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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
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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.

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

Reference

More by this author

Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on July 21, 2021

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)

The Importance of Reminders (And How to Make a Reminder Work)
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No matter how well you set up your todo list and calendar, you aren’t going to get things done unless you have a reliable way of reminding yourself to actually do them.

Anyone who’s spent an hour writing up the perfect grocery list only to realize at the store that they forgot to bring the list understands the importance of reminders.

Reminders of some sort or another are what turn a collection of paper goods or web services into what David Allen calls a “trusted system.”[1]

A lot of people resist getting better organized. No matter what kind of chaotic mess, their lives are on a day-to-day basis because they know themselves well enough to know that there’s after all that work they’ll probably forget to take their lists with them when it matters most.

Fortunately, there are ways to make sure we remember to check our lists — and to remember to do the things we need to do, whether they’re on a list or not.

In most cases, we need a lot of pushing at first, for example by making a reminder, but eventually we build up enough momentum that doing what needs doing becomes a habit — not an exception.

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From Creating Reminders to Building Habits

A habit is any act we engage in automatically without thinking about it.

For example, when you brush your teeth, you don’t have to think about every single step from start to finish; once you stagger up to the sink, habit takes over (and, really, habit got you to the sink in the first place) and you find yourself putting toothpaste on your toothbrush, putting the toothbrush in your mouth (and never your ear!), spitting, rinsing, and so on without any conscious effort at all.

This is a good thing because if you’re anything like me, you’re not even capable of conscious thought when you’re brushing your teeth.

The good news is you already have a whole set of productivity habits you’ve built up over the course of your life. The bad news is, a lot of them aren’t very good habits.

That quick game Frogger to “loosen you up” before you get working, that always ends up being 6 hours of Frogger –– that’s a habit. And as you know, habits like that can be hard to break — which is one of the reasons why habits are so important in the first place.

Once you’ve replaced an unproductive habit with a more productive one, the new habit will be just as hard to break as the old one was. Getting there, though, can be a chore!

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The old saw about anything you do for 21 days becoming a habit has been pretty much discredited, but there is a kernel of truth there — anything you do long enough becomes an ingrained behavior, a habit. Some people pick up habits quickly, others over a longer time span, but eventually, the behaviors become automatic.

Building productive habits, then, is a matter of repeating a desired behavior over a long enough period of time that you start doing it without thinking.

But how do you remember to do that? And what about the things that don’t need to be habits — the one-off events, like taking your paycheck stubs to your mortgage banker or making a particular phone call?

The trick to reminding yourself often enough for something to become a habit, or just that one time that you need to do something, is to interrupt yourself in some way in a way that triggers the desired behavior.

The Wonderful Thing About Triggers — Reminders

A trigger is anything that you put “in your way” to remind you to do something. The best triggers are related in some way to the behavior you want to produce.

For instance, if you want to remember to take something to work that you wouldn’t normally take, you might place it in front of the door so you have to pick it up to get out of your house.

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But anything that catches your attention and reminds you to do something can be a trigger. An alarm clock or kitchen timer is a perfect example — when the bell rings, you know to wake up or take the quiche out of the oven. (Hopefully you remember which trigger goes with which behavior!)

If you want to instill a habit, the thing to do is to place a trigger in your path to remind you to do whatever it is you’re trying to make into a habit — and keep it there until you realize that you’ve already done the thing it’s supposed to remind you of.

For instance, a post-it saying “count your calories” placed on the refrigerator door (or maybe on your favorite sugary snack itself)  can help you remember that you’re supposed to be cutting back — until one day you realize that you don’t need to be reminded anymore.

These triggers all require a lot of forethought, though — you have to remember that you need to remember something in the first place.

For a lot of tasks, the best reminder is one that’s completely automated — you set it up and then forget about it, trusting the trigger to pop up when you need it.

How to Make a Reminder Works for You

Computers and ubiquity of mobile Internet-connected devices make it possible to set up automatic triggers for just about anything.

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Desktop software like Outlook will pop up reminders on your desktop screen, and most online services go an extra step and send reminders via email or SMS text message — just the thing to keep you on track. Sandy, for example, just does automatic reminders.

Automated reminders can help you build habits — but it can also help you remember things that are too important to be trusted even to habit. Diabetics who need to take their insulin, HIV patients whose medication must be taken at an exact time in a precise order, phone calls that have to be made exactly on time, and other crucial events require triggers even when the habit is already in place.

My advice is to set reminders for just about everything — have them sent to your mobile phone in some way (either through a built-in calendar or an online service that sends updates) so you never have to think about it — and never have to worry about forgetting.

Your weekly review is a good time to enter new reminders for the coming weeks or months. I simply don’t want to think about what I’m supposed to be doing; I want to be reminded so I can think just about actually doing it.

I tend to use my calendar for reminders, mostly, though I do like Sandy quite a bit.

More on Building Habits

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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Reference

[1] Getting Things Done: Trusted System

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