Social media has become a big part of our lives, whether or not we are willing to admit it. We spend a majority of our sacred personal time looking at screens, which, yes – it can be enriching. But, as psychologist Adam Alter outlines in this TED Talk, we spend three times longer on apps that make us unhappy than on the ones that we see as beneficial. Another study run by the Happiness Research Institute concluded that “Facebook users are 39 percent more likely to be unhappier than their friends who stopped using the site.” What compounds the problem is that these apps that make us unhappy, whether it be games or social media, lack stopping cues – they don’t end like an episode of Jeopardy or have a final page like a newspaper. There are endless levels to beat or posts to scroll through.
You may be thinking, “But that’s not me! I use social media to share photos and talk with my friends!” This could be true for you, but it’s not true for the majority of users. In January, Global Web Index released data showing that people are using social media for more passive activities. The top three reasons for using social media are:
- To stay in touch with what my friends are doing
- To stay up-to-date with news and current events
- To fill up spare time
None of these activities stimulates engagement from the user. Rather, it is all passive consumption of information.
So, if social media is this detrimental to our well-being, why are we so committed to it? If you worry that you won’t have a way to keep or share photos, back up or export content you’ve already shared, or start saving everything you post now so you can revisit it later. You may also worry that you’ll lose track of friends, but there are so many other ways to stay in touch with the people who matter. Create a family email chain, start a Go2s group, or talk on the phone! There is nothing you do on social media that you can’t do without it. Most of our fears associated with living without social media are smaller problems than the looming monster that is our addiction to it. Rather than fearing what you’ll lose when you delete your accounts, think about what you’ll gain:
- Better sleep
- Better productivity
- More free time
- More happiness
If the idea of quitting social media and signing off from the digital world is still really scary, consider turning to an alternative platform that is focused more on connection than consumption. Go2s is an excellent alternative for those who truly want to stay digitally connected to family and friends without all of the mindless scrolling and annoying political rants that come with public social networks. The private platform available to Go2s users is designed specifically to help facilitate meaningful interactions, whether that be helping a mom find a ride for her kids in a pinch, or helping a local soccer team get organized for the season. It’s not a platform for wasting time, but for saving time. Plus, the ad-free guarantee ensures users that their data and interactions are safe from profit-hungry eyes. The Go2s team is completely dedicated to helping users live happier, more meaningful lives.