Well I have to admit that although I do have accounts for different social media, I’m not a crazy fan of them. My Facebook page sucks. So does my Instagram page. The reason why I decided not to update them that much is that I had to spend a huge amount of my time on them and thus I got less time for other things I value more, and if I wanted to simultaneously do my work and take care of my social sites, I became really distracted and I ended up doing neither well. For example, if I posted something on Facebook, every time when there’s new comment or new LIKES on the post, my phone’ll ring or vibrate so that I’ll have to stop what I’m doing and check my phone. And even if I decide to leave it alone, my mind will at least think about “maybe I should ignore it” and that’ll also be a distraction from my work. People might say that you could always turn the notification off and such. But wait, as long as you decide to post something, you’ll always be longing for comments and LIKES, and your phone would be a magnet that draws you to thinking about it.
But I have to say that we cannot just shut down all of our social sites, just because they might impair our focus and efficiency. Social media like Facebook can provide us with useful information, like important social events. They can also bond ourselves with friends, and let us communicate with family and friends even if we’re miles apart. I think that as long as we make a fine line between work and social media, we can reduce the negative impacts that are brought by social media. When we’re studying or working, we should focus on the work and leave our phone alone.
In China, there’s an app called “Wo Yao Dang Xueba” (literally means “I want to be a studyholic”). You can set goals before you study or work, for example, that I want to study for an hour. Then after you press start, the phone will switch to the timer mode. If you activate the phone before the timer goes to zero, then you fail to reach your goal. The app will automatically post on your social sites (you need to link it to your social accounts before using it of course), telling your friends that you’ve failed to focus on your study or work. Or if you’ve completed your goal, it will also post a congratulation message on your social page as a kind of “showing off” gesture. What’s interesting about this app is that it takes advantage of the social media to prevent people from using them too much.
Of course, you might say that still, with that timer in mind I’ll still be distracted anyway. It’s true, but I have to say that it’s not exactly Facebook’s fault that you cannot focus on your work. It’s you yourself who make the call whether to let in the distractions or not. People get distracted all the time, with or without social media. You could be distracted from your work by birds twittering outside your window when Twitter was not introduced to the world, right 😛 ?