This article originally appeared in Phil Drolet’s newsletter.
Last week, I permanently de-activated my Facebook and Instagram accounts.
I had already taken with a 12-month “break” last year but this was still a big step.
A few days into this new chapter, I’m happy to report that…
I feel freer, more focused on my dreams, and more aligned with my values.
Today, I want you to consider an important question:
Are the benefits from social media (entertainment, updates on your friends’ life, access to information, etc) really outweighing the pitfalls (increased distraction, social comparison, egoic desires to be “liked”, etc)?
Only you can answer that question but it MUST be asked.
So many people go through life doing what everyone else is doing, without asking the key questions:
Is this making my life better? Or am I just following the herd?
I suspect if more people consciously evaluated their relationship with social media, many would leave in a heartbeat.
Social Media Tricks Your Brain
I recently got clear that beyond the obvious disadvantages of social media (outlined above), it was tricking my brain is nasty ways…
- It “satisfied” my need for human connection (in a cheap way) without any motivation to give my friends a call and organize in-person activities with them.
- It gave me a false impression of success (ie, if one of my posts got 100+ likes) and made me less hungry to do the hard work that really matters.
- It was giving me quick dopamine hits but was taking my attention away from the beauty and magic surrounding me at all times.
Fun Fact: Did you know these quick dopamine hits cause structural changes to your brain? Learn more here.
Despite these facts, doubts swirled through my mind:
“Is it going to hurt my business?”
“Is my social life going to suffer?”
“Am I going to miss out all the cool events?”
What I did next was critical.
I pragmatically evaluated my fears (instead of letting my monkey mind run wild) and after assessing each one, I became confident that without social media…
My business would improve.
My social life would get better.
I would do MORE cool stuff, not less.
Watching this TEDx talk by Cal Newport also helped:
So now I invite you to reflect on these questions:
- Why do you use social media?
- Is it really making your life better?
- How would your life be different without it?
If you’re going to devote your precious time and attention to social media, let’s make sure it’s making your life better, not worse.
Phil Drolet is a peak performance coach for entrepreneurs and helps his clients grow their business faster by optimizing their productivity, emotional mastery and online marketing. Find out more about him on New Kings.