Being always on - Social Media and whether Middle Aged Men can keep up :-)
Man Up / Man DownFebruary 23, 2023x
44:0640.39 MB

Being always on - Social Media and whether Middle Aged Men can keep up :-)

We are all over social media, and feel like we have to be. FOMO, the fear of missing out, we are constantly connected and compare ourselves with others.

Volker had been on a social media detox for a few weeks at time of recording. However, he went back to ‘stalking’ others and finds it rather boring now to scroll other people’s images and show offs, if deliberate or not. At time of recording he said he might never go back on social media the way he used to. Scrolling Tiktok mindlessly, wasting time watching reels on Facebook or Instagram. An article recently highlights the negative effects of social media on mental health

David likes the groups on Facebook where he made friends. And that’s where Facebook adds a lot of value connecting like minded people. Whether it is the local selling group or the Jaguar fan page. 

However, the science shows that on social media we talk about ourselves 80% of the time however, in real life, during discussions we talk about ourselves 30-40% of the time

David mentioned the Slipknot singer who has recognised his social media addiction is as bad as his former addiction to drugs and alcohol.

This is because we build muscle memory and habit so easily - the mindless loop of constantly checking your phone. The content never stops and you need to realise that you can never catch up on all the content. That’s true for LinkedIn these days too, and again LinkedIn also showcases all the successes, and business wins too. 

Every parent has a Whatsapp group for football, classes, tutor groups or friends. The challenge with WhatsApp is that most people don’t know that they can turn off the read notifications, giving the sender no indication whether you have read the message or not. This puts less pressure on the receiver to respond, but the instant gratification and demand is horrendous. Some people however are really good at ignoring Whatsapp messages.

Volker has turned off notifications for emails and social media for a long time. There are only a few apps allowed to send him a notification, as he wants to be in control. Despite the lack of notifications, Volker is notorious for constantly checking Slack and is the first to respond to new threads as he is still checking it all the time.

We speak about Molly Russell, who committed suicide. While her suicide might have not been prevented, it highlights how social media algorithms can target all of us with unhealthy content. Coming from a technology background, we feel there should be an easy solution to show “healthy” or helpful content (such as ads for Samaritans). But the greed and money made by the technology giants is greater than the need to help people. That’s how it seems to us anyway.

Evidence shows that there has been a correlation between increased depression and anxiety in teens, since the rise of the smartphone. Sadly this has also resulted in an increase in suicides

We discussed how social media leads you to compare yourself to others. However, this is not a true reflection of life. It doesn’t matter which social network you’re in, people rarely share a post that a project fell through or they are in financial troubles. You portray the positive side of things, and you brag about your wins. It’s a matter of how you share your success, and Volker spent 5 years interviewing people on Success on his former podcast Stories of Success.

And we need to consider that a lot of success comes with sacrifices, from divorce to hard work etc. It’s about balance, and we can not see how people got to their success. The pictures you share are happy pictures, yet how often do you share a sad picture or story? 

There was a story of the Crying CEO on Linkedin which went viral, and people had an opinion whether he was sincere or not. What’s your thoughts on that? David also mentioned how the war in Ukraine is used for social media attention whilst you can do good without posting on social media.

We also touched on Twitter, which was Volker’s go to social media tool but he fell out of love with it. David used to be very active there too. We shall see how Twitter changes once Elon Musk takes over. And what would have happened if Twitter had bought Instagram. Touching on Clubhouse, there was a hype for a while and both David and I seem to feel middle aged.

Another huge challenge on social media is fact checking. Fake news, and who is actually fact checking everything that they see and read on social media? And what’s the future of social media? Will we all wear VR headsets and talk to each other in the metaverse? Bodysuits? Web3.0? Or does our brain live in some sort of glass jar whilst we can be transferred into a body?

The data Facebook has is crazy, with them being able to predict divorces or break-ups. Volker and David discuss the case back in 2012 where US store Target sent vouchers for maternity products to a teenage girl.

It turns out that through data based on previous searches/purchases, Target had worked out she was pregnant before she or the family had.

What is your relationship with Social Media?

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