With mass information and networking at your fingertips, it’s pretty easy to tune out of the real world and become absorbed in liking, sharing, commenting and tweeting online. But doing all of these social media antics could actually be bad for your social life.
Numerous reports estimate that 18 – 34-year-olds spend as much as 3.8 hours every single day on social media, 35 – 49-year-olds spend 3 hours on social media sites per day and Facebook has reported that the average person will spend 40 minutes a day just scrolling through their newsfeeds.
That is roughly 21 hours a week or 45 days a year we spend on social media platforms and almost a staggering 245 hours a year just on Facebook alone.
A study printed in the journal, Public Library of Science, showed evidence that Facebook is associated with declines in peoples wellbeing.
Participants of the study reported feeling dissatisfied with their life the more they used social media, while in contrast, volunteers who socialised in the real world, felt a lot more positive about their lives the more they stepped away from digital media.
Social media definitely has its perks, so you shouldn’t just think its all doom and gloom but the less you do on social media, the more you will do in real life.
Social media definitely has its perks, so you shouldn’t just think its all doom and gloom but the less you do on social media, the more you will do in real life.Tweet this now
So, how do you do less on social media? Here are 4 easy ways to get you started!
Live Instead Of Like
Best mate goes on a ski trip. Like! Cousin sipping wine at a restaurant. Like! Your co-worker got the promotion you deserved… Why is there still no dislike button?
Why does it seem that everyone but you has fun and fortunate lives? Probably because they are out living instead of liking… or they are just using an exceptionally good filter on all their photos.
This year, make it your goal to get out and live life more. In the 40 minutes, you save from not liking photos on your newsfeeds, grab lunch with a friend, go for a wander, take a new course to further your career, start a new hobby – whatever you want to do… just do it!
The more you engage in the real world, the more satisfied and accomplished you will feel about your life!
Care Instead Of Share
Yup, we have all seen them, the photos of the sad puppy looking for a new home in the local shelter. The video of the malnourished young boy in Africa, and the snap of the young girl who won’t get to meet Taylor Swift unless you share her photo.
Social media is a great platform to raise awareness. But those causes you plaster all over your pages don’t tend to run on thumbs up fuel. They require the hard work and dedication of real volunteers and real advocates of change.
There have been studies to show that volunteering is at a 10 year low, with only 25% of people deciding to actually volunteer, with larger fundraising events which are trending down as well as a 2.5% decrease in donations!
So, instead of sharing that photo of the homeless puppy, head down to your local shelter to volunteer, foster a rescue or if you were actually looking to get a dog, adopt one instead of buying. If you are really passionate about feeding the world then donate to the cause instead of just sharing the picture of it (and let’s just not fret about the girl who wants to meet Taylor Swift).
There are so many opportunities out there that will fulfil your passions, skills and wallets. Take your time this year to discover one cause you really actually care about and want to support – and act on it!
Connect Instead Of Comment
How many of us feel like the Michael Jackson munching on popcorn meme when they start reading comments on an article that’s trending?
Of course, everyone has an opinion and they are entitled to that opinion. But because of the ease and speed of typing out a quick, anger-driven response to a hot topic, our opinions are usually uninformed and often rather irrelevant.
So, before you chime in next time, try connecting first. Don’t just read the article, but read around it. Find other sources of information to confirm the facts and to develop a stronger stance.
Then, it’s time to step outside your comfort zone. It really doesn’t actually matter what side you are on, but have you taken the time to find out why someone opposes you? What is it that motivates their opinion? And how does it compare to the facts behind yours? Is there a middle ground solution?
Finally, if you want to comment, then comment. Join a rally, participate in a protest, or even become a member of an organisation.
In just a few mere hours, the comment you made on Facebook will circle down the drain into the pits of Facebook history: a bottomless black hole of no return. But the protest you led will go in the books. Those impressive leather bound ones and could leave a lasting mark on your life!
Tune In Instead Of Tweet
Did you know that J.K Rowling conceived her idea of Harry Potter while waiting for a delayed train…
But would she have thought of that idea if social media was around back then? What we are trying to say here is that opportunities could be passing you by because you’re spending too much time on social media platforms and not enough time actually living your own life or even imagining up someone else’s life just like J.K Rowling did.
Tune in. Not to just what around you but also to yourself. The less time you waste on mindlessly looking at social media, the more time your mind has to discover the real you, your goals and how exactly you want to achieve them. Maybe that book you have always wanted to write is just waiting for a few minutes of your attention while you are waiting around for that train home?
Your breakthrough business idea could be staring at you right in the face if you delete that drafted tweet and stare right back it!
Do Less Than That
Don’t get us wrong, social media is a great tool to engage, connect and learn from others. But it’s not a replacement for the real world or meaningful life experiences. Taking a step away from the digital world will improve your overall quality of life and satisfaction.
Surveys say that millennials will increase their time even more on social media this year, but we can change the numbers by making better choices with our own precious time.
So, after all of that, how will you choose to spend your social life this year?