Episode 10 | Social Sugar

TSF Blog | “Social Sugar”

Food is one of life’s simplest pleasures. Holidays and celebrations, special events shared with loved ones, the discovery of new flavors while traveling to foreign places – we can mark some of life’s greatest moments by the food that accompanied it. We are truly what we eat.

Unfortunately, our society is seeing an unprecedented up-tick in obesity and diabetes, especially among children. It’s sad, and it’s concerning. And it comes down to overabundance.

The same can be said for social media. Facebook is to the mind what sugar is to the body. It’s easy to digest, and it’s designed to consume in small bites of trivial matter. That’s why we experience almost no saturation. Unlike reading books and long magazine articles (which require thinking), we can swallow limitless quantities of photos and status updates, which are like brightly-colored candy for our minds.

But our minds have grown just as polluted as our fatty arteries, overwhelmed, overstimulated, overfed content we don’t need. We are missing the quality, satisfaction, and nourishing nuances of real-life connectivity.

Be honest. Out of the approximately 10,000 status updates, links or photos that you have accessed on social media in the last 12 months, name one that – because you consumed it – allowed you to make a better decision about a serious matter affecting your life, your career or your business. The point is: the consumption of the “feed” is irrelevant to you. 

Notifications are bubbles popping on the surface of the real world. Will accumulating facts about your friends and clients help you understand what is happening in their life? Sadly, no. The relationship is inverted. The important stories are not shared on Facebook: people are actually desperately alone, sharing a very shiny, one-sided perspective about their life. 

Thinking requires concentration. Concentration requires uninterrupted time. Facebook notifications are specifically engineered to interrupt you. They are like viruses that steal attention for their own purposes. Cute cat pictures make us shallow thinkers. But it’s worse than that. Facebook severely affects memory. There are two types of memory. Long-range memory’s capacity is nearly infinite, but working memory is limited to a certain amount of slippery data. The path from short-term to long-term memory is a choke-point in the brain, but anything you want to understand must pass through it. If this passageway is disrupted, nothing gets through.

If we’re honest with ourselves, it’s hard to name truly creative minds who are also social media addicts. Writers, composers, mathematicians, physicians, scientists, musicians, designers, architects – they understand something that mainstream society hasn’t quite latched on to. They protect their creativity and thinking capacity.

We need people, not screens. We need communication, not notifications. We need connection, not mindless scrolling. We need each other, not social media.

#TSFBlog #ByeByeSocialMedia #ABetterWay

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