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If you’re wondering where your time went, check your screen time. I bet you’ll find your missing minutes there. The thing is, our phones can help us optimize our day (thank God for the Google calendar app) but they can also create an absolute black hole because of social media. The scrolling, the notifications, the likes, the DMs…it all feels never-ending.
That’s why social scientist, CEO and Co-founder of Squad, Isa Watson, says it’s time for us to reevaluate our relationship with social media.
“I think that the first thing we have to realize about social media is that it’s actually not really social. And quite frankly, it was with a desire to be connecting, but what it has morphed into is what I call like a content sunken place,” said Watson.
Watson points to powerful algorithms that push content to you that makes you want to look at more.
“They want you to go from looking at 10 pieces of content per session before you close out your app to 20 to 30. The more they can hook you, the more they can push you the ads,” she said.
And there’s an even darker side we need to consider. Blue Cross Blue Shield reports millennials have seen a 47 percent increase in major depression diagnoses since 2013.
Remember 2013? I was a college student at FAMU and hadn’t even caught the wave of Instagram yet. Screen time wasn’t a factor yet. But almost 10 years later, I think many of us millennials can say we’ve experienced some tension via social media apps.
“One thing that’s happened with social media over the last, I would say a good five to seven years, is that the more extreme opinions tend to get promoted a lot more and tend to be easier to find. And so what that’s doing is eliciting a huge emotional response for us, a bigger and a bigger one.”
So how do we get out of the content sunken place? Watson says it first starts with knowing who your real friends are and building connections with them.
“I sometimes have to tell myself this person is actually not my friend. I’ve never met them in real life. Even though they engage with my content all the time,” said Watson.
“One of the things that I think is really important about our use of social media is that we actually try to use it for connection as much as possible as opposed to just endless content scrolling. So the first thing I always recommend to people to do is, instead of focusing a lot of your screen time with just scrolling, leverage dms more, share different posts with your friends. Talk about it,” said Watson.
Maybe that’s how we find our way back to more life and less online stress: actually use social media to connect with people we already like and love. Personally, I’d say that sounds like the next best step.
To hear more of Isa’s tips for improving your relationship with social media watch her interview with Coach Tish on The Reset.
To learn more about Isa and her work click here.
Letisha Bereola is a life coach who helps ambitious women overcome burnout and reach their career goals so they feel great at work and happy at home. She’s a former Emmy-nominated TV news anchor, Podcast host of AUDACITY and speaker. Learn more: www.coachtish.co
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