Ever since I watched this video where Simon Sinek talked about Millenials and our relationship with social media, I realized that I’m addicted to Facebook and it’s bad. In the past, I really did not understand the criticisms against social media. I even eagerly professed my love for Facebook. When I watched this video though, I was convinced that excessive use of Facebook can be detrimental. Aside from the obvious reason that it’s a time-waster, it also makes people addicted and dependent on social praise. In the long run, this can degrade one’s resilience against failure. Before I discuss those points, you can watch the video here:
We grow up in an environment where all of our actions receive social approval. If we eat something, we get a like, if we say something about our day, we get another like or even a comment, and so on. Will we ever do anything if we don’t get praised for it?
There’s also a biological/chemical reaction to this social approval. Sinek explains that every time we get a like, we get a surge of dopamine, which is a hormone linked with happiness. Sinek also says that dopamine is addictive because it’s the same high we get when we smoke, drink, and gamble.
So what do I make of all of this? I’m not going to completely quit Facebook. It’s a free tool that I can use to communicate with my friends. I like reading the articles that my friends share. There have also been many occasions when I got opportunities through Facebook (an editor saw that I loved American Idol so he made me write about it for a newspaper, another editor saw that I loved art so he invited me to write for them, etc).
However, I do want to lessen my use of Facebook. Every time I feel the itch to check Facebook, I tell myself: “Nothing has changed since the last time you checked Facebook”. It’s true. What could have changed since ten minutes ago? What’s so urgent that needs to be checked? The world will not end in 20 minutes. That friend who sent you a message can wait for a few days.
So my resolution is this: I want to spend just 30 minutes each day on Facebook. I want to check Facebook only three times a day. In the future, I wish to only check Facebook once a week, but that seems ambitious. Right now though, I am struggling to keep my resolution. It’s more difficult than I thought it would be, but I’ll keep trying. Wish me luck!
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