and phones are so attractive that they already replace real life, create a haze that seems real to many.
But if you have a feeling that the phone and social networks take up a lot of time, then below I will outline the techniques that will help you change your habits and get more time for what is really important – communicating with people, relatives and friends, reading interesting books …
Fight rules – how to give up bad habits and not lose them
Not a single addict can admit that he has an addiction. With social networks and other passions, everything is exactly the same (those who play for hours on the phone are no exception). Any modern smartphone has automatic time counting in different applications, you can see how five minutes spent on Instagram or TikTok add up to lost hours. You don’t need to let it go by itself, evaluate how much time you spend and on what.
There is also an opportunity to limit the time in a particular program, to set everything so that the phone itself limits you in your passions. This is a rude, not always effective way, since sooner or later you will turn off restrictions or start to ignore them.
Rescuing drowning people is the work of the drowning people themselves, so it is important to form habits that will help not to waste time, not to hang on the phone for hours, scrolling through the feed of a social network. And in this we can be helped by a few simple tricks that make life easier:
- Do not read the tape non-stop, do not react to everything that is written. Build lists of close friends you want to read accurately. Arrange row cleaning if necessary.
- Try to make it a habit to read lists on social networks not for a dream coming, but during the day, let it be several times a day. Your sleep will only benefit from this.
- Understand that social networks do not carry anything urgent and priority, there is no need to instantly respond to something written, scribble an answer on the go, without letting the phone out of your hands, or doing it while driving a car – the latter is simply dangerous.
- You cannot react to strangers, this habit has been formed over the years, but always try to remember that strangers write to you in order to achieve their goals, for example, to piss you off, to achieve some kind of visible reaction. To react to them means to follow the lead, do not do that.
But the most important thing is that everywhere we need rationality in the approach, gradualism. You don’t have to give up social media altogether, just limit it, act wisely. Throwing the baby out with the water is clearly not our approach. There is a very simple technique in psychology that allows you to assess the scale of the problem you are facing and the need to invest your emotions and vitality into it. You are outraged by something on the social network, you are preparing to rush to write an angry rebuke. Stop, catch your breath and try to imagine how you will react to the recording ten years from now, twenty years from now. Will this continue to worry you? Or maybe your life will change so much that it seems petty.
If this technique does not work, then write the answer, but do not send it, wait until evening or morning, then re-read, and you may decide not to do this. Social media wastes time not only by reading other people’s thoughts, but also by getting involved in discussions that are notoriously fruitless.
In our Telegram channel, I launched a survey in which you can see how you assess social networks and their impact, whether they are useful or harmful, you can find the survey here https://t.me/mobilereviewcom/6186.
What is your attitude towards social networks and their impact on our daily life? In my opinion, real life lies outside the plane of social networks, they can be a good tool to complement what you do. But not to emulate life, replacing reality with fiction.
we are in social networks:
Anything to add ?! Write … firstname.lastname@example.org