Okay so, you saw The Social Dilemma trending on social media, and you watched it (even though you tweeted just a few days ago about how you were going to #cancelnetflix).
Then you posted on social media about how eye-opening the documentary was and how it almost got you to delete your social media accounts.
And then you continued the infinite scroll while checking the number of likes on your post and waiting for your friends to comment about how they, too, almost deleted their accounts.
But wait! What if, instead of going back to status quo, you did the cool thing and changed your relationship with social media? What if you showed the algorithm who’s boss? Here are 10 things that can help!
(Psst! If you haven’t watched The Social Dilemma yet, you can still continue reading the rest of this post. The only context you need is this – social media has the power to keep you hooked, and can manipulate your thoughts, opinions, and behaviors quite easily.)
1. Set a timer
If being caught up in the daze of an endless scroll is the problem, why not use a kick from the external world to get you out of it? (Yup, Inception reference 😊)
Stay in the loop, cheer your friends on, find out what your favorite celebrities are wearing today. Once the timer goes off, snap out of it, and get on with your life.
A business coach I follow mentioned that he goes “dummy, dummy, dummy” as he scrolls, which helps him get out of the app quickly – just a lil tip if you’re into name-calling yourself for a healthy cause. I’m not. #selflove
2. Use surveillance apps
Who remembers to set alarms before opening social media, right? That’s why there are apps you can install that won’t let you open social media or will trigger alarms for you when you stay on social media for too long.
As a plant lover, Forest is one of my favorite apps. It lets you “plant” a tree, and won’t let you leave the app until the tree is fully grown – forcing you to put your phone away.
StayFree is another app I use that I customize to trigger warnings when I stay on Instagram for more than 10 minutes.
There are numerous other options that you can find with a simple Google search. Spend a few minutes to set up your addiction-breaking system!
3. Learn-From-Me Content vs Look-At-Me Content
Whether the time you’re spending scrolling down your feed is small or enormous, aim to make it worthwhile.
Follow accounts that educate, empower/inspire, and entertain you. Accounts that make you laugh, feel good, learn, or think.
If you find an account you follow isn’t falling under these categories, hit that unfollow button, or at least mute their posts from taking up space in your feed (and life!).
There really isn’t any point in labeling social media as evil just because you haven’t bothered to declutter your feed. #truthbombClick to Tweet
4. Have Clear Goals
Are you here to
brag post about your fun weekend? Do it, and then move on to actually having fun.
Here to check out that cute cat/raccoon video your sister sent you? Watch it, and then give her a call!
Learning how to bake a cake? Turn off autoplay so you don’t end up burning yours in the oven.
Remember why you’re on the app, and exit once you’re done.
You wouldn’t linger around a restroom once you’re done using it, would you? Unless you’re in there with your phone, of course! #gotcha
Also read: 5 ways to enjoy Inktober – for a new artist
5. Get a life upgrade
If every second of your life was recorded, and you could re-watch it at the end, don’t you want to make an interesting movie for yourself?
Imagine a life spent with the neck bent forward, eyes looking down, and thumb infinitely scrolling. I’d rather see myself laughing with family and friends, traveling, creating something, and challenging myself each day!
Ever noticed that when you’re doing something you really enjoy, you sometimes go hours without looking at your phone?
That’s because, when we have something exciting going on in our lives, we barely have the time or the curiosity to find out what someone else might be up to!
Why not make enjoying each day your “new normal”? (Ugh, enough with that phrase already!) Find out what makes you feel alive, and then find time for it every single day!
6. USE social media
If you use social media the right way, it can be a fantastic
- marketing tool for your business
- opportunity to grow and practice your skills
- platform to make a side income (or even make it your main gig)
- place to build a community to interact and collaborate with people world-over
Learning, creating, connecting, and receiving constructive feedback has never been this easy!
For the first time in history, people are able to make thousands of dollars simply by sharing their experiences online.
For the first time, people are able to showcase their skills and products to millions of people with a click of a button.
What better time to live a richer, more fulfilling life?
7. Turn off the
Imagine the app dangling a carrot (okay Fine, candy) in front of you to trick you into opening it. That’s exactly what it does with notifications – dangling candy for your brain (triggering your curiosity)!
If you want to have control over when you open the apps rather than let the apps decide your behavior for you, turn off app notifications right away!
Your phone also has a do not disturb mode for a reason. Use it well!
8. Replace it with healthier apps
Breaking a bad habit is lot harder than replacing it with a healthier one.Click to Tweet
Just like you’d replace your coffee with tea or hot water, you can replace your social media with other, arguably more useful apps.
I keep Duolingo (a free language-learning app) on my home-screen. I definitely find learning a language to be a better use of time spent on the phone than being on social media.
9. Save decision making for later
With social media knowing all about your preferences and showing you exactly what you like to see, you’re going to want to buy a lot of things you’re offered!
Looking to pay off your student loans or save for a rainy day? You’re going to need a better system in place!
One thing you can try is postponing the decision to make purchases. Save the post, think about it, and come back later if you still need it.
Offer closing soon? Ask someone else for their opinion.
Rationalize the purchase without giving in to impulse.
10. Overcome the biggest social dilemma
“Over time, you have the false sense that everyone agrees with you, because everyone in your news feed sounds just like you.”The Social Dilemma
Have you heard? The Flat Earth Society claims that they have members from all around the world! (get it?)
Conspiracy theories spread like wildfire because they’re seemingly plausible, and get shared without basic fact-checking.
If you look deeper into the 2016 elections in the US, or the Brexit vote, you’ll see how undecided voters (termed “persuadables” – WHAT?!) were constantly shown targeted ads. The result? You guessed it, a lot of them were persuaded to vote in favor of those paying for the ads.
When we see something shared by a lot of people, and if we see it often, we’re likely to believe that it’s true. That’s why it’s SO important to have legit, unbiased sources of information. And to keep an open mind about other opinions that people might have.
Bonus: 11. Help others out
Millions of people may not yet be aware that social media algorithms have the power to manipulate them.
Tell your friends to watch The Social Dilemma. Or watch it with them! To watch together online, you can use TwoSeven – web-app to watch videos from any streaming platform along with text and webcam chat).
Also don’t forget to share this post with them if you liked these ideas!
What were your thoughts on watching The Social Dilemma? Which social media platform(s) do you use most often? Let me know in the comments below 🙂
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