How would you react if someone asked you to spend the entire month of February scrolling non-stop on Tik Tok, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Pinterest?
Most people would immediately reject the idea with some indignant variation of, “Are you some kind of demented fool? Who in their right-mind would agree to such a brain-belch idea?”
Yet, we, on average, willingly spend 2 hours and 22 minutes on social media per day. Which, over the course of one year, equates to 28 days, or all of February.
If you go by waking hours (16 hours per day) this would total 42 days, equivalent to spending all of February and almost half of March.
In the esteemed words of Bart Simpson, “Caramba.”
Weigh the Positives and Negatives
To place this in squandered-time context consider a personal goal. Say it’s to learn how to play John Lennon’s Imagine on the piano. If you spent all of February, or even half of the month, practicing it, you, after 28 days, would achieve, or be close to achieving, this goal.
The ensuing glow of satisfaction surpassed only by a keen inner-sense of pride derived from integrity of focus, purpose and time.
Conversely, compare this with the satisfaction you’d feel from spending all of February on social media liking and sharing posts ranging from the reuben sandwich a vaguely remembered high school classmate enjoyed to your backyard neighbor’s vacation photos from Branson, Missouri to a video of dancing kangaroos.
Yes, you’d be entertained. Even amused. But to what end? What would you have to show besides maybe 11 new Instagram followers, 6 new Facebook friends and a shared Tweet?
Social Media Slim Down
If you enjoy your time on social media stay on it. Don’t deny yourself. But use the guilt to promote a reassessment of your viewing habits. Use what personal goals you’re missing out on (aka guilt) – learning the harp, planting a rutabaga garden, juggling French rolling pins – as leverage.
Instead of two hours per day on social media trim it down to one hour. Or better yet, replace daily checking with one or two specific times a week for social media viewing.
For digital balance questions, comments or recommended books on the topic e-mail me at email@example.com. You can also find tips, via short videos (yes, I get the irony) at https://jeffwozer.com/videos/
Written by Jeff Wozer, our April 2021 Seminar Presenter