Curbing Social Media Addiction For The Sake Of Relationships
If you watch Netlfix, you might have come across one of their recent documentaries called The Social Dilemma. Did you watch it? What did you think of it?
Not sure if you had heard before about how social media is addictive, I had but must admit did not have a clear picture of what it meant.
Until this documentary explained in depth how the algorithm works, the systematic effort to keep us online, that our time of looking at an ad we don't even care about is being measured and examined from all angles, and that the way we are experiencing political polarisation today is largely attributed to the way these algorithms work, I personally had not understood how my addiction manifests, had not understood how deep in the brain these companies are attempting to dive, had not understood the extend of them lacking social consciousness, and had not understood how my minute shifts in perception had been taking me away from myself and my health.
And even with all that, as the documentary was finishing I thought, look at all these intelligent and knowledgeable people, I must find them and follow them, then the documentary ended by saying 'follow us on social media - just kidding!' and I thought, wow... didn't even blink...
I have personally felt the emotional drag and the emotional pull of the online world since I started my coaching training, and when I started to look seriously into building an online business, in order to do that, I thought I had to purchase courses to understand how to do it.
It's been a couple of years, and the first glimpses of how taxing this constant excitement, dopamine hits, being on the receiving end of induced emotional states, being triggered of feeling left out and of being stepped on by competition that lives to dominate, all that, I felt it early on but had difficulty verbalising it.
The latest of these I actually experienced this morning after seeing yet another course being advertised while the current one is not even done yet and I felt it, a rush of excitement mixed with tiredness and I thought wow.... they are not letting us breathe... boosting adrenaline, building overwhelm, confusion, and excitement, then they drag us along....
So I won't be doing that course, but what I did instead was to announce in my Joyful Relationships group on Facebook that I will not be posting during the weekend anymore.
I will be restructuring the posts and the content so all that is useful will be posted during the week instead to put my own contribution to curbing social media addiction.
I would rather my ladies save 5 or 10mins and a few dopamine spikes from reading my posts and use them ideally on themselves, their partner, their family, and their friends, even if my social media algorithm gets affected.
Or I hope they will... If they are also addicted and they don't know it, they might instead look for other posts or another business to follow.
Some people might say I am shooting myself on my business foot, but I have been struggling with these concepts since the very beginning, and struggling to reconcile them. I cannot be claiming to support relationships and yet contribute to addiction that pulls relationships apart, and all we need to know that this is happening is to look around us how much couples who are together spend time on their phones, during time they are meant to be spending it together, and how anxious they can get when their phone is away from their pocket.
This is again one of the gifts of the pandemic in a way. We are awakening to the choices that are good for us, choices that are meaningful and which support connection, choices that support emotional and physical health, and a healthy looked after environment.
What will you keep close to your heart as restrictions are increasing?
What will you do to protect your relationship and your family from the interests of people that have not considered yours?
And what will you keep with you and cherish for after the pandemic ends?
Hope this week starts in an even more meaningful way for you.
If you are being challenged in your relationship due to the pandemic and the situations it has brought to your life, and would like to benefit from professional support, you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Constantina Stamou is a certified Life & Relationship Coach, has trained with the Robbins-Madanes coaching school and Strategic Intervention, is an NLP Master Practitioner, has attended Tony Robbins’ Business Mastery, and has a PhD in how we change the way we put sentences together as we grow older. Her work experience includes university tutoring, charity research, and entrepreneurship which has so far translated into the TNT Dance Salsa Club in London, her Reformer Pilates Studio at Kensington Olympia, London, and The Lantern.