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You Will Love This Site If You Are Tired Of Content You See On Facebook

You Will Love This Site If You Are Tired Of Content You See On Facebook

When you need to reach out to someone, are you more likely to pick up the phone and give them a call, or do you fire off a message on social media?

Even those of us who prefer communicating the old-school way can’t seem to escape the thrall of social networks. As of 2017, about 81% of people in the US have profiles on social media.[1]

We know that having a social media profile is not the same as using one, but statistics show that more and more of us are signing up for and using social media than ever. Instagram boasted an increase of 100 million users in a six month period after adding story, live video, and instant message features to the platform.[2]. If you’ve noticed people pausing to record snippets of their daily experience, it’s probably because Snapchat users are viewing more than 10 billion videos every day.[3]

However, Facebook is still a social media juggernaut worldwide. In 2016, they had 1.6 billion active users.[4] In fact, 76% of Facebook users report accessing the social network on a daily basis.[5]

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Social media has us hooked, murders our time and plants bias in our mind

You may catch yourself scrolling mindlessly or peering into the lives of others for large chunks of time. Social media has us hooked, and while there are many excellent reasons to use social networks, there are some serious issues with them as well.

1. Social Media Only Show Us What We LOVE To See

During the divisive 2016 US presidential election, social media aggravated high tensions between opposing parties. Facebook and other social networks have algorithms that help us see more of the content we love and less of the things we don’t care for.[6] The more you like, subscribe, follow, or comment, the more the algorithms adjust to your preferences.

Soon, you’re ONLY seeing what you want to see. This doesn’t seem like such a bad thing until you realize that you never see opinions different from your own. It also means that the more you use the sites, the more you’ll crave the content that validates your opinions and supports your interests.

Before you know it, you’re wasting valuable minutes going through feeds while simultaneously forgetting how to have civil discourse with others.

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2. We can’t stop asking for more, like an addict

Although Internet Addiction Disorder has not officially been added to the DSM-V, the go-to manual for psychological disorders, the disorder is definitely on researchers’ radars.[7] Social media is particularly addictive because talking about oneself stimulates the pleasure centers in the brain.[8]

It feels good to share about our lives, and when we aren’t talking about ourselves, we can browse through topics that interest us. We don’t even seem to notice the minutes and hours drifting away.

3. They want us to see just because they want us to buy

These algorithms that work to show us the things we like are also big money-makers for social networks. About 90% of marketers report that social media is an essential part of increasing their distribution.[9] Since they can target these ads to people most likely to want to see them, corporations tend to make a lot of money off the average user this way.

Not only can businesses pitch things to us that we might want to buy, but they can also hold us captive with ads. Many monetized channels get their money from advertising which relies on ad views or click-throughs. If you’ve ever been stuck watching a commercial you don’t want to see on a social media site or Youtube, you’ve experienced this phenomenon.

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There are people out there want us to rethink about how we spend our time

Tristan Harris, a former Google design ethicist and founder of Time Well Spent sees the standard approach to measuring online success as problematic. Keeping track of analytics such as time spent on websites gives companies a mathematical picture of how people are using the internet, but it says nothing about whether that time spent was positive for users.

Harris’s campaign argues that companies must change how they measure success. Instead of looking at raw data, companies should be measuring the positive impact that their sites have on their users.

Social media users have been told for years that it’s our fault that we’re wasting so much time on the internet. Yes, we do play a role in our own destinies, but most networks are designed to get us hooked and keep us that way. How can you resist looking at the recent picture you were tagged in, and how can you ignore the chime of an incoming message?

Time Well Spent is a revolutionary approach to understanding how the internet affects us. Instead of placing all the responsibility for how we interact with social media onto our shoulders, it asks designers to build better ways of measuring user satisfaction. The “Demand Better Design” section of the website offers suggestions to designers and praises apps that are supporting companies and users.

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Beyond analyzing how companies gauge their success on the internet, Time Well Spent also offers tips for minimizing disruptions and reclaiming time for meaningful interactions. The “Take Control” tab on the website gives helpful tips and recommends apps to help you regain your time and focus.

Support the campaign if you think corporates play an important role in your social media addiction

We all know that wasting time scrolling through social media doesn’t add value to our lives and can actually make us miserable. One quick solution to controlling the amount of time that you spend on social networks is to reduce the number of notifications interrupting your day. Time Well Spent has some great tips for doing this if you aren’t sure where to start.

By protecting your attention, you’ll be able to do more work and better quality work in a shorter amount of time. Focus on making your interactions meaningful and eliminating distractions–especially from social media. Make use of apps and sites that measure their success based on the value they add to your life instead of the amount of time they make you waste.

Demand better design and learn how to make the most of your online experience by visiting Time Well Spent.

Featured photo credit: Aziz Acharki/ Unsplash via unsplash.com

Reference

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Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 8, 2020

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

How to Prevent Decision Fatigue From Clouding Your Judgement

What is decision fatigue? Let me explain this with an example:

When determining a court ruling, there are many factors that contribute to their final verdict. You probably assume that the judge’s decision is influenced solely by the nature of the crime committed or the particular laws that were broken. While this is completely valid, there is an even greater influential factor that dictates the judge’s decision: the time of day.

In 2012, a research team from Columbia University[1] examined 1,112 court rulings set in place by a Parole Board Judge over a 10 month period. The judge would have to determine whether the individuals in question would be released from prison on parole, or a change in the parole terms.

While the facts of the case often take precedence in decision making, the judges mental state had an alarming influence on their verdict.

As the day goes on, the chance of a favorable ruling drops:

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    Image source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

    Does the time of day, or the judges level of hunger really contribute that greatly to their decision making? Yes, it does.

    The research went on to show that at the start of the day the likelihood of the judging giving out a favorable ruling was somewhere around 65%.

    But as the morning dragged on, the judge became fatigued and drained from making decision after decision. As more time went on, the odds of receiving a favorable ruling decreased steadily until it was whittled down to zero.

    However, right after their lunch break, the judge would return to the courtroom feeling refreshed and recharged. Energized by their second wind, their leniency skyrockets back up to a whopping 65%. And again, as the day drags on to its finish, the favorable rulings slowly diminish along with the judge’s spirits.

    This is no coincidence. According to the carefully recorded research, this was true for all 1,112 cases. The severity of the crime didn’t matter. Whether it was rape, murder, theft, or embezzlement, the criminal was more likely to get a favorable ruling either early in the morning, or after the judges lunch break.

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    Are You Suffering from Decision Fatigue Too?

    We all suffer from decision fatigue without even realizing it.

    Perhaps you aren’t a judge with the fate of an individual’s life at your disposal, but the daily decisions you make for yourself could hinder you if you’re not in the right head-space.

    Regardless of how energetic you feel (as I imagine it is somehow caffeine induced anyway), you will still experience decision fatigue. Just like every other muscle, your brain gets tired after periods of overuse, pumping out one decision after the next. It needs a chance to rest in order to function at a productive rate.

    The Detrimental Consequences of Decision Fatigue

    When you are in a position such as a Judge, you can’t afford to let your mental state dictate your decision making; but it still does. According to George Lowenstein, an American educator and economy expert, decision fatigue is to blame for poor decision making among members of high office. The disastrous level of failure among these individuals to control their impulses could be directly related to their day to day stresses at work and their private life.

    When you’re just too tired to think, you stop caring. And once you get careless, that’s when you need to worry. Decision fatigue can contribute to a number of issues such as impulse shopping (guilty), poor decision making at work, and poor decision making with after work relationships. You know what I’m talking about. Don’t dip your pen in the company ink.

    How to Make Decision Effectively

    Either alter the time of decision making to when your mind is the most fresh, or limit the number of decisions to be made. Try utilizing the following hacks for more effective decision making.

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    1. Make Your Most Important Decisions within the First 3 Hours

    You want to make decisions at your peak performance, so either first thing in the morning, or right after a break.

    Research has actually shown that you are the most productive for the first 3 hours[2] of your day. Utilize this time! Don’t waste it on trivial decisions such as what to wear, or mindlessly scrolling through social media.

    Instead, use this time to tweak your game plan. What do you want to accomplish? What can you improve? What steps do you need to take to reach these goals?

    2. Form Habits to Reduce Decision Making

    You don’t have to choose all the time.

    Breakfast is the most important meal of the day, but it doesn’t have to be an extravagant spread every morning. Make a habit out of eating a similar or quick breakfast, and cut that step of your morning out of the way. Can’t decide what to wear? Pick the first thing that catches your eye. We both know that after 20 minutes of changing outfits you’ll just go with the first thing anyway.

    Powerful individuals such as Steve Jobs, Barack Obama, and Mark Zuckerberg don’t waste their precious time deciding what to wear. In fact, they have been known to limiting their outfits down to two options in order to reduce their daily decision making.

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    3. Take Frequent Breaks for a Clearer Mind

    You are at your peak of productivity after a break, so to reap the benefits, you need to take lots of breaks! I know, what a sacrifice. If judges make better decisions in the morning and after their lunch break, then so will you.

    The reason for this is because the belly is now full, and the hunger is gone. Roy Baumeister, Florida State University social psychologist[3] had found that low-glucose levels take a negative toll on decision making. By taking a break to replenish your glucose levels, you will be able to focus better and improve your decision making abilities.

    Even if you aren’t hungry, little breaks are still necessary to let your mind refresh, and come back being able to think more clearly.

    Structure your break times. Decide beforehand when you will take breaks, and eat energy sustaining snacks so that your energy level doesn’t drop too low. The time you “lose” during your breaks will be made up in the end, as your productivity will increase after each break.

    So instead of slogging through your day, letting your mind deteriorate and fall victim to the daily abuses of decision making, take a break, eat a snack. Let your mind refresh and reset, and jump-start your productivity throughout the day.

    More Tips About Decision Making

    Featured photo credit: Kelly Sikkema via unsplash.com

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