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Last Updated on November 3, 2017

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

More by this author

Brian Lee

Chief of Product Management at Lifehack

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Last Updated on September 17, 2018

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

How to Stop Multitasking and Become Way More Productive

Today we are expected to work in highly disruptive environments. We sit down at our desks, turn on our computer and immediately we are hit with hundreds of emails all vying for our attention.

Our phones are beeping and pinging with new alerts to messages, likes and comments and our colleagues are complaining about the latest company initiative is designed to get us to do more work and spend less time at home.

All these distractions result in us multitasking where our attention is switching between one crisis and the next.

Multitasking is a problem. But how to stop multitasking?

How bad really is multitasking?

It dilutes your focus and attention so even the easiest of tasks become much harder and take longer to complete.

Studies have shown that while you think you are multitasking, you are in fact task switching, which means your attention is switching between two or more pieces of work and that depletes the energy resources you have to do your work.

This is why, even though you may have done little to no physical activity, you arrive home at the end of the day feeling exhausted and not in the mood to do anything.

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We know it is not a good way to get quality work done, but the demands for out attention persist and rather than reduce, are likely to increase as the years go by.

So what to do about it?

Ways to stop multitasking and increase productivity

Now, forget about how to multitask!

Here are a few strategies on how to stop multitasking so you can get better quality and more work done in the time you have each working day:

1. Get enough rest

When you are tired, your brain has less strength to resist even the tiniest attention seeker. This is why when you find your mind wandering, it is a sign your brain is tired and time to take a break.

This does not just mean taking breaks throughout the day, it also means making sure you get enough sleep every day.

When you are well rested and take short regular breaks throughout the day your brain is fully refuelled and ready to focus in on the work that is important.

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2. Plan your day

When you don’t have a plan for the day, the day will create a plan for you. When you allow outside influences to take control of your day, it is very hard not to be dragged off in all directions.

When you have a plan for the day, when you arrive at work your brain knows exactly what it is you want to accomplish and will subconsciously have prepared itself for a sustained period of focused work.

Your resistance to distractions and other work will be high and you will focus much better on the work that needs doing.

3. Remove everything from your desk and screen except for the work you are doing

I learned this one a long time ago. In my previous work, I worked in a law office and I had case files to deal with. If I had more than one case file on my desk at any one time, I would find my eyes wandering over the other case files on my desk when I had something difficult to do.

I was looking for something easier. This meant often I was working on three or four cases at one time and that always led to mistakes and slower completion.

Now when I am working on something, I am in full-screen mode where all I can see is the work I am working on right now.

4. When at your desk, do work

We are creatures of habit. If we do our online shopping and news reading at our desks as well as our work, we will always have the temptation to be doing stuff that we should not be doing at that moment.

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Do your online shopping from another place—your home or from your phone when you are having a break—and only do your work when at your desk. This conditions your brain to focus in on your work and not other distractions.

5. Learn to say no

Whenever you hear the phrase “learn to say no,” it does not mean going about being rude to everyone. What it does mean is delay saying yes.

Most problems occur when we say “yes” immediately. We then have to spend an inordinate amount of energy thinking of ways to get ourselves out of the commitment we made.

By saying “let me think about it” or “can I let you know later” gives you time to evaluate the offer and allows you to get back to what you were doing quicker.

6. Turn off notifications on your computer

For most of us, we still use computers to do our work. When you have email alert pop-ups and other notifications turned on, they will distract you no matter how strong you feel.

Turn them off and schedule email reviewing for times between doing your focused work. Doing this will give you a lot of time back because you will be able to remain focused on the work in front of you.

7. Find a quiet place to do your most important work

Most workplaces have meeting rooms that are vacant. If you do have important work to get done, ask if you can use one of those rooms and do your work there.

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You can close the door, put on your headphones and just focus on what is important. This is a great way to remove all the other, non-important, tasks demanding your attention and just focus on one piece of work.

The bottom line

Focusing on one piece of work at a time can be hard but the benefits to the amount of work you get done are worth it. You will make fewer mistakes, you will get more done and will feel a lot less tired at the end of the day.

Make a list of the four or five things you want to get done the next day before you finish your work for the day and when you start the day, begin at the top of the list with the first item.

Don’t start anything else until you have finished the first one and then move on to the second one. This one trick will help you to become way more productive.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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