Social media is so addictive that people are just hooked to their screens for hours. Most people (including students and children) spend almost the entire day watching random posts e.g. reels, stories, and videos. They perceive the world through the lenses of social media.
Why is social media so addictive:
Social media follows a simple rule of showing you what you prefer to see. Watch a few "Cute Dogs" videos on YouTube and you'll notice that your YouTube profile is full of dog videos. Like a Facebook or Instagram post. Similar posts begin to appear on your profile as soon as you do this. You will also be directed to similar posts from other people, groups, or communities. As a result, whenever you access your social media account, you will see similar types of posts over and over.
Most of us are unaware that we are seeing posts that are similar to what we have already seen. This means that we continue to view only one type of post every day and miss out on other people's posts that could be more important and add value to our lives. As a result, we are trapped in a vicious cycle that is difficult to break. (You can read more about social media addiction here: https://www.lanierlawfirm.com/social-media-addiction/). Let me tell you how you can break this cycle and use social media as a life changing resource.
How to stop social media addiction:
Ask yourself a couple of important questions to start with:
Do the posts I view add any value to my personal or professional life?
Do they make my life better?
If the answer to these questions is NO, you need to make social media an incredible resource for learning instead of being addicted to it and wasting your time and energy. Let's see how we can stop social media addiction and turn it into a resource for learning.
How to make social media an incredible resource for learning:
It's rather simple. Follow only those people, groups, or communities that share content that adds value to your personal and professional life. Unfollow, Unsubscribe, Mute, or Block people, groups, or communities whose content is of no use to you, or you don’t wish to see.
After this, whenever you log in to your social media accounts, you will only see posts that offer value to you and not the ones that merely waste your time. Thus, whenever you check your social media accounts, you will end up learning something new. Considering the amount of time you spend on social media; just imagine how much you will be able to learn.
Which social media platforms are good for learning?
Let’s talk about five of the most popular social media platforms along with one less popular but equally resourceful one in India.
1. YouTube: Videos are the best medium to learn from. There are thousands of content creators whose channels you can follow on YouTube. These channels offer knowledge or skills that you can utilize in your personal and professional life. You will be amazed to see the variety of skills that are available for free on YouTube.
2. Instagram: For many, Instagram is just a means of sharing or publishing photos, videos, or reels. However, it’s not limited to that. Content creators post images or slides full of information on Instagram.
e.g. some accounts share tips to enhance your English. Some share news or articles on various topics. Many share different skills-related tips too. All this and much more in the form of images or slides.
3. Facebook: Facebook is an incredible platform where content creators write articles in the form of posts, publish videos and share images full of information. Just follow the right people, groups, or communities and there will be no end to learning.
4. Twitter: This too is an excellent platform for learning. Since posts on Twitter are supposed to be shorter, expert content creators help you learn through very short posts. This saves you time as you don’t have to read through or watch something that consumes a lot of time. You can choose your areas of interest based on which Twitter shares content with you.
5. LinkedIn: This portal for professionals has slowly made its way into people’s devices. It's by far the best resource for learning. You can actually learn from industry experts, connect with them and learn further.
6. Deepstash: This is less popular as compared to the ones mentioned above. However, you should consider downloading this app to experience how incredible a learning resource it is. It offers bite-sized learning from popular books, videos, articles, etc. You will certainly love it for its ability to provide knowledge and skills through 3-5 min posts.
You may also consider checking these out - Pinterest, Reddit, and Tumblr.
I won't suggest you stop using social media because I know how incredible a learning resource it is. You too can reap the benefits of it if you start doing all that we have discussed in this article. Stop social media addiction and turn it into habits that add value to your lives.
p.s. - Please feel free to share your views on using social media for learning and also share your thoughts about this article in the comments section below.
Sawan is a Learning/Training consultant with over thirteen years of rich experience in training. He has been associated with companies like Amazon, Various Multinational and Domestic Companies, Leading Training Organizations, and prestigious Educational Institutes. He is a go-to person for setting up and leading training teams, managing training programs, and creating and curating content for online and offline learning. He is passionate about helping companies revive their training interventions and enable their workforce to achieve business goals.