Do you reach for your phone at the merest opportunity?

Walk into a lift – phone. In a queue – phone. In a traffic jam – ahem.

And, when you reach for your phone, what’s your motivation?

For me, the honest answer’s typically “because it’s there”.

Have you ever tried leaving your phone untouched, unless you actually get a call or a message? It’s painful, right? The allure is so strong.

How about deliberately leaving your phone at home when you go out for a walk? Unthinkable.

Our phone has become our shield from the physical world – our pacifier, our safety net, and our way of avoiding boredom, introspection, or simply other people. Also a way to get that all-too-tempting dopamine hit – the ‘reward’ of just checking.

The power of social

When you check your phone, are social apps your go-to? If so, how often do you find yourself lost down the rabbit warren of doomscrolling, only to find you’ve lost an hour and feel a bit **** as a result?

And yet, you do it again and again. Well, I know I do.

There’s a tension when it comes to social media…

It keeps us connected and communicating. It enables us to ‘be seen’, have a voice and stay in the loop; stay part of our tribe, whatever this means.

But, it’s also fraught with distraction, self-comparison and an unrealistic presentation of life – what many would call ‘best life’… “why is it that most people’s lives seem so sorted, but mine, well, isn’t?”

A few stats

Over half the world’s population uses social media in some form. People turning 18 next year will be the first adults who have never known a world without Facebook. Instagram’s largest demographic is 18-24 year olds…

…lots more at www.socialpilot.co/blog/social-media-statistics.

Wheel-in the metaverse

We’ve been hearing in the news about plans to transform Facebook from a social media network into a “metaverse” within the next 5 years. This has been described as “an embodied internet where instead of just viewing content – you are in it”.

This sounds kind of exciting, though what might the impact be, in terms of the issues we’re already facing? Does it risk pulling us further away from the real world and heightening the various challenges faced around mental wellbeing, attention deficit and data privacy etc?

This is a subject close to the heart of MakeLifeClick. We’re exploring a new way of doing online community, based on real life not best life (or VR life!). We’d love you to join the conversation!

Why do you use social media? What keeps you coming back? What would you most like to see change?

(Cover photo by Ludovic Toinel from Unsplash)

About the Author: Tim Jameson

I’m the founder of MakeLifeClick, an invitation to reimagine online community together.