The perils and joys of social media.

I’ve been a bit busy over the long weekend to write anything proper for #BlogJune. Between sorting out my garden, cleaning the house and spending large portions of yesterday following the #classic100 on twitter. It’s been full on… Mozart was robbed, robbed, I say.

Social media is both a blessing and curse. It lets you enjoy the fun of the classic 100 countdown but also is a massive waste of time. I’ve been reading this book called Happy Never After and it talks about the dopamine hit from social media; how it’s actually designed to make you care about how many likes, follows, shares, retweets etc.

I’ve noticed this myself, particularly on twitter. When I post something that gets liked I feel the need to refresh the app to see how it’s going. It’s unhealthy but no doubt taps into our need to be recognised, or liked or some such.

Of course it’s not all bad…  I talk to my friends on messenger apps and today I used Youtube to find out how to remove a halogen globe from my ceiling fan. But the mindless scrolling isn’t a great and when I feel the need to reach my iPad regularly even when doing other things – it’s not good.

I’ve installed software on my computer that allows me to block social media for a certain period of time. It’s called Cold Turkey, it’s really effective and a total pain in the arse. Once you have a block in place you can’t turn it off and you can’t delete the software. I accidentally put a block on for ten days once. Let’s just say I worked out how to delete the software but am now careful to not stuff it up again.

It’s a really effective tool for focussing on what you need to do. And by using it I’ve realised just how frequently I go to  Facebook or Twitter in the course of doing life stuff. When I’m writing something and stuck for a thought – I’ll go check twitter or Facebook, then come back start again. I’m almost doing it without thinking but with this blocker, I can’t access the site.  So now I’m trying to stay with what I’m doing but stop and gather my thoughts.

I need to work on getting the balance right. It’s a great tool to keep in touch with friends and family. One of the greatest things about social media is the world it opens up for you. I get most of my news now through social media and I couldn’t live without this. So I need it… But I don’t need to spend hours every day on it. And I certainly don’t need to wake up at 3am and think I’ll just check twitter as this will help me get back to sleep (an actual thing I did yesterday)

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