The social media rules

The technology journey in the last 10 years has been nothing less than extraordinary. We are on our way to connecting everyone in the world all at the same place.

But the question we have to ask ourselves is: What is Facebook for? Is it to connect or to zap our attention so that someone out there can make a profit?

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, 70% of the most active Facebook groups are so toxic they can’t be recommended. 70%!

Which means there is too much information out there for any one of us to absorb. So, we must choose which voices we are going to listen to. Which also means we have to sift through a lot of material before we find trusted sources. This is the price we pay when we give everyone a digital media channel and a microphone.

So here are some basic rules for social media that everyone should follow:

  1. Before you click like or repost, check other sources to verify. Remember fake news travels six times faster than the truth. So, if it sounds outlandish it probably is. Prove it before you share it.
  2. Turn off all your notifications. This is a no brainer. Companies are working really hard to mine your attention, keep them at arms length.
  3. Speaking of arms length, create friction to enter these apps. Maybe that means leaving your phone in the kitchen or moving the apps off the home screen or having to log in each time to use them. Create friction.
  4. Set up time limits in your settings. Usually, people can pick reasonable amount of times to spend on an app. Just make sure to follow through.
  5. Turn off the phone before 60 minutes before bed. It will help you sleep at night. The world is better not staring at a screen.
  6. All of the research shows that the world is the safest it has ever been despite the pandemic. There is no existential crisis.

Cognitive load is real. And when we fill our head with garbage, garbage is what tends to come out.