Let’s talk about information and social networks!
I told you in a previous article that I am in a process of working on myself. And it’s quite hard and challenging, because it involves staying away from the social platforms and using them less, only when I actually need to.
I told you I swapped doing it on my phone with doing it on desktop. What a big achievement, well done! I should award myself with some chocolate as well, so the picture is complete.
Have you heard that knowledge is power? I heard it so many times but had no idea who said it. I googled it and I found out that it first appeared written in Latin in Sir Francis Bacon’s “Meditationes Sacrae” in 1597. So, quite long before any form of social network appeared.
Which makes me understand that, surprisingly, knowledge doesn’t come from the social networks.
Are you shocked?
Are you done being shocked?
Ok, let’s move on.
These media are being used to share the knowledge. But knowledge itself comes from books, written by people, based on personal experiences and research. Years of research.
It can also come from you hitting your head to a pole while using your mobile phone. You will know it’s best to look forward when you walk. You will become aware of the risks of not doing so. It won’t be necessary to read about it in a book.
If you want to learn more about a subject you thought of, you can find certified information in a book, in a scientific article, or you can start experimenting yourself.
Anyway, we don’t do that. What we’ll do first is Google it. Which is why, Google is good. And internet itself is good. Because it’s easy to learn about stuff.
However, how many times do we actually look for books talking about the subject, buying them and reading them? Too complicated, huh? Even reading a whole article about the subject becomes boring eventually. Unless you are really passionate about it.
Having so much information around us makes it harder to absorb it. I haven’t read it anywhere, but I’ve learned it myself, from observing my habits and becoming aware of what I was doing every day.
I would search for information about a device I wanted to buy and end up watching a video on a completely different subject minutes later. And then another one and another one. Until I was realizing that I actually haven’t got any information about the device I was looking for in the first place, and now I will have to go to work, so no time left for that.
What do I remember from those videos I watched? A girl has 2 black cats and she attended an event, a couple went to Portugal and had some nice food and drinks and… pretty much that’s it. How is that contributing to my knowledge I have no idea. But I was committed in watching every other video like I was part of it. I was struggling a lot to limit myself to just one video.
Same with Facebook and Instagram.
I kept scrolling and tapping to the next stories, but what exactly was I searching for? No idea.
We divide our days in time spent on social networks. Without being aware of it, we are not doing anything else but being online.
Sending e-mails, chatting with our friends and family, liking kitty cats and babies, watching videos about how to make a recipe which we forget about 2 minutes later when we find that guy falling dramatically while skiing. Sounds familiar?
How do you filter your information? What do you have in your news feed? I would make a serious research through my social media and write down what am I taking from every single post I have in my feed. I am not saying to give it up completely, but to at least filter it.
We are doing everything online. And sometimes we can’t really escape it because it might be part of our jobs. However, we can make sure we are in control of what kind of information reaches us and how often we access it.
Being in control can be really satisfying. Following only those pages that can give you a real, relevant information, that can help you with what you are doing. Having your inbox cleared of any junk mail and promotions.
I started asking myself what do I need from YouTube? What do I need from Instagram? Why am I checking the notifications? What are my expectations? What do I want to find there? Why am I posting this? Who do I want to see this photo? This article? There are so many questions I needed an answer to.
And I strongly recommend you ask yourself these questions and dig into the answers until you are completely aware of your actions, and the whole time you are spending on social networks.
I realized I didn’t really need something from YouTube. I was watching videos just for fun. True, I had a particular interest in watching videos with people I have something to learn from. The format of talking about the information in a book or interviewing people that actually have something valuable to say. But that was just a small part of what I was watching. An I was watching videos for hours.
I realized as well that Instagram stories were more about seeing where other people are going, what influencers are receiving as a gift from the companies they are promoting and so many other things that were completely not relevant for my knowledge.
And I understood my time is way more valuable than being up to date with everyone else’s life. I decided it’s time to be up to date with my own.
I understand now YOLO is not about getting wasted every weekend, smoking, eating the highest calorie meal, checking in at every possible event and festival you can find, watching Netflix all day with a huge bowl of popcorn in your lap, speeding up on a highway just for the adrenaline and many other things we do under this excuse.
You Only Live Once! And you never know for how long. So you might as well want to start doing something truly meaningful.
Use your time wisely, because You Only Live Once.
You don’t get another chance to be extraordinary.
Start today 😊