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Digitally addicted

Updated on September 27, 2019
Joanna Pilatowicz profile image

Joanna is a life coach, author and dance teacher. For more information, read the profile.

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Are you excessively posting on social media and feeling more lonely? Are you a freelancer/artist/small business owner? Is your physical and psychological health suffering from being continuously “plugged” to social media? Are you spamming people convinced that you aren't? Having headaches, your heart beat rising? Losing focus? Feeling stressed?

There are plenty more symptoms descriptions you will find on the Internet.

In result you care less, are depressed, cannot concentrate or react properly to what is happening in your country. Your critical thinking is dissolving. It produces performance anxiety by competing against yourself to get more likes to your previous post. You are … a zombie.

Yes, you are addicted and you may still believe it's all under control.

It’s ironic as a lot of you were never into social media, but modern times have put a new norm: if you are not on social media, you are socially and professionally dead.

You may feel like you have no choice—after all we cannot function without digital! So, you think you need social media, otherwise “something bad will happen”, your business will go down. I thought that too. However, we missed the moment when it started to control us. No wonder, it was so well designed based on social psychology!


There was so much said and recorded already and here I can just give a you a few links to show you how serious that is.

For example, the designers knew about the dangers and kept their children safe!

https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/gadgets-and-tech/bill-gates-and-steve-jobs-raised-their-kids-techfree-and-it-shouldve-been-a-red-flag-a8017136.html


https://chrislo.ca/bill-gates-and-steve-jobs-knew-about-the-dangers-of-smartphones-and-social-media/

The dangers are not only depression and body symptoms resulting in chronic diseases. Read about correlation between using social media and loneliness.

https://chrislo.ca/hows-that-social-media-working-out-for-you-survey-says-millennials-the-loneliest-generation/


So much has been already said about this matter, but I feel it is not enough. It didn’t reach me those years ago, so I could know better. Great TV show such as “Black Mirror” is one of my favorite portraying this and others social dangers we are currently facing.


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Let me confess …


Recent years I was trained by the best! Best books, coaches, mentors – specialists of marketing and promotion. I received a list of over hundreds of things to do in order to promote my books. I managed to spam over thousands of people on Facebook, Twitter and probably some on Linkedin. As a disciplined personality that won’t rest till a project is properly done, I kept going. Thankfully, I listened a bit to the first call from universe – that is – landing in a hospital. I still didn’t know though that it might be related. After all everyone gets sick. Or is getting sick the natural state of a human being? That is another subject but…


I slowly started to recognize how it really works and how our brain is tricked into believing something, therefore keeps doing the same thing, creating a bad habit.

Then, it occurred to me that this race – in my case —towards reviews on Amazon and Goodreads — is participating in a sick game. As a reader – those times when I could read books everyday and I read a lot, are probably gone – I was never writing a review. I was just enjoying reading. The same applies to watching movies. TV shows! There are more people like me, who just love to read or watch, learn or be entertained by meaningful content without rating, reviewing, boosting on the Internet. Then, who is the real reviewer?

In the articles below, there are lists where you can buy reviews if you are an Indie author. Do you really think that the day the book is launched some readers genuinely bought a book in a first day, read it the same day and rushed online to leave a review?

That would lead to another question: how many hundred thousands of dollars/Euros, etc. do you have to spend in order to boost sales? All that investment and effort pays off maybe to corporations but not individuals who most of the time cannot afford it so,instead of doing their artistic work, they spend the whole time on the Internet, trying to promote their books! In reality, physically you cannot do what hundreds of hired people in corporation are doing for hours every day to boost one single project!

https://www.wsj.com/articles/companies-manipulate-glassdoor-by-inflating-rankings-and-pressuring-employees-11548171977

https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/authors/pw-select/article/64718-the-indie-author-s-guide-to-paid-reviews.html


Now let’s look at that social media from a social point of view. Are you really feeling “connected” by liking someone’s posts and chatting for hours sitting alone in your room? Yes. Because that is how our brain works. If something IS in your mind, your brain doesn’t really perceive the difference between what is real and what is imagined. This is how you co-create your reality, by having it in your mind FIRST. The designers knew it. But then, you come out of that great state feeling … the emptiness around you does not match what you felt in your virtual reality. What will you do? You’ll rush back to your notifications!


Why we are resistant to warnings?

Dr. Tali Sharot explains how positive information makes us feel well whilewe tend to avoid negative information until we reach a point when it is too late … https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xp0O2vi8DX4

“People tend to change their opinion toward a more desirable one!”

“Highlighting action gives a positive response, another is an immediate reward.”

“If the reward is in the future, it is not so attractive.” You choose something that is sure now, not in the future, as that is unknown. So it is logic.


What alternative do we have?

Am I really committing social and professional suicide by withdrawing from social media?

What is the alternative for artists, small businesses and freelancers?


The only remedy that fully works and something that a lot of us still cannot AFFORD – not financially but simply because it is akin to committing social and professional suicide – is to QUIT social media.

This is psychological and this is an addiction and it is not even because you liked it in the first place. You were convinced it was cool or necessary. It was not like a nice glass of wine to your dinner. Now, compare that to alcoholism and imagine you are continuously forced to sip alcohol all day long. Why? Cause everyone is doing it, it is a boost! Can you really control it by being in the presence of alcohol and not sipping it with others? Ask an anonymous alcoholic. Therefore, it is not making much sense to advice people: well, just be less on social media, monitor that, and so on. If you don’t understand that, talk to anyone addicted to drugs or alcohol. They will explain to you that they cannot be around a substance that ruined their life, at least not in a phase of healing. It takes great discipline to develop immunity towards it and is still possible.


Psychologically, if you meet with danger, human and animals' reactions are always the same:

1. freeze (shock phase and that is not a solution in most cases. In nature you may be simply eaten. In a chronic-repeatable situation it usually creates helplessness.)

2. run away (or quit)

3. attack (taking up the challenge and this comes only for those feeling stronger than their opponent or a being in a given situation. This one is not used as much as the first two options.)

It is not the logical mind that makes the decision. This is imprinted within your subconscious, therefore instinct of what you will do.

Is there another way?

4. Shape-shifting. I like to think that there must be a solution and following one of my favorite authors, psychiatrist, psychologist Arnold Mindell and psychologist and artist Amy Mindell (http://www.aamindell.net/ ) who drew a lot from ancient cultures, shamans, described once how powerful it can be to psychologically shape-shift – becoming an object or a person of our trouble. This, however, requires consciousness, practice, a mentor who can lead you first through this process. In terms of social media, it can mean – how to use social media and not be used by it. However, as the Devil card in Tarot, the bindings won’t set you free. That is why it is required to master shape-shifting before thinking you can control forces that are stronger than you. You cannot. You can only cooperate with them, understand their message.


Final note

If you have a stable job, QUIT social media. I bet it will be hard even for you.

You have to identify the benefits of detox from social media first, otherwise your subconscious mind will protest. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E7hkPZ-HTk I like how Dr. Cal Newport's explains that.


Now, let me speculate, as I cannot find that information on theInternet, but if you do, please send me the link. If you are not on Facebook you cannot get visa to USA. I wonder if that is the truth?

And more …

The most popular social media sites have zero content! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dmXcjvL9VSc

If social media is like a virus, it is Self-limiting. It won’t kill everyone, as it needs to survive too.


Additional material I am posting here:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPmNf362_K0

I post, I blog, I comment, therefore I am? https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L85ZEoK1Ntw

Designed to be addictive: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3E7hkPZ-HTk


If you are an active doer, have a strategy for artists, freelancers or small businesses, please write and connect with me by email.

Joanna.pilatowicz (at) gmail.com

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    • profile image

      Simone Camilleri 

      6 months ago

      An excellent article. In this day and age, when social media has taken over our lives, it is good to be reminded of all these interesting points.

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