Shocking Ways in Which Social Media Manipulates You
We humans have a profound need to connect and express ourselves. We live in groups, share stories and talk about our favourite things. With the advent of spectacular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and several others, our world became a giant global village. Browsing these sites has become our top recreational activity.
When was the last time you checked your phone? I am sure you must have scrolled your social media feed once in the past 10 minutes. What if I tell you how every scroll changes you, and that little notification on your home screen might be manipulating you? I know this sounds creepy.
You might think social media is fun, harmless, and helpful. It doesn’t charge a penny but takes away your day in return for its services!
Do you think you control your screen time but are you sure? Several researchers claim that social media sites are carefully designed to be irresistibly appealing to you? They make use of an intelligent algorithm to keep you hooked. These companies have boiled down to psychology to make you spend maximum time scrolling, sharing, and commenting. No one can kill the urge to ignore that one innocent notification.
Not just extra time, you are giving away your health, your peace, your beliefs, and maybe your sanity. Yes, chronic users of social networks are more prone to developing anxiety and depression. Chances are you might also experience adverse effects.
Buried Substance in Sensationalism.
We hardly know whether all that we see on social media is reality or a facade.
I can tell you how you are now fooled with highly staged photos that sell the fantasy of a perfect life.
People use social media to show the selected highlights of the day. I am pretty confident that you would have compared it with the dull moments of your day. It must have felt awful; well, it was meant to.
It might be possible that a person you see enjoying career milestones could be in massive business Debt or on bad terms with a partner.
Fear of Missing Out is real.
People are persuaded that everyone is leading a happy year and a better life. Their friends and colleagues are excelling in their careers while you are struggling to meet daily needs! How can you count on authenticity? You might never know.
You get Insecure.
Everyone looks good on social media, and everyone seems to have an attractive lifestyle. Everyone has new ideas. You have to know that often content is plagiarized. The big plan of your contemporary might not be practical at all, while your small idea is entirely yours and has the strength to pay you big.
With several filters and Photoshop, all you see is a tampered reality. But blinded by the mirage, you might end up hating your work.
Social media cashes on the attention economy.
Monetization has turned social media into a hotbed for business. Social media now collects all your data to harvest personalized ads.
The ads, though seemingly harmless, are largely unregulated. One is constantly bombarded with a mind-tickling ad every time they click on refresh. We exploited to buy things we don’t need.
Social media users should not invest in items just because their favourite influencer has promoted them. And instead, they should buy a service or a product from a talented creator who has worked hard on their product instead of mindless marketing.
Spend more than 1–2 hours on these sites every day and ready for an eye doctor’s appointment.
Notification can make you scroll mindlessly. Owners earn massive profits while you drop your productivity and sacrifice your sleep.
Hungry for Likes.
Social media is the most celebrated platform for creative individuals. You can put yourself out there and gain leads. But his catch is to dodge you from the mercy of platform owners.
Some creators aren’t headstrong; they get dissolved in shortcuts. Yes, paid ads enhanced reach but not for long if you make art for likes.
True, to win at social media games, you need to post and gain followers, but not at the cost of external validation. Wildly following trends and not creating content that you love might demotivate you in the long run.
You should use social media, don’t let it use you. Social media presents opportunities, but success will come if you maintain moderation.
Don’t go cold turkey, be realistic and follow these steps.
- If you are a creator, create for yourself. Show your niche, and strategize to grow at a balanced pace.
- Have a scroll-free day, unfollow blingy creators, and lose touch with social media marketers.
- Turn off unnecessary notifications and block third-party apps. Invest in apps that help you to manage your company pages.
- Use app timers to monitor usage. Provide value to your audience and avoid click baits.
- Develop hobbies and friendships offline. It will harness creativity, which can later transcend into a new idea!
Always remember social media lightly; don’t let the glitters consume you. Keep working hard and mind your own business.