According to a 2014 Pew Research Center study, 42% of couples reported being distracted by their phones, 18% reported arguing about time spent online, and 8% reported problems with how their partner spends their time on the internet.
We now live in a world where our phones are our best friends and the most used object in everyday life and it is not surprising that social networks have affected our relationships. The 2019 Social Media Trends report of the Global Web Index shows that the average daily use of social networks by Internet users around the world amounted to 144 minutes per day. According to a 2014 study by the Pew Research Center, 42% of couples reported being distracted by their phone, 18% reported arguing about time spent online and 8% reported problems with how their partner spends his time on the internet.
Social media, well-being and self-control
Facebook Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have a negative impact on their well-being, according to a 2017 survey by the Royal Society for Public Health, United Kingdom, Britons aged 14 to 24 feel that Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter have an adverse effect on their well-being. While social networks have given them greater freedom of expression and community development, the platforms have exacerbated anxiety and depression, deprived them of sleep, exposed them to harassment and created worries.
The problem is simple: people have more friends on social media platforms than in real life. Instagram Facebook and Instagram pages, rather than talking with your family and friends in person or even on the phone.
Paradox of friendship: social isolation by networks
In 1991, Scott Feld, a professor of sociology at Purdue University, wrote an article with a curiously interesting title, "Why your friends have more friends than you". His subject of study was real-world friendship networks, and not e-friendships that are created by clicking on a "connect" button on social networks. But, as sometimes happens in science, the real value of Scott's work began to be understood much later. It was in the 2010s, that some some of us can rightly recognize as the decade of social networks, that Scott's work on the so-called "friendship paradox" began to get noticed.
On the left side is a perfectly socially egalitarian social network, where each person, represented as a circle, has two friends.
Now suppose that a friendship has blossomed between a new couple of friends, leading to the right network, represented by the connection between the two blue circle.
Then any person represented by a black circle always has two friends, but his friends have two and three friends, respectively, that is, 2.5 friends on average. Alas, she has fewer friends than her friends! If she were the kind of person who would like to be very socially connected, which a lot of us are, she would find that a cause for concern. This relative social isolation is true for each black circle, which trains four out of six people in the entire network.
This is Scott's theory in action, best summarized by simply rephrasing the essence of the title of his article: "Most people would be less socially connected than their friends". Real-world social networks have largely non-egalitarian connection patterns, which leads a large majority of people on the network to experience relative social isolation.
In addition to relative social isolation, the friendship paradox exacerbates other biased patterns to the detriment of users' mental health. Just consider what we post on social networks and what we don't post. A visit to a beach is a reason to post on Facebook, but fever is not. Getting promoted to a job is celebrated on LinkedIn, but a failed promotion application is not. A rare culinary success finds its place on Instagram, but none of the many sloppy culinary experiments achieves this. Thus, social media makes us believe that our friends all have a great life with holidays, professional successes and good food. Alas, our own life is nothing like that! This feeling of misery, like the paradox of friendship, is shared by the vast majority. An increasing number of cases of suicides and self-harm have been linked to social media activity.
Embracing digital minimalism
Unsubscribing completely from social networks is not a serious solution, instead we could try to restrict the time spent on social media, in order to free up time for other activities. Just like any other addiction, digital addiction needs to be reduced slowly, not in one go.
Ok, how are we going to get there? At this time, each solution comes in the form of an application - also not for the digital decluttering. Applications like AntiSocial, SocialX, UsageSafe and many others. Many of them allow you to set limits on the use of social networks. Maybe it's time to listen to people like Cal Newport.
Digital minimalism clogs your mind and allows you to rediscover your creativity.
Free up some of your time on social networks to pick up a book, make that call this morning, or just relax and take your time to enjoy your coffee. Facebook Instagram or Facebook, and then look at the number of likes several times, wait ... Life will be better without the expectation of "likes". After all, humans are not made to be constantly hardwired.
This article is based on the English-language article by Kiran S and Deepak P, IPS officer and Assistant Professor of Computer Science at Queen's University Belfast respectively : https://indianexpress.com/article/technology/opinion-technology/digital-minimalism-social-media-screen-time-6512025/