There is no doubt our use of the internet and social media has increased over the last few years, especially in 2020 since the pandemic hit the globe. Our dependency on the internet has become paramount to how we learn, communicate and market our businesses. It’s almost as if we don’t know how life would be without the internet, let alone social media. Some statistics compiled by Datareportal published in January 2021:
- More than half of the world now uses social media
- 4.66 billion people around the world now use the internet, of those users, 316 million new users have come online within the last 12 months
- 5.22 billion unique mobile users
I was interested in finding out some of the statistics because personally, I am feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the different platforms out there. The main ones like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are steady in usage. I discovered Tik Tok last year when we were on lockdown. From there, I have been introduced to Twitch, Clubhouse and Clapper. Normally, I wouldn’t bother using all these social media sites, but my habits seemed to have changed. I am curious as to what these apps are all about and find myself drawn to them.
The average social media user may use 8-10 applications. I named already 6 I use; SnapChat, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Meetup round out my main 10 social media applications I personally use. Looking at this kind of blows my mind! Not only am a registered user, but I am a fairly active user of most of these apps! No wonder my mind is filled with information it’s trying to process!
Which leads me to my main point: Are we over-consuming social media?
Just analyzing my own usage, I’d say it is very probable. Just as we can over-consume food or drinks, we certainly can over-consume the use of social media. Some say it doesn’t impact their daily lives much and that it is just part of the norm. If we keep our use in check, then it doesn’t seem to be much of an issue. However, if we spend several hours on various apps, there could be an issue.
Another thing to consider is that we do not have much downtime. We spend our time on some sort of device an average of 11-12 hours a day! The rest of that day is spent eating, running errands, etc. Where do our minds wander if we aren’t allowing them the space and time to think and imagine? Social media has become our source for fulfilling so many needs, including busting the boredom.
Don’t get me wrong. Social media is part of our culture and is necessary for many aspects of our lives. However, we shouldn’t allow it to become the sole way of creating and communicating. Think of it as a gateway to further connect with others and learn new things and try not to get lost in the scrolling habit.
I am grateful for all the social media platforms. I have made friends and connections that are invaluable. However, I will not forget what’s most important, either “in real life.” Balance is the key.
It may do us all some good to to take a self-inventory once in awhile to make sure we aren’t over-consuming and are living a more balanced life. Allow our minds to have free time to just “be” and maybe do nothing at all! If we do that, I would guess we will feel less stress and have a positive approach to our day.
How much time do you spend on all the social media apps?
If you decide to cut back your consumption, what will you do with your free time?
Leave a comment here or message me! I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic!