negative effects of social media

7 Negative Effects of Social Media on Society & the Entrepreneur

In recent episodes of the podcast, I’ve talked about how I’ve started avoiding social media as much as possible.

This is a huge turn around from someone who at one point completely embraced having social experiences online. Even though I’m a Xennial, one of the main reasons I relate with Millennials so much is that I took to social media like a duck to water.

Technology was always easy for me. In fact, I was a online geek before it was cool.

I embraced chat rooms, messaging, blogging, and online purchases way before they were mainstream.

Thing is, since its inception social media has changed into somewhat of a popularity game.

Does popularity equal success?

What I’ve come to find out, for me personally, is that it doesn’t necessarily correlate.

And it might be time for a lot of us struggling entrepreneurs to re-check our own desires before we continue down this path.

 

Designed With You In Mind

There have been a few instances where people who helped start social sites have actually logged off permanently from their own creations.

In the above linked article, it reads…

Former Facebook vice president of user growth Chamath Palihapitiya said that social media is “eroding the core foundations of how people behave” and that he feels “tremendous guilt” about creating tools that are “ripping apart the social fabric.

He adds,

We curate our lives around this perceived sense of perfection because we get rewarded in these short-term signals—hearts, likes, thumbs up—and we conflate that with value, and we conflate it with truth. And instead what it really is is fake, brittle popularity that’s short-term and that leaves you even more—admit it—vacant and empty before you did it, because then it forces you into this vicious cycle where you’re like “What’s the next thing I need to do now because I need it back?”

In short, those of us who scroll through Facebook regularly are being subjected to material that has an impact on our self-esteem.

You might be wondering how this is actually being done? What are some examples? Well, here’s a few things that we’re being subjected to without really even realizing it:

Ads

When it comes to ads on TV, magazines, and other media, we tend to block it out.

However, we’re programmed to believe that the newest trends are found on social. Therefore, we’re somewhat oblivious to the advertising that is there. Mainly because they’re tuned to relate to our interests, we only see things that we would buy. So whenever we see an ad by our favorite company, thought leader, or celebrity, we’re actually being coerced to think in a specific way: to buy!

Showing Only The Best of Life

Just about everyone who posts on social media only does so when notable things are happening. Just think of family and friends who are known for this. Are their lives really that great? If you’re not around them regularly in person, you might just think so!

Likewise, same thing goes for people who seem they’re on all the time and posting great content. However, this doesn’t mean that that’s how their reality actually is.

Many times these posts are carefully planned and the result is something that has been rehearsed.

 

Keeping Up with the Jones’

Even if we’re not seeing these “fake” posts, we might still feel that our social network is at a higher place than we currently are in life. Many of us who have used social media regularly start to use it as an extension of our identity. That means that all those videos, photos, and mini-novels we’re posting are pieces of ourselves.

If you don’t have all those things posted, then you might feel that you’re not keeping up in appearances. This in itself might just make you feel like you’re not up to par.

 

Need for Attention

When we first make an account on a social media platform, we might have done so to not only see what’s going on in the world, but to also let others know what we’re doing.

However, often times when we post a picture or video and only get a few likes or hearts, we might wonder why – often times feeling rejected.

 

Fake Connections

When many of us first started our accounts on Facebook, it was the norm to only add people you knew or met in real life. In fact, it was downright weird to add people you didn’t know.

Later, when games started showing up, the more friends we invited and added to the game, the more points or credits we might have received.

The problem is that we only knew so many people who played games on Facebook, so many gamers started adding people that they found in those games to play with. (This isn’t anything new – it’s how online gaming normally works.)

As time went on, it became the norm to add more random people based on other things we mutually liked or barely conversed with in some group (if at all!).

If we have a number of these connections, we might feel that it’s necessary to stay in front of these folks – especially if we have a business. Many of them might be potential leads.

But the truth is that many of these “online friends” are adding you for their own purposes. Maybe they simply want you to be part of their audience for their videos and posts. Or maybe they just want to max out their friend count so they appear as if they have a strong following to others.

Either way, don’t put much time into making these people happy if they’re not regularly engaging with you. They’re probably not even paying attention to what you’re posting because they’re too involved with what they’re doing.

 

Knowledge

There are a ton of groups on Facebook which look like they’re a group to foster relationships between like minded people. Unfortunately, these groups are often made with an end goal in mind. Many times that end goal is you buying something from the founder.

However, you might feel that you’re outsmarting the system by soaking in everything they freely post in that group and making the connections yourself.

If this is the case, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice.

Truth is, you’re not an expert like them and there very well could be something that they’re leaving out on purpose to keep you coming back in search of that one piece.

You probably won’t know until you buy that missing piece through their course.

 

Attention Interruptions

I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve noticed people filming things on their phone where they should be simply enjoying the moment and soaking it in. Or, maybe they’re on their phone when they should be engaging with those around them.

The thing is that many of us are not fully engaged in our daily lives because we’re too busy documenting our activities to make us look interesting on social media. (For online business owners, it’s even more common!)

However, depriving ourselves of these fulfilling moments will work against us in the long run. We might feel a lower connection with those around us than we wish we did. We might not have many recent epic memories where we’re not holding the phone up in front of us.

If you find yourself wanting to do a better job of chronicling your experiences, then you might consider enjoying the moment first and then before the end, making sure you got a picture of what was going on and everyone involved. That might make more sense then to record the entire thing.

 

Action Steps

So guys, this post was simply about building awareness.

We all need to think about whether income is more important to us than popularity. If so, you don’t have to have a huge audience to make a good monthly income.

In fact, I know of several people who are millionaires that only started building their thought leader following once they were financially successful. JR Rivas (AoL Podcast 104) is one of those guys. Another is Damion Lupo (AoL Podcast 125).

Give it some thought and be more aware of how others are influencing you to think!

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