Is social media really anti-social media?


Time. It is such a precious commodity. Many people lament that they don’t have enough of it, and we yearn for more. Ironically, we seem to have an amazing amount of time spent daily watching TV and on Facebook.

–      Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerburg reported that we spend 50 minutes per day on Facebook.

–      The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports we spend 2.8 hours every day watching T.V. (which, incidentally, is more time than we spend reading – 19 minutes, participating in sports or exercise – 17 minutes, or social events – 4 minutes).

After reading the Facebook statistic, I did a little math. I have had a Facebook account for at least ten years. Using the time provided by Zuckerburg for Facebook use and assuming I have been the average Facebook user, here’s some statistics that could represent my Facebook time:

–      5.8 hours per week

–      23.3 hours per month

–      280 hours (11.6 days) per year

–      28000 hours (or 116.6 DAYS) since 2006

IF I had been the AVERAGE Facebook user, I would have wasted 116.6 days since 2006. Sure there may be good things about Facebook and other social media. The problem comes when users get sucked in without purpose. It’s when screen time takes precedence over face time and online chats trump live talking that it all turns into anti-social communication. Then it’s Wastebook, not Facebook, Trap Chat not Snap Chat, Twaddle not Twitter, InstaScam not Instagram and yes even SinkedIn instead ofLinkedIn.

Social media, particularly Facebook, can be a black hole of time suck that provides little return for your time investment. Imagine what you or I could do with 11 extra days each year (plus another 42.5 days if you are the average TV viewer). Cutting those two activities, or at least greatly reducing them, could conceivably give you time to start on or finish a college or masters degree, learn a foreign language, take up a new hobby, earn some extra income to pay off a loan, invest in your retirement, or help save for your kids’ college. You could also volunteer more, read more, exercise more, garden, take a cooking class, or just spend time with your friends and family.

Maybe you have been stealing time from your work or feel compelled to check your social media during lunch or while attending a “boring” meeting. Is the payoff of status strolling worth the time? Balance out social media time, even business related, with activities like job shadowing, researching a competitor, calling a customer just to listen to their needs, engaging with a new employee, taking a veteran colleague to lunch, enrolling in an online or company training program, offering to spearhead a new project, starting a mastermind or study group, organizing a charitable event, joiningToastmasters, or maybe just spend time each day thinking about how you could be more productive or effective in your job.

If you are spending too much time on Facebook or other social media, consider:

–      Giving someone you trust your passwords and let them help you monitor your time

–      Use the groups or messenger features only on your smartphone and ignore the timeline updates

–      Delete your account altogether

Time is an irreplaceable commodity. Become more social in what matters.

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