It was in mid-March when news first broke out about the Cambridge Analytica scandal that wrapped up major social media platform Facebook.
Since then, there have been numerous articles talking about the scandal, what’s being done about it, and of course opinion pieces.
I’d like to share my own thoughts on the scandal, by honestly taking a different approach to the whole thing.
Indeed, stealing information and exploiting people again and again is a bad thing. That’s not a shocker to anyone.
But I’m of the mind of looking at these events and asking one thing…
“What else can we learn from this experience?”
I agree completely that Facebook should be making some changes.
People should be watching carefully how this scandal is going to play out.
But I also think it’s time that we address something else…
How much time do we spend on social media? On the internet?
I think one of the biggest realizations that I’ve had with this scandal is that it put into perspective the answers of three questions…
How much time I spend on the internet?
How much time do I spend working and hustling?
How much time do I spend doing other things?
When we ask ourselves these questions, it really sinks in how much we depend on social media, the internet.
Of course it’s a valuable tool.
Through the internet I’m able to grow a brand, get paid, and support other people that I otherwise wouldn’t be able to. Many people can attest to the very same thing.
But in light of this scandal, I think it’s time to look at social media a bit differently. Our sheer dependence on social media for approval, amongst other things are clear indicators a change must be made.
But we also must make a critical decision on how much time should we spend on social media.
This is the purpose of this article.
Many people think it’s an impossible feat to remove technology from our lives. You are absolutely right.
But we can limit how much time we spend on it as it does affect us significantly. There have been several studies showing depression being linked to social media use. Not to mention social media now can be used as a tool to grow extremely wealthy, but also to exploit and manipulate people.
We created a beast and have been feeding it for years now. Now is the time to change that around.
It’s why I’ve decided instead of covering more about the dangers, I’m asking what can we do next?
I’m not calling for a boycott of all social media platforms.
But I think it’s time to look at what platforms we should be using and for how long along with deciding whether we should be posting on there or not.
So below is a list of things that we can do without the use of social media or the internet. You can use this time to think about what you want to limit or remove from your life too.
Of course there are many other activities that we can do outside of what’s on this list. The list is practically endless. But my hope is that this list can show how much we can do without the internet.
When we limit our exposure to the internet, we can spend more time with the people around us and grow in many ways.
Here’s the list.
Clearing Out Your Wardrobe/House
Over the years we have a tendency to stockpile a lot of clothing. Much like we have with our house/apartment we let things pile up. We buy things that we think we would like and then forget to wear it for months or even years. The same is true with various items.
The suggestion is simple: Take some time to go through your wardrobe/house and filter all of your shit.
Hell you can even make some money out of it by putting some of the stuff on eBay, or Craigslist.
You’re basically detoxing yourself of items you have no use for any longer.
My advice for judging something is useful or not is if you have to think hard about when the last time you used this item/article of clothing, sell it.
Go To Your Local Library
You may not think about it much, but some libraries are pretty badass. Yours may not be on that list, however libraries are still pretty cool.
They provide a wealth of knowledge and it’s old fashion knowledge and entertainment. Plus it’s a good excuse to improve your reading speed.
On the same vein, you could also learn another language or brush up on an existing one by selecting a book in that specific language.
Or take up a training course at a local gym. You can take up yoga or piloxing (pilates and boxing), swimming, and more.
Working out is good for a number of reasons, one being it’s really good for you, but it can also stimulate your brain.
You can generate some business ideas or think of new angles to approach your goals, or even set goals right then and there.
Watch A Movie By Yourself
This may be very weird, but seriously, take the leap into the unknown.
Some times the greatest experiences in our lives are ones that we experience all by ourselves.
It doesn’t matter the movie, whether it’s something amazing or outright terrible, but go out and do something like that once.
Learn To Cook
Cooking can be an arduous task for many that takes hours out of their time and that’s alright. Cooking is actually very stimulating and a lot of fun as well once you get into it. You’ll only get better the more you practice.
If you already cook on the regular, I challenge you to cook something you haven’t made in a while or that’s completely new.
For me, that’s tomato soup. It’s been a long time since I made that from scratch.
Buy Some Plants And Learn To Tend Them
I’ve been putting this off myself as well and that is to learn to take care of flowers.
Not only is it good habit building (you’re taking care of another living thing), but there are some other benefits too.
There are several flowers that release certain scents that make people feel various emotions. For example, the use of lavender in a room can cause people to sleep better by calming yourself.
There are of course some other plants that help with concentration as well.
Go Out To A Café
This I did the other day, though with the purposes of writing.
For a few hours I did nothing but work and walked around downtown. It was actually a pretty fun time.
Either way you can use a café as a means of working in a new atmosphere, or you can be bolder and have no plans at all. Buy a cup of coffee, tea, or latte, smile at strangers, people watch, or just sit there.
You never know what might happen.
Meditation has never been some thing that only religious people do. It’s a thing that helps many people no matter the walk of life.
Try it out and see what it can do.
Use A Real Camera
Yes, not the one on your phone, a real genuine quality camera. Not to bash the cameras on our phones, but a professional camera is a nice one to have. Take it out for a spin and you’ll see the difference.
If you’ve seen any of my vlogs, you can spot the difference between a camera phone and a regular camera. Anyone can.
So believe me, a professional camera is WAY better for shots and videos. Even the $300 cameras.
Take some good shots around the area and have an adventure out of it. You can even sell those photos as well through the multitude of stock photo sites.
Schedule Brunch/Breakfast/Lunch With Someone
I do this almost every single Saturday. I go out and hangout with one of my cousin at our usual breakfast spot and we chat about things.
Doesn’t have to be with your cousin, but someone that you care about.
The idea here is that it prompts you to talk, provided you have a rule about no phones and all that.
It can create a stimulating conversation and you can deepen your bond with someone when you do this.
You know, the thing that social media is designed to do.
The list is endless for what you can do and as you can tell from this list, not everything costs you money either.
Take some time to disconnect from the world.
If you’re a business owner like myself, take advantage of automation and create a good backlog of content. Use that time to move away from social media and the internet. It’ll do you some good!
To your growth!
Eric S Burdon