365 days without social media. What are the effects?

365 days without social media. What are the effects?

During the past year I have reduced my social media activity to the bare minimum (getting files I needed for work from FB groups and managing business accounts), and in some weeks close to 0. I haven’t used Instagram, Tumblr, Twitter or anything, and posted on Facebook from other apps or just a few times per month, quickly.

It was a series of scientific research papers and articles that convinced me to stop using social media, and especially some interviews with a top (ex) Facebook executive that said that he and other employees don’t use Facebook themselves because they know how it was designed to be addictive the effects it has on the human mind.

Among the things he mentioned and that are backed up by scientific research are : altering the mood negatively, sometimes leading to extreme loneliness and even strong depression, generating jealousy and envy towards people we know and random people we follow (even if we know their representation of reality is… Unreal), decreased productivity due to interruptions, waste of leasure time, shortens the attention span and… Get this, it inhibits our social skills to developing by not being in contact with real people.

Now, eliminating social media will not solve all of this problems for you in a magical way.

Your mood will still be affected, up or down but this will happen in a differently and from other factors.
Your productivity will not skyrocket. If you are addicted to distractions, you will find new ones that are not on social media. Until you train your mind to focus on one thing, it will continue to wonder.

But on the other hand I have managed to create a strong and meaningful relationship with my girlfriend and have had interesting discussions on a large variety of subjects. For example, she really helped me see cleared the challenges which females have to face in our society, as well as LGBTQ+ groups.

As part of my work, I joined online communities on Discord and Slack where I could learn and also contribute with work and knowledge, while creating some new friends along the way. I even got a contact by being helpful and active.

And while I would usually argue that I am on social media because I want to be in touch with my friends, connecting with friends via private, confidential messages and video calls is better than posting a picture and expecting them to care.

One thing I did feel I was missing out on was my connection to my online mentors. However, this enabled me to find my own path in life. Even through their advice might ‘ve been good, listening to my inner voice and analyzing my own daily struggles led to more personalized answers.

While sometimes I felt like sharing personal records such as when I reached my 185 kg deadlift, keeping it for myself and the people in the gym felt just as satisfying and helped me enjoy the moment longer (not to mention that it saved me the time of posting it and you probably don’t care anyway, right?).

I am considering increasing my social media activity again, but I just feel the need for it anymore and probably my work won’t allow for much of it anyway.

Now it’s your turn…
How long do you think you would last without social media?
And in what way do you think that would be good or not good for you?

Citius, Altius, Fortius

Leonard Burcă

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