Are you an active Instagram user? How many times per day do you check for new notifications? How much time a day do you pass watching passively a screen? How do you feel after having heard or seen a new notification of a like? How many times a day do you post on internet counting Status, Posts, Pics, Stories between Instagram, Facebook, Whatsapp, Twitter, Snapchat and so on.. ?
In 2016, as you can see from the image, the average time spent on social media in US each day is about 2 hours, this means there are people who pass a lot more time there and It’s not only about the 2 physical hours but it’s also about the mental time that you are wasting: if you were focused and distract yourself to check the new notification that has popped out on Instagram then, as you maybe have experienced, will be difficult to return in that state of complete focus (also called “flow mode”, where doesn’t exist nothing except what you are working on, which is the real time when you are really learning).
You maybe have also experienced the need to check what’s new on your phone after a long afternoon or night without internet connection.. Well, if it’s your case, you are addicted.
But don’t worry too much because It’s normal nowadays, you are just one of many people who wear out their life to be conscious as soon as possible of where came from the big likes or the big attentions or the big activities that could be happened in the last few hours with no internet on your phone.
When someone put a like on your photo or on your status you feel a good sensation, right? When there are lots of people who put like on your new photo you maybe feel like “Aww yess, I’m so cool”, right?
This happens because you have a dopamine release after having seen the appreciation of the other people which let you think that you are important and people accept and approve you. This process is built by the social media companies based on our human and biological condition and desire: Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat etc. are studied to make you addicted.
Don’t believe me? Watch what the ex-CEO of facebook has said about it.
I’m going to write a little summary of what happened to me:
I’m a calisthenics (gymnastic sport based) athlete and when my body started to build some muscle I immediately posted pics of my body on Instagram…
Yes I was very very proud when girls put like on my pics and after few days I felt the need to feel another time that good ego-boost sensation of appreciation. What happened was that I posted another pic of my body, even though was basically the same photo that I posted few days back, and so on during the time trying to invent some excuse (“I want to show you that I’m able to do this exercise”.. Bulls**t) to post some pic of me to feel again that sensation.
I falled in the trap, I was addicted.
There are drastic and soft precautions to take to avoid turning off the brain watching passively a screen without thinking or feeling nothing and to avoid the addiction of being appreciated in a false virtual world.
I personally started removing Snapchat and Facebook first and after a year Instagram.
I now use only Facebook only from browser to skip the register phase to websites (“Log in with Facebook”) and to contact girls which I forgot to ask their number.
I noticed that now I pass more time with my brain turned on, I’m generally more awake, I read more (2 to 3 books per month) and I have businesses like this blog.
If you want to continue to use social media, you could limit yourself putting things not easily arm-reachable: for example you can use Facebook via browser or you can have Instagram installed only to post pics or to send/watch new messages.
One another important thing: stay away from garbage on social media.
Avoid mediocre useless drama that affects your mental health and surround yourself by positive spreading-energy things!
I will talk about this topic in my next article next Sunday.
Best regards, your Italian friend Marco 🙂
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