When do you think it happened?
When did the world shift into its current state of zombie-like social media addiction?
When did everyone you know start spending their lives on the phone? Liking this and commenting that. Swiping left, right and down to keep getting fed mindless content.
No matter what year this happened… you need to know this:
We (as a society) obsess over social media. We act like it’s the greatest thing ever.
- Business people say that everyone’s got to be on Instagram and Snapchat to make money today.
- Your friends tell you Tinder is the only way to get some love.
- Your brain tells you to pick up the phone and check out the Facebook feed as soon as you wake up.
But in reality, all social media is… is a bunch of addicts trying to get a new like, retweet or follower.
The only thing you get out of social media… is a quick hit of dopamine. It’s ephemeral and the sense of well-being you experience disappears quick.
So you need another hit. You need more likes. More followers.
Instead of living life, building your business and body, you’re on the prowl for yet another high. You wait around for yet another heart notification to come up.
But likes and retweets don’t pay your bills. To pay your bills, you need to make money. And then you need to stop your addiction to social media, and deal with some delayal of gratification.
Let’s get rolling:
1. You are the product
There’s a saying that goes:
“If something is free, you are the product.”
And last time I checked, nobody ever had to pay for access to Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and the likes. (Partly because those who burn their time away on those platforms are broke.)
You use social media for free because Silicon Valley companies sell YOU as their product.
They track every move you make on their platforms. They collect your personal information. Who you know. What you like. What political opinions you hold. What you consume. And in the case of Facebook, even your footsteps all over the web.
Then they sell your personal information to companies all over the world.
A buddy of mine works for an e-commerce agency. They spend a few hundred thousands of dollars every day on Facebook ads. With a few clicks they can reach the exact type of person they want to reach. They can track your activity all over the web for a few dollars and cents.
Do you want to throw your precious life away? Do you want to accomplishing nothing except making rich nerds in Silicon Valley richer?
2. You waste time
Time is the most precious resource in life. It’s the only thing you can never get more of…
And social media is the worst enemy. It steals your time and forces you to spend all day using it.
No — don’t you spend time on building a business, having a good time with loved ones and enjoying life. Be on Facebook! Check out the latest outrage trend on Twitter!
You know what?
Since you’re already on the internet anyway… why don’t you make a habit of learning and creating value instead of consuming it? That’s how you live a great life.
3. Your focus will improve once you quit
The crux of social media is that it’s so damn… instant.
In an hour everything can change. Hoaxes get revealed. New trends rise. And you want to stay in the loop.
So you keep flipping up your phone at any free moment during the day.
The second you put down the phone to focus on real life, another notification beeps on your phone.
The second you start working, you feel that itch to take a new look on your phone. Has anything else come up yet?
This constant back and forth between social media and reality has given us no attention span. How many of us can focus at something for more than 5 seconds without interruption?
We have become functionally retarded.
4. Social media’s made to cause addiction
As a software developer and entrepreneur, I know how to create websites that people keep using.
In fact, you can make a website addictive. And it’s easy.
This is done by so-called “gamification”.
They turn it into a game. When you were a kid and played games on the weekend, you collected gemstones all day. You forgot about reality. I was so hypnotized by the game that I forgot to eat. I wouldn’t even go to pee until my bladder felt like it’d explode.
Same goes for social media. It’s designed to give you the same addictive hits of dopamine. Instead of gemstones, you collect big, bright and colorful “heart” likes. You got to pump those numbers up to reach a new level of ego.
It’s an endless cycle!
The game doesn’t end. And like with video games, the artificial feeling of accomplishment doesn’t live long in real life.
And you know what’s worse?
Addictions are supposed to be bad and dangerous, but if enough people are addicted to it… it’s accepted.
Like alcohol and marijuana. Even though the drugs are as harmful — if not more– as other drugs, they are legal because they enjoy popularity. It’s alright to be an addict — you don’t need to do anything about it!
But there’s one good thing about social media addiction:
You can break it.
All you need to do is to acknowledge the problem and read to the end of this post.
5. The Marshmallow Test
Have you heard about the Marshmallow test?
Take a bunch of children for example.
You offer them two choices:
- ONE marshmallow — and they get it immediately.
- TWO marshmallows — but they have to wait for 15 minutes.
There will be children who choose either of the two options. But there’s one thing you notice about childs that went for the second option:
They tend to be more successful in life. Smarter, more educated, less prone to obesity,
Because they are better at delaying gratification. They know that if you sacrifice something in the short term, you can enjoy greater gains in the future.
If I don’t eat this cookie now… I might have abs in a few months.
If I don’t waste this weekend playing games, I can spend time on my business and eventually be financially independent…
Social media DESTROYS this idea. Using social media websites gives you instant gratification.
Because you’re used to the instant gratification of social media, you can’t wait for better things. Like a kid who instantly stuffed the one single marshmallow in their mouth.
Becoming successful takes a long time, which means you need patience. If social media destroys it, what do you think it does to your success?
6. Social media can suck at growing your business
Back in the earlier days of social media, I started a brand selling physical products online. Of course, I wanted to get on the social media bandwagon and make some sweet, sweet money out of it.
Multiple times a day, I worked to create content, interact with followers and perform all the marketing tricks known to man.
This went on for months and months.
But at last, I realized the truth:
It was all a hoax.
If you are a nobody who gets on social media… you’ll still be a nobody. People won’t care about you or your brand.
No matter how much I worked on my social media profiles, I got no positive feedback. The only people who seemed to genuinely care about my products were social media-addicted nobodies who dreamed of becoming “influencers”. They had a couple of hundred followers. Guess what the reason for their interest was?
They wanted my products for FREE!
Social media is only effective as an advertising venue if you already have an established brand. Your chance of building something profitable and stable on Twitter, Facebook or whatever are minuscule.
(YouTube is an exception — amazing platform even though it’s flawed. You get the capability to publish high-quality video content and capture people’s attention for much longer periods)
Besides, you’re building sandcastles.
If you spend a year building your social media following… all of it could disappear tomorrow. All it takes is one butthurt soyboy, SJW or hater who wants to fuck with you. One report and they can shut you down forever…
This is apparent in the alt-right crowd today.
Owen Benjamin got banned from Twitter. Why? Because he tweeted about the insanity of encouraging sex-change for 9-year olds.
Your livelihood gets taken from you overnight.
And if you believe this only applies to controversial figures — think again!
The cause for takedown doesn’t even have to be anything within your control. It can be a competitor who wants to destroy your reach. A jealous ex-girlfriend. A fan who didn’t get the attention they wanted from you.
Building your business on someone else’s platform is ridiculously stupid. It sets you up for failure.
Sure, use them as auxiliary strategies to widen your reach. But don’t let them be the bread and butter of your business. Own the platform you focus on and funnel people there.
You want to build your OWN blog, e-commerce store or service platform.
Own your own domain name. Host the site yourself, preferably on your own server.
7. Quitting social media will free you
When you take the leap and quit social media… it’s as if you escape from prison.
You’re finally… free.
You crawled through a sewer-pipe filled with shit. But that’s what you had to do to get out.
You were a slave to your phone. And now you aren’t.
You’ll find your inner calm and won’t feel the need to constantly refresh that stupid Twitter feed.
Finally, you can enter the real world and breathe in real air. No matter how clean or polluted that air is… it’s not retouched, doxxed or cherry-picked like it would’ve been on social media. It is true.
Instead of consuming the thoughts of others all day long… you can finally start thinking for yourself.
How to Stop Using Social Media
You want to stop your social media addiction?
Great. First, you need to commit to it. No half-assery. Vow to defeat your addiction. Say it out loud. Scream it at the sky.
Completely stop using social media right away. Cold turkey.
Uninstall all those social apps on your smartphone.
You will feel an urge to check your feeds throughout the day. Whenever you feel that itch, do something else that gives you a kick.
- Take a cold shower.
- Work out and build your body.
- Build your business.
It’s simple as that.
Once your itch to check out social media has gone away, you’re at a crossroads. Ideally, you never want to look back at the poison that is social media.
But if your business depends on it, you may have to reintroduce it at some point. But with a rigid framework of moderation to keep your addiction at bay. Only use it at certain times of the day for limited periods. Write a routine on a piece of paper and stick to it.
You’re my brother and I hope you break free from the consumer script. Good luck.
Until next time,