What is your favourite? Is it Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube, Twitter or Snapchat?
How many forms of social media do you subscribe to?
After discovering a fantastic platform for meditation, it encouraged me to be more active on Facebook as all the content was there, for free. Instead of going directly to the page to access the content I wanted, I’d spend at least 10 minutes scrolling through the newsfeed and personalised adverts.
The page that I was aiming for is brilliant. It is filled with positive and uplifting videos and has deep meditations options too! But getting there was a challenge, not only in terms of time but also my emotional state. Comparing myself with others and watching interesting, yet useless, videos made me feel depressed.
For months, I survived without Facebook. Life was good. I found most of the information I wanted on websites or on Youtube. Although you can also become distracted, I felt my time was spent more effectively and it didn’t negatively impact my emotional state.
My partner often says: “if the app or service is for free then you are the product“.
As you sit in the “privacy” of your own home, scrolling through your social media,you are being watched and analysed. It’s scary! When the TV programme Big Brother came out, we watched it but few of us wanted to be on it.
Seeing the other-side, the dark-side, of social media through programmes like “The Social Dilemma” you may think twice before you pick up your phone again. The entire system is rigged to encourage you to become addicted to the scrolling and clicking and targets your specific profile for their marketing. From your Google searches to your Facebook likes to where you spend most of your time.
Big brother is constantly watching and I’m not referring to the TV programme. Most of the time you don’t even realise it. Or you do, but enjoy the benefits.
Going for a run, you may use a fitness tracking app on your phone which provides feedback on the distance and other stats. Despite being aware that Google is recording every step, personally, I still choose to use it. It’s convenient. In the olden days, I only ran where I could drive so I could measure the distance. It saves me time and petrol doing it this way.
Is social media a blessing or a curse? It is so easy to be led astray without even realising it. Are you vigilant about your social media use or are you the product?
Click here for a guidelines on healthy social media use.