Our lives revolve around social media. Even if you don’t think it does, it does.
While we don’t always personally engage in discourse with other people on a social media platform, we certainly use it for other purposes. We use it for news, entertainment, keeping up with friends and relatives, and even dating. Much of what we know about what’s going on around the world (as well as what we don’t know) is shaped by what we see on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and countless other platforms.
Social media, like anything else, is fine in moderation. But now that it’s taken over our lives, we’re starting to see a lot of disturbing, detrimental effects of it on our productivity, our emotional outlook, and even our privacy.
In case you need more convincing, here are 3 good reasons why you should step away from social media.
- Social Media Makes You Less Productive
You’ve probably already sensed this instinctively, even if you haven’t consciously put a name to it. But the truth is that social media makes you less productive.
Let’s paint a picture in our minds so you can see social media creates this effect.
Let’s say you’re at work and you’re trying to focus on a task. In the middle of your task, your phone keeps going off with notifications from all your social media apps.
In a research study conducted at Harvard University revealed that receiving notifications on our phone gives us a dopamine high. Dopamine is a hormone that makes us feel pleasure in response to an outside influence, like a reward.
Basically, social media notifications are like an addiction. The more you get them and respond to them, the more dopamine you’ll experience. The more dopamine you experience, the more you will check your notifications to relive that high over and over.
You might say, “I can just ignore the notifications or turn them off. What’s the big deal?”
The big deal is that you can’t turn off the notification in your mind.
If you posted a picture on Snapchat, for example, you may be eager to see who’s reacting to it. If you published your opinion on a controversial subject on Twitter, you may be checking your phone every few minutes to see what kind of response it’s getting. Even with the notifications off, you still check your social media accounts just as often.
Not only is social media itself a distraction. In addition, a study published in 2009 revealed that people who use social media heavily are easily distracted by outside stimuli.
So, not only does your productivity go down when you’re checking social media all the time. But even if you don’t have your phone with you, if you use social media a lot, then chances are high that you won’t be able to focus very effectively on work. You’ll be too distracted by what’s happening around you.
Whether your notifications are on or off, social media clearly reduces your productivity.
2. Social Media Is A Source Of Negativity
Let’s be real. We all have enough negativity in our lives without adding other problems on top of it.
Unfortunately, we’re adding a lot of extra negativity to our lives simply by getting on social media.
In a Pew Research Center survey conducted in 2020, 64% of Americans stated that they felt social media was having a negative effect on the state of things in the US.
For their reasoning, these people pointed out the “misinformation and the hate and harassment they see on social media.”
It’s true that when you go on the internet, you never truly know if what you’re seeing or reading is real. Many social media accounts are fake, run by bots or people pretending to be someone else.
These accounts, as well as those run by real people looking to make money off people’s reactions, will share negative information, real and not real, simply to get attention. They don’t care if the reactions they generate are positive or negative. Angry people on social media provide just as much engagement as happy ones, if not more.
Not only are people online angry, they are also hurtful and vindictive. When you post something on social media, you may find yourself inundated with horrible insults, hurled at you by complete strangers who have nothing better to do than mock or harass someone they don’t know.
These people are called trolls. Even if you’ve never been a victim of a troll, you’ve probably seen other people deal with them. They bring you pointless, negative attention that you don’t need, especially if you’re trying to build your confidence.
It’s easy to understand why 64% of people in the Pew Research Institute survey feel that social media has a negative effect on our country. It is a hotbed of angermongering and trolling that does not benefit the everyday user. Instead, it makes us feel rage and despair.
3. Social Media Invades Your Privacy
It goes without saying that social media is an invasion of your privacy. Not only do social media platforms encourage you to share pictures of yourself and the people in your circle, but they ask you to share your location, your date of birth, the places you’ve visited, and the people you’re related to.
This is a massive amount of information that advertisers use to sell you products they think you’ll like based on your lifestyle and your personal preferences.
We don’t think about it now because we’re used to it. But when we stop to consider it, we realize that we give a lot of information to social media platforms. We should question if this invasion of our privacy – and our family and friends’ privacy – is something we actually want in our lives.
Not only that, but we should question if we want everyone we know to know our business. Sometimes the people we’re closest to can be the most negative voices in our heads. Craving their approval for everything we do will only hold us back from our potential and prevent us from being self-reliant, confident men.
Conclusion: Stepping Away From Social Media Allows You To Be A Better Man
If you’ve been thinking about stepping away from social media, we hope this article helps you make that choice. Even if you just take a short break or limit the number of platforms you use, that will do wonders for your productivity, your emotional wellbeing, and your privacy as an individual.
Take it from Viking Man. The benefits of getting off social media are what will help you maintain the focus, positivity, and self-reliance to become a better man.