If you wake up in the morning and immediately check how many likes, followers, and comments you’ve had on your latest social media post, before you lean over and kiss the other person in your bed – then you need to ask yourself whether social media is your first love?
If the little red dots and the superscript numbers cause your heart rate to rise and your adrenaline to pump, for anxiety to build – then you need to ask yourself whether your phone is causing you harm?
If you are checking the number of likes or follows you have an comparing them to someone else – then you need to ask whether social media is causing you harm?
Now imagine having the self-awareness to realise that you’ve grasped your iPhone instead of your iPartner, and to realise that perhaps you should invest in an alarm clock so you can get your phone out of the bedroom and remove one temptation in favour of a more positive, human temptation.
Imagine having the self-control to switch off all notifications so that you can concentrate on the tasks you want and ignore distractions. You can lead the dance, not follow. You can be proactive and not reactive in your life.
Demetrification could be the answer to some of your problems. Moving the charger to the kitchen may help even more.
It turns out that Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are all looking at ways to reduce social media comparison anxiety by removing the immediate visibility of other people’s likes or follows from your social media feeds.
Sounds like progress to me.
Since 2012, an Illinois-based artist named Ben Grosser has been exploring how numbers — the number of likes on a post, the number of friends or followers you’ve amassed — shape the experience of using social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. To anyone who would listen, he has espoused the view that those numbers, known as metrics, mold our online behavior in ways deeper and more insidious than we realize — and that we’d all be better off without them.Will Oremus – The Illinois Artist Behind Social Media’s Latest Big Idea, OneZero, Medium
Ben Grosser, an artist/professor/world-changer, developed a browser extension that removed the social media metrics – ‘demetrification’ – in an experiment to see whether such a simple act could relive social media anxiety from your daily endless scrolling. It worked.
Now, the social media giants are catching on and thanks to demetrification, it looks like the next generation of our children – those for whom social media is a native environment – they may just be spared some of the narcissistic behaviours that are creeping into our online societies.