I am an addict.
I mean that in every sense of the word: I suffer from the worst kind of addiction. So do my family, friends and essentially every individual I know.
It is killing our mind and body, and yet we are mostly oblivious to its existence.
We inject the addictive substance into our veins dozens of times a day.
The high it provides is unlike any other: it intoxicates the body by satisfying a most primal need- the need for attention.
It is hugely accessible to us all, usually placed within a hand’s reach. The more we consume it, the better the high becomes. It’s the perfect drug.
And best of all? It’s free, and it comes in infinite supply.
Zuckerberg and other brilliant entrepreneurs have cracked our code. Having analyzed immeasurable amounts of data, they now know exactly what will make us want to spend more time on their ‘social’ network. And that is a very dangerous reality.
They personalize our feeds and create in-app browsers to make sure we never leave their app. As a result, we become captivated- because we don’t know any better.
We express beliefs we don’t believe in, take photos of food we won’t eat, share music we don’t listen to and ‘like’ posts we like nothing about. And for what?
For attention. We have created an alter ego, who is really nothing like us at all, portraying the kind of person we would want to be viewed as.
We have conned ourselves into believing any of it matters. Into thinking it can have a quantifiable impact on us as people. And the more people believe it, the stronger the illusion grows. People don’t inhabit social networks; figments of imagination do.
Stop, before it’s too late. Day by day, minimize the time you spend grooming an alter ego. As with any severe addiction, overcoming it will be an uphill battle. Symptoms of withdrawal will soon occur, and the instinctive urge to write a lengthy Facebook post in reaction to the latest news story will be very hard to resist.
When you overcome it, though, you’ll discover a pretty rad person was hiding behind the facade of a social network all along.
Then you’ll realize it was worth it.