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(DAY 16) Social Media in your 30s

· 2 min read
Gaurav Parashar

Photo sharing experiment

I am not active on social media. I do browse around and consume content but I have never been active in posting on social media. It is not an active choice but as a private person, I tend not to post or interact with what others are posting. As an experiment, I did the following:

  • Started posting every day about my swim. I did it via stories on Facebook, Instagram, Whatsapp
  • Started posting every 2 weeks about significant life events. Eg anniversary of my parents

Observations about self

After performing the activity for around 15 days, I observed the following:

  • I felt a dopamine loop started kicking in after the 7th days - updating others about what I am doing -> them asking about it -> me wanting to update them more about it.
  • I felt curious about the statistics - reach, speed of reach and interactions of others with my posts. I felt it has a positive feedback loop too.

Observations about others

I observed the following about my social network friends:

  • Many of them interacted my stories on the same time of the day. My guess it that social media is a routine for them, for example, first thing in the day or scrolling in bed at night
  • Many of my friends discussed about the photo shared in face to face meetings. It was quite unexpected as it is opposite to what the social media product intends to do.

Dopamine Rush

Dopamine is a really powerful ingredient in the success of social media. I do not find being active on Instagram / Whatsapp to be of much use for me personally. A powerful fact which I looped back to, from the book Stolen Focus: Why You Can't Pay Attention

Screen time: For the average American, it’s three hours and fifteen minutes. We touch our phones 2,617 times every twenty-four hours.

He adds further about the nature of use of social media. If you are consuming hours of content on social media - thinking that you are being in touch - you are wrong, you are distracting yourself with what others are updating you about!

It’s when you set aside your distractions, he said, that you begin to see what you were distracting yourself from.