How can we get our lives back from the grasp social media has over us?
How can we take back our lives from years of conditioning from social media?
The first step we need to really acknowledge is that we are being controlled by algorithms enforcing our mental biases. The second is knowing how we feel about it.
Once we know these two points, we can start to turn things around.
If being controlled isn’t something you admire or appreciate, especially when they turn your personal data against you, then I bet you’re not going to be feeling great.
Anger and rage come to mind, fear also. We might even be somewhat curious to know how and why? Though, chances are, there will be a reaction. You just have to be attentive.
Recently, I’ve been researching the extent to which Facebook has control over people.
It’s not just Facebook though, because they own Instagram and Whatsapp. Who would have thought, that whatsapp would be using your information against you one day?
Though, back to the post!
Once we know how we feel about it, we can decide to use that emotion to fuel our action. Usually we’ll feel a bit uncomfortable, especially when we understand the policies which have been enforced lately.
This discomfort we experience is a great shifting emotion for us to take action.
I’ve already deleted my Whatsapp, and I’ve paused my instagram and facebook. I can’t even remember the last time I used them… Though, the way things are going, I’m considering deleting for good. I started my facebook page in 2017 after having deleted it in 2016, in order to join a WorkGroup for a company I was joining. Though, I never really considered deleting it, even if I really am hyper picky about the people who see my feed. So, instead of having 500 to 5000 people like I did in high-school, I’m already very selective and I have about 50 people. Though, even thats too much..
Instagram can be useful in order to quickly get up to date with specific information. Especially if we use the algorithm to our advantage! For example, if you want to hear about X, let’s say “monkeys” for the sake of it. Then, you research monkeys, types of monkeys, over and over, you save the pictures and like them too. Follow a few pages. And voila! You’ll have the algorithm functioning in your “conscious” favour. Because you chose to create your feed. Though, that feed won’t be related to what you “like” or “feel strong about”. Which is helpful, if you’re only using it for professional usage. It won’t be able to control you, because it’s not proposing anything you’re attached to emotionally.
For Facebook I haven’t really dug into it enough to give the same types of tips. I also post all of my post, or at least the majority, in private, so only I can see them…
Though other than that, I really don’t use Facebook. I do, occasionally use the “Messenger” service to contact one of my 50 contacts, in order to ask a question or share some info..
Having said all this, my next step is to debate and debunk, deleting Facebook and the advantages I have personally witnessed having done it before.
For a brief moment, losing the content of one’s hard drive can be a painful experience. At least until we accept it and move on to something else, after concluding that we might never get our information back.
We, can associate all our time and effort put into social media as something we lose when we delete our accounts. Though, something which isn’t said clearly comes as a silver lining.
When we delete an instagram feed for example, our first instinct may be to screen shot all of our pictures, if we haven’t already saved them somewhere. And then we think about our save file, and we start scrolling. Though, the amount of shit we save on a daily scroll is utter nonsense. We’re hoarders of information! So we pass the screenshooting of saved posts and profiles. That would be tedious.
Though, our initial response would be something similar to that of losing a hard-drive. Not to mention the time and effort it takes to build a following. I pity the fate of someone who has 55M followers and financially depends on the app for “survival”.
Pretty much the same can be said about our facebook feed. Although, facebook does propose the solution of bundling up all of our photos and sending them to us in a neat little ZIP folder, amongst other files..
We mount up the fear, the what-if’s and the potential loss we’d experience if we deleted our account and then we threat about how we’d have to build our account back up from scratch if we need one. Because, low and behold, in todays age we need a facebook page to “sign up” to get an ID card. Maybe not, but nearly.. It’s borderline crazy.
Deleting a page, although initially can be a little bit freaky while we observe the prospect of being cut off from the world and experience the fear of missing out, can be very much freeing and enjoyable, if not down right peaceful if we let a few days go by.
Suddenly, we’re not caught up with what’s going on. On a personal level, we’re not trying to keep up with the latest personal development trend, or how to catch 2 days of sleep in an hour by practicing this or that trick…
In terms of deleting an instagram page, I don’t allow many people to follow me, even if I have a good number of requests, simply because I don’t enjoy sharing what I like and am interested in with everyone. I also don’t believe in building a fake following, so I keep my circle small. So it’s easy to say that the only reason which I’d ponder, if I was to delete my instagram, would be something along the lines of “where would I get that type of information” if not on the carefully curated feed I’ve built up on the algorithm?
Though, initially we can feel a small pang of regret in deleting, we ultimately end up feeling very freed. Creatively, we then come alive, because we’re not “Following” anymore. We have to take action because life is in front of us, not blocked by our screens.
By being in control of our media, if we don’t want to delete our feeds. There is however, a few things we can do, if we want to be in control of social media instead of being controlled by it.
1) Having a conscious list of search items. We need to search for. Not something we’re curious about. But something which serves our goal. A goal we’re already striving for.
The information we are allowed to experience on social media has to be related to our goal and give us the information we need. Simple, “in, get the info, out”.
2) Having someone to post the information for you. When you have, which joins the first point, information and ideas you’d like to share. Prepare them in advance and then have a precise time to post them. Which means that you have a plan to use social media to your advantage, but not be consumed by it because you’re searching for some sort of attention or dopamine rush.
3) Build a life you enjoy, one you don’t want to escape, one that doesn’t get overrun by desires and wants because “someone on the other side of the world is on a yacht with some Russian hooker, showing you a rolex in a rollsroyce…” or something to that extent. You really have to like your life and be consumed by it. You have to have projects and to see where your life is going. If you have doubts and you don’t like your life, you’ll be more prone to “the grass is greener” syndrome and you’ll look elsewhere.
4) Build relationships which give you everything you need. Not everything you think you want. But which meet your needs. If your needs are met, you won’t be overcome by curiosity for what is happening next door, as you’ll be too busy living your own life to notice.