Sometimes one thinks that social networks instead of uniting us isolate us from reality. Since they emerged with the birth of Facebook in February 2004, they have changed the way we relate. Before we sent an email or an SMS to a friend to meet once a week. We did actions one at a time over the course of a day. Now, every day, it’s as if we’re staying with a lot of people, some of whom we don’t know in person.
We receive more and more stimuli and at a younger age. Children with 5-6 years already have a console and spend the day playing games that require their attention to the fullest. They do not pay attention to games that develop their motor activity or to what surrounds them.
Experiment of how much we see in a day
I encourage you to do an experiment. Go to the registry of your favorite browser and see the pages you visited yesterday. Once you enter the browser history, HISTORY > ALL THE HISTORY (in Mozilla Firefox), choose yesterday and click on CTRL+A, to select everything. In my case, yesterday I was at 475 pages.
And this is a browser, but I use more than one. And I don’t mention checking mail in Mail and Microsoft Outlook, or working on computer programs. All this is the computer, but I have also used the mobile throughout the day.
That said, it is obvious that every day we can interact more than 2000 times with devices of all kinds. It is not a bad thing in itself, but it requires a huge brain expense, all day we challenge our brain to perform actions. Sometimes, we perform several actions at once. And that on stimulus supposes a mental and physical exhaustion.
The reality before social networks
10-15 ago we were not tied to a device. We didn’t get up looking at our phones or a screen. We saw the time on a clock. We got up, without further ae. We didn’t have in mind that as if we were a robot we have to open a device to see messages that we don’t care about.
The past life was less stressful, we had less stimuli and we could plan a week ahead. At work we also used to specialize in doing one thing and it was more productive. The reality today is far from this.
A social experiment?
I remember a few years ago a video that went viral titled Asking Strangers for Food VS Asking the Homeless for Food! (Social Experiment). A Youtube channel used to record videos on the street with a hidden camera. In the video, a boy was walking through the suburbs of a city in the United States looking for strangers and people who lived on the streets. If the person was eating, he would ask for a piece of that food.
Most of the people, who were poor in solemnity, told him to leave and insulted him. However, there was one guy who did share a piece of pizza with the youtuber. It was a tramp who was sitting on the ground begging. That act of sharing was rewarded, and the youtuber gave him a lot of money. The video ended with dramatic music showing how the tramp began to cry for that gesture made by a supposed stranger.
I’m sure the Youtuber went home happy and knowing that he had done a great job and was going to get a lot of money when he edited the video. As it was. I am struck by this dichotomy, as the youtuber feels satisfied for having saved the life of a person for a few hours, and that the next day he continues to think about recording another video without worrying about the poor vagabond again. Life for the YouTuber continues, but it also continues for the other person, who will return to his harsh reality after a few hours and will continue to ask for the streets.
Social networks that take us away from reality
And this is where the problem lies. We have so many things pending or that are waiting for us to do something, that we are not able to decide. The devices decide for us. The mobile continuously sends us notices in the form of notifications so that we pay attention to it. We receive emails or look for information on a topic to know something that caught our attention but that really does not help us much. It’s just more information to satiate our curiosity.
We consume most of our time on actions that report nothing. Seeing a WhatsApp notification from a workgroup wishing where someone wishes us a good weekend makes us disconnected for a few seconds from what we must do.
Multifaceted job offers
The work is becoming more and more overwhelming since they ask us to do more for less. In addition, the more a person wants to cover, the less he will perform, since he will always have something to do, and he will never end up with what he has pending or it will cost him a lot. Job offers already come from social networks which makes us tie ourselves even more to them.
Today it is required in the works that you are multifaceted. In this job offer that I share “only” has these requirements as seen in Fig. 1. I have modeled it in three columns and I have blurred it due to privacy issues. If you think it’s fake, just look for any job offer on LinkedIn or other platforms to confirm it.
Perhaps you should start by clearly delimiting what the functions of a person are and making him a specialist in one thing, not in making him a specialist in 10 things and 90 more accessory things that he will not use in his working life.
The cycle of now, a reality today
And it is that the cycle of life has been reduced to the last 24 hours. The now, the already. Do the test, go to an event and fix the people who see your mobile. The vast majority when they are waiting to see a movie or in the theater inevitably see their mobile phone. And I’m sure the vast majority see news, or videos, or stories from the last 24 hours. They consume content from the last 24 hours.
One paradigm of this is the Twitch platform. In it millions of people see others in rigorous live telling any bullshit or playing computer games. Many of those people who broadcast live say they are content creators when in fact they are content players. The content was created by the company that made the game.
Therefore, the use of social networks and being many hours online makes us enjoy a minute of calm in our lives. Our brain is hyper-stimulated from several fronts and goes superficially through tasks that were previously important to us. Now that the metaverse is very fashionable, perhaps it would be a good idea to disconnect from all social networks and the internet and start enjoying the real metaverse, a walk through a forest in autumn.