SOCIAL MEDIA IS (MOSTLY) A WASTE OF TIME

December 6, 2021

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There’s no reward for perusing social media. No score keeping for “likes” or “shares”. And no real value in seeing what your old high school fling looks like now and how many kids she has.  Time is a precious commodity. And after a brief period several years ago when I fell under the social media spell of ‘just one more click’, I resolved myself not to waste my time on it. And I’ve been happier ever since.

My main problem with social media is that it’s an addictive time-sink. Every day, I need to evaluate deals, and negotiate counter parties through the complicated purchasing process. It’s a lot of decisions, and requires being sharp and on point. A brief lull between meetings shouldn’t be an opportunity to peruse social media to see what random goings on are taking place. I use a good amount of social media (mostly LinkedIn) for business, but that’s the point; you can’t “like” your way to a successful deal.

When I started working, communicating with clients and potential buyers was difficult work, now we have everything we need in our pocket. Productive people view that gift as an efficient way to stay on top of outbound contracts, not a way to keep track of your friends outbound vacation flights.

I started to notice something— the majority of conversations that revolve around social media are critical in nature. It was changing people’s moods. I wasn’t surprised when a couple days later I read about a University of Copenhagen study that found people who spend at least an hour on social media a day, are less happy than those who limit their time online. Last year, the average American spent over two hours a day on different social platforms. Turning yourself into a pessimist while not working is a great way to double your losses.

It’s imperative for me to note, the goal of the social media companies is to suck you in. Why else would they send you a push notification, email, and reminder every time a friend likes your photo? Every time I looked at my phone I had five notifications on three different apps. All they care about are engagement rates, click through rates, time per session, and impressions. The amount of fun you had at the beach has absolutely no relation to the amount of attention it receives online. But the more active you are, increases the amount advertisers get charged for targeting you. And by targeting, I mean when you look up a set of golf clubs, but don’t order them, and then you see the exact set in an ad on Facebook.

Time management and happiness are why I to stay focused on the real world, but the kicker comes in the form of two additional studies. Americans are having less intimate time with their partners, and increased access to entertainment and social media are a suspected cause. Also, in 2011 one third of divorce filings mentioned Facebook by name. Now it’s clear this goes beyond time wasted at work.

You don’t have to delete yourself from the internet, but doing what I did and realizing your best self isn’t staring at a screen watching others live theirs, is a good start. Remember, there’s no reward for being on social media. At this point in life, your time is divided among your family and friends, your work, and your valuable free time. With twenty four hours in a day, how much time are you willing to sacrifice towards social media?

Call me at 847-317-0077, email me at breinberg@alliancecgc.com, or tweet me at @benreinberg or @alliancecgc if you can submit us a property to acquire and/or would like to invest with us. For further information on investing with Alliance, please click here.

My Best,

Ben

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