What? Yeah, that’s right. If you’re addicted to social media, this one’s for you. Considering 81% of Americans use social media (source) I can pretty much guarantee this one IS for you.
I know what you’re thinking. “Oh, look. Another ‘self-improvement’ guy telling us to stop using social media so much.” I get it, really. I do.
Two things about that.
- I’m not a “self-improvement” guy. If you want to be a dirty degenerate, hey, you’ll get no complaint from me. You’re making my life easier as long as you stay out of my way. I vastly prefer degenerates who know they’re degenerates to the ones that think they’re going to be top-1%.
- I’m going to explain my reasoning and you can draw whatever conclusions you want. My realm, my rules. You can go read something else if I hurt your feelings.
Without further ado, here are my five reasons you should stop killing yourself with Social Media. These are listed in no particular order, they’re all about equal in priority. At the end of each section, I give you my recommended solution to the problem.
#1 – Social Media Devalues Your Words
This one is simple supply and demand. If you introduce a surplus of your words (supply) into the market, demand will tank. In this way Social Media devalues your words.
I already know what you’re thinking. “But what about marketing?”
Sure, marketing is important. And the most effective marketing strategy there ever was is to provide the most valuable goods or service you can. Think about what you’re doing on social media.
On social media, you give away your words for free. If they’re really that valuable, people would be paying you for them. Are people paying you for your words, and primarily finding your words through your profile?
If you’re an Ed Latimore, then obviously this part doesn’t apply to you. But people like Ed are the exception, not the rule. If you’re reading this, Ed, you’re an all-around exception and I’m pretty sure you know it. You worked like hell to be an exception.
Most people don’t. Simple as that.
Most people play around on social media, pretending they’re working (or networking) when they’re really just playing around. For some, it’s downright masturbatory.
If you aren’t making money from your words in proportion to your social media usage, then you’re only devaluing your words.
Solution: Change the way you view your social media.
If your social media converts into sales, then by all means use it. If that’s you, then you should strive to only use social media when you have something valuable to say. I mentioned Ed Latimore earlier because he’s the perfect example of someone who does this right.
If your social media doesn’t readily convert into sales, then limit your usage dramatically and don’t see it as work. You’re not working, you’re playing. That’s fine. Just don’t tell yourself you’re working when you’re playing.
If your personal social media usage is devaluing your words, the simple solution is to stop. Don’t make simple things hard.
#2 – Social Media and RF Poisoning
Oh boy. Crazy Lloyd’s at it again.
Maybe you know what RF poisoning is, maybe you don’t. Either way, let me tell you a little story.
I went up into the mountains and there was very little cell phone coverage. As soon as you got out of the foothills and into the mountains proper, cell phone service was gone.
There was one particular parking lot that had service, and a few eateries with wifi service extenders. For the most part, you just didn’t have a cell phone. You had a paperweight.
And you know what? I felt good. Better than I felt in years. I got better sleep, despite reading books I’d saved on my phone. My sleep schedule is as “normal” as its ever been.
When I got back to civilization, I didn’t feel as good anymore. I felt like I always do. Now, you could attribute this to mountain air or elevation or any of those things, but I’m not sold.
As soon as I got back to a place with full cell phone coverage and wifi on every street corner, the old aches and pains were back. Not crippling by any means, but they were there.
See, I’d read about RF (radio frequency) poisoning a while ago. Victor Pride talked about it back in April, too.
See, we know that short term, high exposure RF is bad. It heats up your body and can burn you. Most people don’t have to deal with that, though. But what about long term, low exposure? Hell, most everyone uses cell phones and wifi now.
The effects of long term, low exposure radiofrequency radiation are pretty hotly debated. There’s good reason for that, because there’s a lot of money riding on the issue. If cell phones and wifi are killing us, then a whole lot of businesses would be in trouble. It’s no different than smoking was several years ago.
Maybe the Baby Boomers and Gen X’ers won’t have this problem, since they’ve only recently had a cell phone on them all the time. But what about the Gen Y Millennials and Gen Z’ers? We’ve had them since at least adolescence, and how many toddlers do you see with iPhones today?
I fully expect this will be a huge problem when Millennials are the age that the Baby Boomers are now. Why? Hell, maybe I’m just crazy. But I listen to my gut, and that’s what my gut tells me. I felt it wash over me, fellas.
What does this have to do with social media? Simple. You don’t keep your phone on you 24/7 because you might have an important call come through. You do it because you might have someone important give you a little heart for something snarky you said.
Social media is the main reason most people have their phones on them all the time.
Solution: Keep your phone on airplane mode for at least a third of the day & turn off your WiFi for a third of the day.
While you’d actually have to move to a mountain, island, or similar to completely eliminate your exposure to radiofrequency radiation, you do have other options.
Your phone is like your security blanket, I know. But no one who isn’t a world leader needs to be accessible 24/7. You sleep for a third of the day, don’t you?
Turn off your WiFi. Put your phone on airplane mode. At the very least, turn off WiFi and Data on your phone while you sleep. You can turn them back on when you wake up and get your dopamine rush.
If you have the discipline to turn your phone off for longer, then do so. Many of you are Gen X’ers and a few of you are Baby Boomers and you lived just fine before you had a cell phone. You can do so again.
#3 – Social Media v. Memento Mori
Memento Mori means “Remember Death”, but I prefer my own definition.
Remember you are human. Remember you will die.
While I’m a big fan of the idea that you are either growing or dying, it’s denying reality to say you aren’t constantly in a state of dying. The only variable is how fast you’re dying.
This goes on to the atomic level. Your body is literally falling apart on a daily basis, and you consume the matter of other once-living things to replenish what is lost. That’s what your digestion essentially is.
Memento Mori isn’t a depressing concept, far from it. You are dying every moment, you don’t have all the time in the world. Shouldn’t you try to get the most out of every drop of life left in your cup?
Should you be wasting those moments scrolling through your digital echo chamber seeking validation for your every opinion? Is validation more important to you than living a life you won’t regret on your death bed? I surely hope not.
I really don’t know why anyone who isn’t trying to make money online has a social media profile at all. Sure, there’s the element of being able to keep in touch, but that’s a weak reason. You have a telephone in your pocket (see #2) and can be reached at any time.
You don’t really need that social media profile since you could just as easily give your friends and family your cell phone number.
Solution: Only use social media on your computer or only at specific times of day for a limited time.
Mark Baxter gave me both of these bits of wisdom. He talks on his podcast about taking all the apps off of his cell phone and only using his social media on his computer. This is a phenomenal way to avoid the urge to blow 30 minutes scrolling through the same old tweets just because you were momentarily bored.
If you really internalize Memento Mori, you should find yourself being bored less and less as you try to actually live while you’re alive. You might even find yourself in a rush to do as much as you can before the sun sets.
If you don’t want to go that route, and still want to use your cell phone for social media, then I’d only do it at a certain time for a certain duration. That brings up the issues of when and for how long.
After sunset and before sleep time. That way you know you aren’t burning daylight you could’ve spent doing something else. Make sure to get it out of your system well before bedtime, too. You should already be aware of what blue light does to your sleep patterns.
How long should you browse? Well, I can tell you that 14 minutes and 24 seconds is 1% of your day. If you sleep like a normal person, you probably actually get 7 hours of sleep. That’s roughly 29% of your day. So you actually get to use 71%.
Only 71% of your day is actually usable. I don’t see how you could want to sacrifice more than 1%, and unless you’re ridiculously popular you shouldn’t need more than that. That still gives you 70% of your day to actually live.
#4 – Thinking (or Reading) isn’t Doing
Thinking isn’t Doing. Thinking is the opposite of Doing. While you should obviously think before you act, the focus is still on action.
The number 1 delusion I see on social media is that by obsessively reading social media (and the linked blog posts, including mine) is that you are learning.
Learning does not happen by reading or thinking. Learning happens by doing things that you’ve read or thought and seeing what the real world results are. You have to actually implement things to learn from them.
Don’t believe me? Okay, did you learn any foreign languages in school? How well do you remember them?
If you remember them well, its because you use them regularly. You learned by implementing what you read and thought. If you’re like me, you barely remember anything because you never use it.
How many pencil necked kids are obsessed with self improvement, yet never self improve? How much do you need to read? Eventually you have to actually do things. Otherwise it’s just masturbation.
Really, that describes most people’s social media usage in one word. Masturbation.
Solution: For every one idea you get from social media, implement three.
This rule will keep you from using social media as much because there is only so much you can do in one day. The good news is that there actually aren’t that many original ideas floating around your follows. Intergroup bias will have you forming a nice little echo chamber.
The exceptions to the rule will be your source of new ideas. They don’t isolate themselves in an echo chamber as much as the rest of us, and that is why they have more original ideas than most. This rule is only challenging if you are actually an exception to the rule.
In that case, you’re just going to have to put down your phone, put on your big boy pants, and actually go do something.
#5 – Social Media is Ultimately Toxic
You didn’t need me to tell you this. Pick a platform.
The various dating apps? Train wrecks looking for validation or sex, both from other train wrecks.
Facebook? Boring normal people talking about their boring normal lives.
Instagram? Mostly people fronting about how much of a party their lives are, when reality is usually far from it.
Twitter? Mostly people flailing about over whatever the news of the day is and how it relates to their politics.
There are exceptions, sure. There are people who are using these platforms positively and getting a return on their time investment. But the exceptions prove the rule.
Chances are good you aren’t getting “social media famous”. As per the other items on this list, you are:
- Devaluing your words
- Poisoning yourself with radiofrequency radiation
- Wasting your precious, fleeting moments of life
- Mentally masturbating instead of living life
And to top it all off, the vast majority of people you get to do it with are either toxic or pretending. Wow, sign me up!
Solution: There isn’t one, because you can’t change other people!
The closest you can come to changing other people is by providing them an example of how things can be done different. With that in mind, let’s talk about my hypocrisy.
IMPORTANT NOTE: I’M AS GUILTY AS YOU ARE
Don’t get me wrong, I use some social media platforms too. I couldn’t have come to these conclusions otherwise. But after doing some thinking about these things (as per item #4 above) I’m taking some action.
I came up with the solutions above because I needed them. Maybe you do too. Maybe you don’t, hell, I don’t know you personally.
I can tell you one thing, though. I’m going to stop killing myself with social media.
I’ve already dramatically limited my usage of social media, and that’s a trend I plan to keep going. It’s the only social media trend I’ve ever actually cared about, come to think of it.
How to Stop Killing Yourself With Social Media
- Change the way you view your social media.
- Keep your phone on airplane mode for at least a third of the day & turn off your WiFi for a third of the day.
- Only use social media on your computer or only at specific times of day for a limited time.
- For every one idea you get from social media, implement three.