Social media. You crazy thing you.
Because of my access to you I’ve built a business, grown friendships, been confronted by a famous person, an acquaintance, and a stranger. I like you less when people use you to talk about politicians. I like you more when people use you to spread awareness about international crises and ways we can band together to make a difference.
The truth is sometimes we need a breather from you—from your ever-present, all-access, overload of information. Sometimes people use you to complain, to be passive aggressive and to overshare. When we humans have a platform to share our thoughts it can get a little funny. So today I’m proposing ten reasons that we, your oh-so-faithful users, may need to take a break from you. (I’m going to move on to addressing the readers directly now. You may not want to listen…)
It Might Be Time to Pull the Plug on Social Media If…
1. It makes you more angry than happy.
2. It makes you more jealous than happy.
3. You can’t resist the urge to lecture your friends and followers.
4. You feel like your impulse control is waning. You check it at every opportunity.
5. You spend a lot of time following people you don’t actually have relationships with in real life.
6. You post content that you wouldn’t say out loud to a bunch of acquaintances.
7. You can’t resist the urge to confront someone you know in real life on social media.
8. You can’t resist the urge to confront someone you don’t know in real life on social media.
9. You feel guilty and voyeuristic about how you spend your time on social media.
10. You’re so annoyed by the content that other people post that you volley back and post about your frustration.
Perhaps you sense the common theme here. If social media draws out negative emotions in you more often than positive ones then maybe you should pull the plug. If you have trouble with boundaries and self-control on social media then maybe you should pull the plug. If using social media means you are observing life more than contributing to it maybe you should pull the plug.
Social media is a mystifying animal. Just this week we Peanutized ourselves, raved about Ryan Adams’ 1989, and mourned the loss of Yogi Berra together online. We experience community with people we never would have had a meaningful conversation with at this point in our lives if it weren’t for social media.
We can interact with like-minded people, learn from thought leaders, see our friends’ children grow up across the country, and even share a laugh together via social media.
This vast landscape of online communication can be used for good and it can be used for evil. If social media brings up more negative feelings than positive ones, it may be time to shut it down for a little while or for a long while.
Don’t forget that you ultimately hold the power. You are not held prisoner to any negativity that creeps into your life via social media. You can use the platform for good or you can opt out altogether. Just don’t be passive. That’s the big request here. Social media can be used for good or it can be used for evil. I encourage you, use it for good!
Do you struggle with any (or many) of the items I listed above? What do you do to combat those tendencies? I’d love to hear about your strategy in the comments!