Netflix’s documentary, The Social Dilemma, inspired me to reduce the time I spent on social media. Weeks later, the query is: did these modifications stick or did I run straight again to Fb, Instagram, and Twitter?
What’s The Social Dilemma?
The Social Dilemma is a documentary on Netflix that “explores the harmful human impression of social networking.” Most of the folks interviewed have been as soon as Massive Tech bigwigs.
They embody Fb like co-creator Justin Rosenstein and ex-Pinterest president Tim Kendall. The documentary mentioned social media’s impact on politics, psychological well being, conspiracy theories, and extra.
There was additionally a story part that featured the radicalization of a high-school-aged boy. Throughout the documentary, the boy’s political beliefs have been slowly changing into extra skewed by the content material he consumed on-line.
The algorithms (personified by three actors) toyed along with his social media to get as a lot of his consideration as doable. I puzzled if I used to be being manipulated by algorithms and didn’t even understand it.
My takeaway from The Social Dilemma was that my social media utilization was hurting me greater than it was serving to me. I used to be vaguely conscious of social media’s nefarious sides. However I had by no means had them spelled out to me like on The Social Dilemma.
I took a step again, analyzed my historical past with social media, and realized I wanted to make some modifications earlier than it was too late.
My Love/Hate Relationship With Social Media
I’ve been on social media for over ten years. I started utilizing it in early center faculty, the place I’d chat on web boards about my favourite celebrities.
As a Black child dwelling in a predominately white city, I struggled to discover a sense of belonging. The robust sense of group I felt on-line amazed me. As soon as I received a Fb account in highschool, social media had change into a concrete a part of my life.
Social media has been round all through all my youth. It has had an impression on the individual I’ve grown as much as be. However I’m not conscious of its impression as a result of I don’t know life with out it.
Within the decade I’ve been on social media, I’ve by no means taken a break for various hours. I used to be so obsessive about the positives of social media that I had by no means regarded on the negatives.
Watching The Social Dilemma made me look again and see the detrimental results social media has had on me.
Beneath are just a few modifications I’ve made and whether or not they have labored long-term.
1.) Scale back Notifications
It wasn’t till I watched The Social Dilemma that I spotted how a lot notifications disrupt my day. I thought-about them a minor however essential annoyance. However I’ve realized they take consideration away from the folks and actions I really like essentially the most.
I removed all my notifications besides my textual content messages and vital emails. This labored for some time and I felt liberated…till I spotted that I used to be lacking messages from folks I cared about.
A few of my pals can solely contact me by way of Instagram. I selected to enter Instagram’s settings and alter them so I’d solely get notifications about DMs.
With fewer notifications, I can focus and not using a rumble in my pocket interrupting me.
2.) Get a Display screen-Free Interest
As a contract author, I spend most of my day watching a display screen. I made a decision it was time to discover a pastime that took me away from electronics.
Earlier than watching The Social Dilemma, I had gotten again into studying books. However 90% of the books I learn have been by way of my Kindle.
I figured sufficient was sufficient. I received up, placed on my pink face masks, and drove over to my native secondhand bookstore to refill on bodily books. I had nearly forgotten what it was prefer to learn with out confronting an advert about Prime Video’s newest present.
I’ve additionally been journaling. I attempt to seize every element of my day even when I think about it insignificant. Just lately, I’ve been studying by way of my childhood journal. I’m amazed by the small print like what I ate and what TV exhibits I used to be watching.
My journal is a time machine into the previous the place 106 and Park remains to be on TV and capri pants are cool. Over the previous few weeks, I’ve been journaling and studying constantly. I don’t plan on stopping anytime quickly.
3.) Observe More healthy Coping Mechanisms
I’ve used social media to deal with my emotions for so long as I can keep in mind. As a child, I used to vent on Fb or Twitter in search of some semblance of steering. Fortunately I’ve gotten previous that. However as an grownup, I nonetheless use social media to seek out happiness.
I normally search prompt gratification. I could scroll Twitter hoping for a humorous video or put up an image on Instagram for the dopamine increase of a like. I’ve realized that placing my psychological well being within the arms of an algorithm was by no means a good suggestion.
Now, I deal with attending to the foundation of the issue. I ask myself questions like: “Am I hungry?” “Am I thirsty?” “Do I want to speak to somebody?” Relying on my solutions, I cater to my wants IRL. Once I don’t succumb to my first considered, “Possibly I ought to get on social media” I normally don’t think about it as a viable coping mechanism.
It has taken observe to interrupt out of these dangerous habits. However once I fall again to social media I don’t beat myself up about it. I simply deal with doing higher the subsequent time I’m not feeling my greatest.
4.) Do a 24-Hour Social Media Detox
I figured a social media detox may assist me study extra about my very own pursuits. I spent my detox watching films, taking nature walks, and listening to forgotten albums. I even tried out new hobbies like portray and jewellery making. Seems if you find yourself not mindlessly scrolling by way of Instagram, your schedule opens up.
I made a decision to trace what I did every hour to assist me be extra intentional. On the finish of the day, I may look again at my record as proof I didn’t waste my day.
The following day, I used to be desperate to examine just a few social media apps. However after that preliminary anticipation, the urges quickly subsided. Now, I’m extra centered on minimizing my social media utilization every day than chopping it out utterly.
However I’ve scheduled a month-to-month social media detox into my calendar. As time goes on, I hope to extend the variety of days that I’m with out social media every month.
Have you ever seen The Social Dilemma?
In case you haven’t seen Netflix’s The Social Dilemma, I like to recommend you watch it for your self. It makes lots of thought-provoking factors about how social media not solely impacts you however your group.
I problem you to query your social media utilization. Ask your self easy questions like: Why do you employ social media? If it is a crucial a part of your life, why is that? How does social media have an effect on your temper?
Answering these questions may help you tweak your social media utilization and stay a happier, more healthy life.
Have you ever ever tried to restrict your social media utilization? I’d like to know your ideas within the feedback part beneath!