As someone who earns from social media management, this might sound contradicting. But that is one of the main reasons people take a break from it. Social media is toxic and you might agree that it is too.
How Did Social Media Become Toxic Anyway?
Let’s look at Facebook as a specific example. Facebook is the largest social media platform online and has 1.9 billion active users. But the controversy that surrounds it is hard to turn a blind eye to. 👁️ Data privacy, machine learning algorithms, uncensored content, ads that constantly follow you everywhere. You're thinking of an item right now and the next thing you know when you open Facebook, you see an ad for it. Creepy right? But that’s how Facebook perfected predicting consumer wants over the years.
Now, how is it toxic? The goal of social media is to keep you on the platform. That’s why all of the ads and content you see are tailored to your interests and what you might be interested in. Videos, photos, and posts that can keep you entertained 24/7 suck you in and waste hours and hours of your day. Facebook’s meta was developed because they saw that people are moving towards virtual spaces. They didn’t want to get left behind so they developed a system that can unify and provide everything that you need without ever leaving the platform.
On the other hand, if you look at its advantages, social media is meant to connect people online. In a crucial time like this, where you can’t freely go to other countries or visit friends and families off-shore without fearing how much at risk your health is in, social media is a tool that helps you connect and communicate. It’s a place where you can join communities you want to be a part of, follow people you look up to, and share posts to express yourself. You see more of the content that you follow and similar posts related to them.
How to Become an Intentional Consumer
If you’re the type of person who stays up all night to watch memes and entertaining videos, you’ll get stuck in a cycle because the next day you will see the same type of content. You repeat the process every day because this is how the algorithm simply works. However, if you manage the time that you’re using in social media as well as the content you’re consuming, you can gain control over it instead of letting it control your life.
So, the key is to intentionally consume content that can serve you and bring more value to your life. Don’t end up in that mindless scroll marathon for 4 or more hours like everybody else! Understand your goals and learn what types of content you should follow. Declutter your feed. Unfollow influencers that you think are toxic and follow thought leaders that provide you valuable insights to help your life.
In my case, I manage my content consumption according to:
30% Personal Development
40% Business or work-related topics
20% Hobby related content
10% Entertainment / Memes
For example, I dedicated 4 hours of my day to consuming content and 30% is for personal development. So for an hour and a half, I would listen to mindset or educational podcasts. Then, if I want to relax I designate 10% of that time to watch entertaining videos. I set a timer to help me get back on track with what I needed to do after that. I always make sure not to fall into that mindless scrolling trap and catch myself every time it starts happening.
3 Things You Can Do to Start
Identify what you want to improve in your life. It might be learning about finance, learning about investing, learning a new skill, etc.
Ask yourself what are the things you need to do on a daily basis to accomplish it? Look for content that talks about those topics and follow them.
Schedule them on a weekly basis and start doing them. If you can’t be consistent at the start, don’t worry about it and just pick yourself up. Try again until you are able to build the habits so that it becomes your second nature.
Social media is a tool. And how you use this tool is within your control. Maximize it to your advantage, not your disadvantage.
Comment below if you learned anything from this blog. If you think this information can help someone, share this with a friend.
Remember, you are what you eat, and that applies to things that you watch or listen to on a daily basis.
Btw, If you're looking for someone to manage your social media content, I'm currently doing FREE audits and you can book a call below.