You love social media, you scroll and scroll. Congratulations! that’s what social media wants
How often do you spend your time on social media? When you open your social media, do you keep on scrolling without knowing what you are looking for? And then what do you feel when you realize that you must stop scrolling as you have got other things to do? Do you see that point coming when you struggle in stopping the scroll and getting back to the work you were doing/ have to do? Congratulations, you are falling for the negatives of social media, and the fact is that you don’t even know that.
“My night plans are pretty much simple, I eat, precisely go for a walk and then check my phone till the time I don’t get sleep. Well, I will not say after a few minutes of scrolling, I get to sleep. No, not at all. Over a period of time, I have realized that I scroll and keep swiping between different social media apps and my fingers are even accustomed to this switching of apps and scrolling up and down in different apps, that I actually care less of what post I am seeing, but I look for more. And honestly, there has been hardly any time when I have known what I have been looking for.” – Shantanu.
Well, Shantanu is right when he said he didn’t really know what is he looking for. But honestly, social media knows. It knows your wants from the tip to the toe, what you are looking for and what you love to look at. The algorithm is such that they find out what you like and show you more of what you like watching, of you being consciously aware or subconsciously in denial.
“The algorithm is trying to find a few rabbit holes that are very powerful, trying to find which rabbit hole is the closest to your interest. And then if you start watching one of those videos, it will recommend it over and over again.” – The Social Dilemma
Now, looking at the variety of the content available on social media, and here, for you, a particular kind of content is being selected, which the social media knows that you like, what will happen is that you will happen to intake a particular kind of idea and your entire social life will get restricted to that idea itself.
You watch sadistic content, you will get more of it. You watch trauma, you will get more of it. You check politics, you will find more of it. You look for news, more is ready for you. You check a few posts of a particular ideology, and you will get everything only about it after a while. Sorry but that’s how it is.
Now, what happens is that you end up being not just addicted to doom scrolling but the prey of a particular idea. We all know that our mind is such that if we watch/ see/ think of a particular thing, again and again, our mind will get accustomed to it. Same is the case here. You become a prey for the content on social media, you cognitively start to behave according to what you watched.
As there is no end to content, honestly, you can find ‘n’ number of videos and posts and there is always a chance of finding (n+1)the post. This quest of it can lead to FOMO ( fear of missing out), you being fed by one-sided ideas and ideologies, and can further give ways to anxiety.
So, what can you do? Don’t use social media? No. It’s 2020 and that is not an option. But the only thing you can do is keep a check on how you are using it. Give yourself a time limit for how much time, are you going to consume it. Ask yourself consciously, what are you getting out of it? What are you watching, is there anything substantial in it. Is there any purpose to what you are using it now? If entertainment is that purpose, it is no problem but limit yourself from doom scrolling.
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