QUOTES & WISDOM
TOP OF THE MIND
QUOTES & WISDOMfrom the Top of the Mind
QUOTES & WISDOM
Top of the Mind
The Truth About Social Media
I saw a version of this quote on Pinterest a while back, and thought it would make a great addition to my weekly “Quotes and Comments for Life” because of the tendency for many of us to find ourselves spending inordinate amounts of time scrolling through social media. According to a study done by the influencer marketing agency, Mediakix, the average person will spend more than five years of their lives on social media, with teens spending the most (sometimes 9 hrs a day or more).
Of course, all of that isn’t spent just scrolling through other people’s lives, some is spent connecting with others, and I’m not here to shame anyone into putting down their phones. Instead, I just encourage those of us who want to have more influence in our lives to make more purposeful decisions with respect to how we use this powerful tool, and how we spend our lives, in general.
For those of you who follow my “Life from the Top of the Mind” philosophy, this means making deliberate choices from the purposeful part of the brain (the neocortex, what I call the “Top of the Mind). The antithesis of this is making choices from the fear-based part of the brain, or the limbic system/brainstem. You see, this lower brain is responsible for our survival as a specie, and, therefore, tends to pay more attention to fear versus joy or love. Why? Because joy and love, while really nice, aren’t necessary for our survival. Unfortunately, this has the lower brain interpreting anything that is worrisome or negative as dangerous (threatening to our survival), and, therefore will direct our attention to that fear if we let it.
FOMO (or fear of missing out) is a great example. Obviously, this is driven by fear, and if fed, can result in our spending our lives scrolling through the lives of others and making sure that we don’t miss anything. Not only is this a problem because of how it can monopolize our time/life, what we are scrolling through isn’t always (or even most of the time) an accurate representation of what the other person is experiencing.
There is a lot of research these days on the content of social media, and the results suggest that people are reluctant to post messages that portray them as sad, or having difficulties with certain aspects of their lives such as relationships, their kids, and even their job. Part of this is due to the fact that we want others to see us in the most positive light, however, the result is that the image of other’s lives is being skewed to the positive which can have us failing by comparison.
Therefore, I suggest we make choices about how we use social media (how much time we spend on it and the credibility we give it) in a way we would recommend to someone we love. We can certainly enjoy staying connected with others and learning about what they are up to. However, we don’t want to find ourselves mindlessly scrolling and hoping that the next post will give us that kick we are looking for. Or if we do find ourselves mindlessly scrolling, we shift our focus to something that is truly meaningful.
In other words, if creating a meaningful life is important, let’s make sure that we are making meaningful decisions about how we spend our time rather than letting the fear-based part of the brain make these decisions for us. Otherwise, this could have us missing out on life out of a “fear of missing out.”
~ All the best, Dr. Bill