Rules for Life

Beware of Social Media Manipulation

Strong men know they must be responsible with what they decide to consume, whether it be the foods they eat, the books they read, or the energy they surround themselves with. Many people don’t realize the power Instagram, Twitter and TikTok have to effect their mindset via social media manipulation.

58.4% of the world’s population uses social media. The average daily usage is 2 hours and 27 minutes (January 2022).

The social platforms you find yourself scrolling through daily absolutely decide what type of content you see, and it’s not always in your best interest. 

Yes, Facebook manipulated 689,003 Users’ emotions for “science” ten years ago.

As first noted by The New Scientist and Animal New York, Facebook’s data scientists manipulated the News Feeds of 689,003 users, removing either all of the positive posts or all of the negative posts to see how it affected their moods. If there was a week in January 2012 where you were only seeing photos of dead dogs or incredibly cute babies, you may have been part of the study. Now that the experiment is public, people’s mood about the study itself would best be described as “disturbed.” Forbes, Kashmir Hill 6/28/14

Whether it’s been done since, we’ll likely never know. With the amount of personal information society is either compelled or pressured to share on these platforms, chances are many more experiments are being done with the massive amounts of data being collected.

Data is what drives their business. Social media is free for us to use, which means our data, our attention, and maybe even the results of studies being done on us are the currency keeping this platforms earning billions of dollars. Guard your mind from this type of social media manipulation. You never know who’s behind the curtain pulling the levers.

There are three ways to protect yourself from being manipulated by social media:

  1. Time Limits: Monitor and limit your time spent on social platforms. It’s very easy to start scrolling and loss track of time. Newsfeeds deliver continuous stimulation and are designed to keep you engaged as long as possible. Do not let these platforms dictate how you spend your time. Set a limit for yourself, even if it means setting an alarm. If you’re going to log in daily, do it at specific, scheduled times of the day. Logging in every time you’re bored is a recipe for excessive time wasting.
  2. Rise and Shine: Avoid checking it first thing in the morning. The first couple hours of your day are a great time to exercise, read, meditate and journal. By implementing a productive morning routine, you can increase your odds of being in a good mood. Consuming social media when you rise in the morning can hijack those efforts and control your mood.
  3. Filter: Be selective with which accounts you follow. Positive, uplifting, humorous and educational accounts will feed your mind and soul. Stay away from negativity, darkness, and immoral content. If you’re going to spend time scrolling, make it impactful.

Pro tip: NEVER spend time arguing with people online. You will never change their opinion, and all you’ll end up doing is wasting timr aggravating yourself. Time is your most valuable asset; use it wisely!

-Your Big Bro