Do I need to quit social media?

It’s been three days now, I quit social media. No more Facebook notifications, Whatsapp messages, Twitter tweets or anything else, since Tuesday 22/11/16. Now, I defy myself not to take any step trying to open the Whatsapp app or trying to figure out what’s going on on Facebook or Twitter. The step I took was behind a lot of moments of thinking, but it also reflects some choices I started to take recently, specially those who can determine my personality and control my life and the way I live it.

Giving up interaction on social media for me didn’t start recently, but I have always tried to deactivate my accounts on the different platforms of social networks, but in vain, I had always this problem of the unconscious desire to return to see the recent news of my “friends”, or the latest publications of the persons I follow, so in fact, I was just turning in a vicious circle. The reasons behind this thing, I think, must be that the act of leaving the social networks was not based on a solid basis, the idea always comes instantly, due to the dissatisfaction about an event or a publication, or even a friend. This process of decisions is actually important nowadays, everyone should ask himself “How can I make the right decision?”, because the decision making environment is getting more and more complex and it demands from people to react quickly and with quality. This environment is also much more dynamic, each time new elements should be taken into account when a decision must be made.

One of the people I follow on Facebook and I like what he publishes, is Mohamed GHILAN, an intellectual person that deserves to be followed and to be interested in what he publishes on the internet. Recently he was talking about success, and he published his opinion about that, saying that if you’re wondering why you’re unable to get things done, or if the things you’re doing aren’t at a level you can be truly satisfied with, it most likely has nothing to do with your talent, intelligence, or even the time you can dedicate to it. It’s about how much you submerge yourself in your craft and remove the distractions that take away your focus. People who accomplish things that really make a tangible impact on the world aren’t checking social media feeds every few minutes. They lose their sense of self as they isolate themselves to focus on what they want to accomplish and do well in. Unlike most people, these individuals take themselves into account and make a conscious effort to dedicate their time, energy, and resources almost with an obsessive compulsion to achieve what they want to achieve. Success is not all glamour and spotlights. It’s long, hard, and boring (yes at times BORING) steps one takes before they reach their goal.” In fact, these words really influenced me, in the sense of self determination, in a dogmatic way. 

Then, I discovered an article on the New York Times journal, from Cal Newport, a millennial computer scientist who also writes books and runs a blog, and who has never had a social media account’, trying to show how our professional career may depend on the social media. Actually social networks, according to Cal, is a way of corrosion of civic life and its cultural shallowness, but what is more than that, in a pragmatic sense, is that we should quit social media because it can hurt our career. Otherwise, Cal tried to make a link between our lives and the use of these tools to find opportunities of our sources of living in the economic sense, but he thinks that this behavior of making from social media a way of living is misguided, because in a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable, and social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable. So, any 16-year-old with a smartphone can invent a hashtag or repost a viral article, consequently, the idea that if we engage in enough of this low-value activity, it will somehow add up to something of high value in our career, and, it’s the same dubious alchemy that forms the core of most snake oil and flimflam in business according to him.

Cal says that ‘professional success is hard, but it’s not complicated. The foundation to achievement and fulfillment, almost without exception, requires that you hone a useful craft and then apply it to things that people care about.’

In one hand, I figured out something useful and important, it’s that as we become more valuable to the marketplace, good things will find us, so we are not obliged to waste a lot of time on Facebook or Twitter or any other social platform to make our career, this if it’s not just a waste of time without any purpose behind. And in the other hand, I learned the fact that the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy. Social media weakens this skill because it’s engineered to be addictive. The more you use social media in the way it’s designed to be used — persistently throughout your waking hours — the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom.

Most social media is best described as a collection of somewhat trivial entertainment services that are currently having a good run. These networks are fun, but you’re deluding yourself if you think that Twitter messages, posts and likes are a productive use of your time.