Tuesday, January 13, 2015

The power of Facebook

I made a decision several months ago to remove the Facebook app from my phone. At the time, it seemed like pulling off a band-aid as I hastily removed it just seconds after a friend said he had done the same.

Facebook, by itself, is not bad or good. Like a brick, it's a matter of whether you use it to build a school or break a window.

But social media has a deeper effect because of one thing. Attention.

Never in the history of the world has so much attention been given to one device. Our phones are becoming an extension of our body. They go everywhere with us. Can you imaging lugging your Commodore 64 into the restaurant and playing Maniac Mansion while your kids were trying to talk to you? Absurd.

But our phones - and apps like Facebook - are consuming us. Many people spend quite literally a hundred hours a month on Facebook. Even more interesting, if you ask those same people how much time they spend on Facebook, they'll most likely tell you that it's very little.

Social media is consuming us while the attention of the people right in front of our faces are being neglected. That's powerful.

I don't know of any other tool in the universe that has the power to consume someone so deeply, yet make them think they are not being consumed. If you're reading this and thinking, "That's not me," try meticulously keeping track of time time you spend on social media. I'd love to hear your results.

For those that are past the denial stage, do more. Create more than you consume. What could you accomplish, how many people could you help, how much of the world could you visit if you would simply trade those Facebook hours for creating something new? I double-dog-dare you.