Oversharing is rampant these days. People want you to know everything about their innermost thoughts and beliefs. Sharing is caring, but we don’t need to be connected every second of the day. We weren’t meant to be plugged into millions of people’s inner sanctum at every turn. However, that’s where we are, and it’s unclear whether or not the pros of this behavior outweigh the cons.
I have a few friends that avoid social media like the plague. I’ve thought about joining them, but I enjoy being connected. I’ve found efficient ways to use social media by way of F.B. Purity and browser ad blockers. I do not subscribe to apps, groups, or pages to avoid extra spam. Despite using these methods, the flood of information is still high.
As many of us know, Facebook and other social media platforms have a singular goal of keeping your eyes on advertisements. The social dilemma is real, and everyone on social media is subjected to it. We are a mark, a lead, and a number to the social media giants, and nothing more.
The Big Picture
Our world is better when we work together. That’s a simple fact that keeps us coming back. It’s a hook that social media companies rely on to captivate our eyeballs and exploit us in the process. Social Media is a double edge sword that is both our salvation and our downfall. Social media companies are centralized tools that are ripe for corruption.
In the United States, our constitutional representative republic is designed to address the fact power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. We organize our country to give power to the people at the federal, state, county, and municipal levels.
The current architecture of social media is a centralized system that controls our town squares and controls our behaviors. It’s an untenable situation that governments across the world are actively wrestling with.
The Emotional Factor
Emotional contagion is the goal of social media companies, whether they know it or not. The more the content generated by you is spread, the higher their profits. Links from websites that refer to Facebook posts, pages, and other content increase their relevance on search engines. The more people are moved to read the content on their social networks, the more they benefit from your engagement. It’s a simple mathematical equation they run to ensure the enrichment of their shareholders.
Brands led by greedy people are looking for opportunities to manipulate us and lead us to the holy sale. We are the raw material that gets converted into the almighty currency of choice.
The Upper Hand
We can gain the upper hand by taking responsibility for our own level of connection and learning where our boundaries lie. I’m always learning when I’ve used social media irresponsibly.
I use these guidelines to understand when my social media usage is out of balance.
- Am I using it for the sake of using it?
- Are the outcomes of using it desirable?
- Is too much time being siphoned away?
In the end, social media is a tool. It’s a tool created by people that want to make money. It wouldn’t be a popular tool if it didn’t provide any value. Like all tools, it has pros and cons that we should consider. I hope the tools work well for you and find a healthy balance that works for you.