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The Social Dilemma

As some of you might know, I wrote about technology (primarily Apple) during the early 2010s. The technology landscape has evolved dramatically since. As this has happened, there has emerged a need to apply mindfulness to my explorations of technology.

When I kickstarted things, the aspect of technology that felt like the largest drain in my life was my time on social media. When I took a closer look, I began seeing a parallel between how I had become weary of the city as it grew and how I have become weary of spending time on social media as it has grown (and evolved). Some platforms have fared better than others, but eventually, I’ve found myself struggling with each of them. This struggle has taken many shapes and forms. I’ve struggled to stay connected. I’ve struggled to keep up (both as a creator and consumer). Lastly, I’ve struggled with its impact on my mental health.

So what can one do? To quit completely hasn’t felt like a viable option. What has made more sense is to approach my time on social media with greater consideration and mindfulness (both as a consumer and a creator).

What has helped is to routinely take a time-out from social media to reflect on what works for me versus what doesn’t. For instance, such breaks made me realize I wanted to reduce my time on social media (both consuming and posting). Based on this, I ended up reducing the frequency of my posts (especially on Instagram). While consuming, it is easy to get carried away. I have mainly used Apple’s Screen Time feature to be mindful of this by letting me set and adhere to limits with my time on social media. As I’ve taken breaks from social media and approached it more mindfully, I have been able to redefine my relationship with it. My time on it feels less compulsive. It feels lighter. I’m once again finding myself inspired and connected after each pick-up.

The breaks and reduced time do present a challenge; I am more likely to miss a post by someone I follow. To safeguard being able to discover updates from my favorite accounts; I have also simultaneously begun following my favorite accounts over email or RSS (if they offer it). Both email and RSS offer certain benefits that I appreciate. Unlike most social media platforms, I can see ‘all’ updates from someone I follow when using email and RSS and it can be maintained in chronological order.


P.S - You can follow my work over email or RSS if you use either.

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