How to Stop Social Media from Invading our Personal Space?
Social Media has made our world much smaller but the drawbacks of using Social media without control is equally harmful.
Digital marketing is my profession since last 13 years and most part of my job consists of crafting digital marketing strategies, finding and fixing loop holes in the system that will improve performance, reading to stay up-to-date with all the latest digital marketing trends, writing articles on digital marketing, so on and so forth.
You can imagine how much time I need to spend before the screen, browsing the net, especially on social media.
Even though Social Media has made our world much smaller by connecting people across the globe and making communication much easier and fun, I also see the drawbacks of Social media which is equally harming our society.
If you’ve never heard of them, let me list down 3 major disadvantages that come to my mind.
1. Backlash – When a lot of content is posted online especially the ones those are offensive and inappropriate, it also opens up a door for excessive opinions and comments particularly the ones on politics and religion. This backlash of excessive sharing can impact a person’s future by exposing them to a lot of unnecessary information that has nothing to do with their personal growth. It may even alter their worldview by creating a self-centered mindset.
Whether you believe it or not, this is happening.
2. Cyber-bullying & crime against children – Social media has exposed us, especially our children to various forms of harassment and inappropriate contact.
The trend in cyber-bullying presents a worrying dilemma for a generation of students that spends an increasing amount of their free time socializing online. Reports say it creates a low self-esteem, thoughts of suicide, frustration, anger, anti-social behavior, drug abuse and psychological problems in many teens.
3. Time waster – This one is the most concerning one to me when I think about my children. We want our children to have a healthy lifestyle and a positive growth curve where they are exposed to all good things in life; the ones that will make them grow into responsible adults and enable them to learn new skills rather than just pressing the buttons on the keyboard. We cannot achieve that without having a right balance when it comes to the digital space.
And just as it is true for our children, it is also true for us as grownups. When a lot of our time is spent on social media we fail to invest in the things that really matter.
If the above disadvantages concerns you then you need to do something about it. Find the right balance so you can be more productive and protect your family and community from falling prey to the system.
Let me share some practical tips to help you find the right balance, the ones I practice myself.
1. Dictate your own terms of engagement
Most often when you are on your social media app on a smartphone, every time you have an update or a message the smartphone pops up a notification message with a ding sound. I understand the reason for this feature is often to increase engagement and regular usage so that social media companies can make more bucks out of you, but on the other hand I believe it also distracts you and causes you to take your attention away from what you are doing at the moment.
When I’m reading a book, I only want to read the book so I can soak myself into it and get the best out of it. When I’m spending time with my family, I want to give my 100% to them so that I can make memories with the most precious gift God has given to me. When I’m with my friends, I want to enjoy their company, laugh out loud, engage in meaningful conversations and make them feel special.
And that’s because ‘I’ wish to dictate my own terms of engagement to the world around me. Allowing my smartphone and social media to throw up notifications and distracts me from what I’m doing, its like giving the reins of my life into the hands of a system that is built to make profit for themselves and hardly care about us.
My first suggestion to you is to dictate your own terms of engagement – switch off your notifications (you have the option to do that), switch off your data usage, and if needed switch off your phone and take a break.
2. Use your time wisely
Take out separate time slots during the day to engage in digital activities.
There is nothing more urgent and more important than what you are doing right now. The digital world makes you think that if you don’t respond immediately then you will lose the benefits.
You will see a lot of E-commerce websites posting one-day offer, one hour offers and so on and so forth. Please don’t give into those but dedicate specific times during the day to engage into digital activities.
And if you’re into hardcore digital marketing like me where you need to regularly communicate and engage with your audience, you can use some smarts tools that can help you do that.
Like for example I use a tool called Hootsuite which helps me schedule all my posts and updates in advance which means even while I’m not on the internet, the tool automatically posts on my behalf at regular intervals.
3. Choose & Engage wisely
Just because you have all these social media sites on the internet doesn’t mean that you need to be active on all of them or do everything others do.
Choose what is best for you and the ones that are beneficial to you as an individual, as a brand and as a company. With that in mind, chose your social media wisely and engage wisely.
4. Engage for a purpose
Most people who are on the internet don’t even know what they are doing there and what they want out of it. We are naturally wired to go with the flow.
But if you want to use social media wisely, I suggest that you define your purpose and once you’ve defined your purpose concentrate all your energies into achieving that.
My purpose of social media engagement is clearly to stay connected with friends, occasionally let them know what’s happening in my life, get to know what’s happening in their life, promote my brand ‘DigitalSaju’ for speaking engagement invites, business opportunities as well as share inspire, educate and help people see the enormous potential of the digital world to help win at business and life.
In the same way I want to encourage you to find your own purpose while you are on social media sites.
Remember, the actions and decisions we take today will go down to our next generation especially our children and therefore it is important that you find the right balance when it comes to your social media engagement.
Do let me know your views and opinion on this subject, will be glad to hear them.