A Famous Tech Expert Says You Should Quit Social Media. Not So Fast There - Social Media Explorer
A Famous Tech Expert Says You Should Quit Social Media. Not So Fast There
A Famous Tech Expert Says You Should Quit Social Media. Not So Fast There

Cal Newport, a renowned professor and author, continues to argue that it is best not to use social media.

He advocates for permanent deletion of your account and never returning, as well as skipping any social media space, including Facebook and Twitter.

The arguments sound fairly solid when you hear them. He doesn’t see the value, and views apps like Facebook as mere distractions.

Unfortunately, this argument seems woefully flawed to me.

Newport, who wrote some outstanding books deserves our kudos. He raises some important points regarding distraction and how these companies can use social media apps to deliver ads that are profitable for them. We’re endpoints for advertising, nothing more.

The problem is that social media use is dangerous. For starters, quittingThis isn’t the same thing as Controlling. As someone who has recently studied the productivity field these last two years and is about to release a book about how to be more purposeful in our work, I can say that there is some value in the apps, and quitting them doesn’t work anyway. In a workplace setting, it’s all but impossible not to use social media, even if it is keeping up on the company feed, commenting on posts, and using the social media chat features.

Not only is it difficult to keep track of who uses social media and what benefits they are finding, but you also lose the ability to monitor how other people use them. I’ve long maintained that social media is an excellent way to keep in touch with family members, especially those that live overseas. These apps enable us to connect and form a community using digital tools.

And, honestly, that’s really all they are is tools. You can either use them to benefit yourself or you can let the distractions rule your life.

It is better to be more cautious and limit how many times we use apps, as well as how long we keep them open. This teaches us how to control how much we use all digital tools, not only the most engaging. Once we learn how to effectively use social media tools, it is possible to apply these same concepts to other apps like email clients.

More than anything, I worry about the “cold turkey” approach because people eventually get sucked back into using the apps. “I’m deleting my account” says the person who is not able to control usage, and hasn’t dealt with a tendency to overuse the apps. After a few months or weeks the person has re-entered the app, perhaps even using it more often than before. 

How can you limit usage? This is why I don’t suggest deleting anything. Instead, my approach to the issue is to identify the purpose and value of what you do and to limit how much time you spend on the app. If you use Instagram more than an hour per day, it is considered heavy usage. It is possible to not delete your Instagram account. It is better to manage your obsession with time and to keep track of how much you actually do. Tell yourself — I am going to only read 10 posts during one session and then, when I reach that last post, I’ll close out of the app. You will be happier. It’s a blessing in a way. You can control your social media usage and then control the other aspects.

You have my challenge. Set a time limit or choose how many posts you’ll read or comments you’ll make. Don’t delete the app, but find the value and benefit that works for you. If you do decide to limit your usage somehow, send me an email (johnbrandonbb@gmail.com) about how that proved effective for you in controlling how you use these digital tools.

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About the Author

Adam is an owner at Nanohydr8. He really loves comedy and satire, and the written word in general.

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