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3 Common Ways We Are All Using Social Media the Wrong Way

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Social Media has been ingrained so much in our daily lives that our attention is fixated on it immediately after waking up, and right before falling asleep. Nonetheless, who can blame us, right? Times change and the state of our external environment should never be directly our fault. However, the things we can’t change also come with things we can change, such as our own choices and how to respond to what surrounds us.

You probably found this article through social media, and I want you to think about your intentions during that moment. Were you genuinely looking for information to further your knowledge? Or were you using it for other purposes that could sabotage your path to success?

Here are three ways you might be using social media the wrong way:

1. Using it to kill time

Time is the most valuable asset we have. You can always make more money, but you can never make more time. Rich or poor, tall or short, we all have the same twenty-four hours in a day. Since life is short, how are you using those short hours that you have? Assuming you sleep six hours per night, that leaves you with only eighteen hours left.

In those eighteen hours, how many are spent looking at funny memes or catching up on that show everyone else is raving about? You might think, “Oh, I just got done with work and have six hours left until it’s time to go to bed. I’ll go on Facebook until I fall asleep.”

You can accomplish multiple things in six hours. For example, writing a quality article takes me two hours. In six hours, assuming I take minimal breaks, it means I could write three articles. You can also use those six hours to gain more knowledge by listening to podcasts, reading books, or taking part-time classes which will get you closer to your goal.

It’s not wrong to entertain ourselves and occasionally scroll through social media, but if it becomes a habit to waste time just because we can, it will take you much longer to succeed. To do it right, only allot a certain amount of time for it per day, then commit to it.

“Time = life; therefore, waste your time and waste your life, or master your time and master your life.” – Alan Lakein

2. Allowing it to replace in-person human interaction

We’re busy creatures and do not have all the time in the world to meet all our friends in person. But what happens when we do have the time to spend with someone, and they’re actually in a nearby part of town?

For most people, their birthdays are displayed on their profiles, and while it feels good to have multiple notifications saying, “Happy Birthday!” on your timeline, nothing still beats actual one-on-one quality time with someone.

Relationships are one of the most important things in life, and success isn’t only about acquiring wealth or gaining power. Success is also about creating, nurturing and maintaining meaningful relationships bringing great benefits to everybody involved.

3. Allowing it to define your happiness

There you go again, stalking your ex’s Instagram pictures with their new partner. Look at them all happy and doing all the fun things you never did together. They look so in love, which probably means they are, right? Not necessarily.

I see it all the time. People posting like they’re having the best times of their lives and then all of a sudden I just hear that they’ve committed suicide or I find out that they weren’t actually happy.

We tend to filter out the bad parts of our lives on social media and let the world know only about the glamorous parts. I’m also guilty of this, since I like to post about the new clients I’ve landed for my business, the new articles that I’ve been featured in, and the new digital products I’ve finished.

Of course I wouldn’t want them to know about the hundreds of rejected business proposals, rejected articles and digital products which never sold a single transaction. Because why would anyone in their right mind do that? We always want to put our best selves online.

But thanks to enough experience, I’ve learned a life lesson that might take longer for others to know: Social media shouldn’t define your happiness. No matter how “empty” your feed or timeline might look like, it shouldn’t stop you from living life the way you want. Yes, we should consider the impact and visuals of our posts, but our self-esteem shouldn’t come from external validation.

“To be happy, we must not be too concerned with others.” – Albert Camus

Social media is not real life. The sooner we realize that, the less we’ll compare ourselves with others and truly appreciate where we are in our journey.

How are you making sure you use social media in a way not harmful to your health? Comment below!

Image courtesy of Twenty20.com

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Tanrose Anomuogharan

    Mar 7, 2018 at 2:49 am

    This article really helped me. Am guilty of the three mentioned points. I know i will make the necessary changes now that i have known how to use social media wisely.

  2. Shantanu Sinha

    Jan 29, 2018 at 4:34 am

    Hey Nicah,

    Good to read your article on Joel’s blog,
    Totally agree with you, the infinite scroll of social media’s time line, especially facebook’s is a really poor way to kill time. I guess limiting Facebook’s time has so far worked well, but we need to use facebook for connecting with people and that, at times distracts us and pulls us on its timeline.

    Social media has defenitely removed a lot of in-person conversation or even phone calls, the latest conversation with my friends that I remember comes from Whattsapp!

    We do post our best on social media and leave out the unsuccessful things, while that seems to be the way to go about it – I too agree with you that it shoudn’t necessarily define your happyness and most of all, you shouldn’t compare yourself or the state where you are, with others!

    Thanks,
    – Shantanu

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