I have lost my way recently, and it took taking a TRUE social media break to realize this: I likely have a social media addiction.
While in Thailand…
Gone were the days of being a slave to instant likes and comments. Gone went the moodiness.
I felt…strangely free.
I logged in a few times to see what was up.
Minutes later I’d notice my mood had dipped. Dramatically. I realize now I completely lost where I came from. Quality, thought-provoking content that allowed me to build a 6+ figure website, which in turn allowed me to also invest in other businesses like an olive oil company. What a giant mistake to just became another one of the many, unable to pen something more than 280 characters or an Instagram caption.
For those who don’t know, and I know there’s some new readers who have joined the list and haven’t gotten the promised daily content in the last two weeks…I spent the last two weeks in Thailand on a great vacation with the girl.
And, it really was a vacation.
I’m happy to say that I never actually removed the mouse from my laptop bag. I took the laptop out a few times, mainly to help us figure out stuff in Thailand, but overall…I’d honestly say I worked less than 3 hours in the two weeks combined.
A few texts and emails here and there, but I didn’t do any actual focused work. I also didn’t write a single word, which is rare for me these days. But, as I also attested to before, the social media downfall of my writing ability was at full force.
But, you know what?
I actually feel pretty…ready to write now. We’ll see how this post turns out at the end of it, but I sat down at the computer for the first time this morning. And for the first time in months, I felt like I didn’t have any real brain fog surrounding me. The words I want to share with you now are coming in more clearly than they have in a very long time.
One of course, might ask, “who” is responsible for my own social media — yes, I’ll say it — addiction.
Is it on me for not being able to handle it?
I will certainly not hesitate to point some of the blame squarely on my own shoulders. I have an addictive personality. It’s why I’ve had some really down moments in life when I’ve been hooked on video games like World of Warcraft, and also a big part of my success (obsessive work on something I like, I suppose).
So, yes, I deserve some of the blame for not getting a grip on how much time I was wasting on there before. Perhaps I deserve the majority of the blame. It doesn’t really matter, and I’m wasting words at this point. Social media isn’t part of a typical “addiction” though.
It’s sort of like handing an alcoholic a smartphone with a button to summon a drink on command though, if you think about it.
I’m fairly certain Alcoholics Anonymous isn’t going to start implementing that practice anytime soon.
“They” Want You To Have Social Media Addiction
One point I do want to bring about, is that while I’m certainly going to accept some of the blame, at the same time…what chance do you really have against the social media addiction and the machine?
Do you have any idea how many of billions have been spent optimizing those algorithms to keep you plugged into them?
Facebook has your behavior down to a T. They know exactly how long you stay, the kind of post/colors/dopamine hits you need in order to keep staying.
The amount they know about you is nothing short of insane.
I’m a reasonably smart dude. They beat me.
And then you look at your average person (I’ll say for the sake of this I’m “above average” — duh).
They have no chance…
Profits & Online Business
And yes, there have been plenty of profitable things that came out of doing a lot of social media. But, in many cases, those customers I acquired are very “by the month” type of folks — they just jump on trends, to whatever’s hot and then they leave whatever’s not. Not saying that everyone who has joined this community from social media is like that, but there certainly are a few (if they are even here anymore, that remains to be seen…).
But, it actually becomes very easy to begin to understand things once you are on the outside looking in.
You see the people on Twitter fighting with each other, calling each other out — they’re like monkeys flinging giant turds at each other. There are a lot of people frauding out there. They deserve to be called out. I think a lot of people are going to lose their business in our little Twitter/social media niche in the coming months.
The bubble burst.
Quickly, and in a messy way.
Some of you know what I am referring to, some of you have no clue (and you’re lucky not to!).
But, the dudes who made a little white lie here and there in order to make a few course sales are going to be hurting. Very soon. That’s all I’ll say on the matter.
Social media can be extremely powerful and can also be an extremely negative time suck.
Final Thing About Social Media Addiction & Relationships
Let’s not kid ourselves, social media addiction can really affect your relationship and personal life.
While I’ve been fortunate enough it really hasn’t impacted mine — and my girl isn’t a big user at all, there’s no doubt in my mind that it can absolutely ruin people. You know what I’m talking about. The parents that take their kids out to dinner and the kids spend said dinner on their phones. Or the guy who takes a girl out on a date who can’t stop checking her Instagram while having a drink with him.
You know exactly what I mean.
It starts small and innocent (“just let me respond to this real quick!”), and in reality it’s just one step after another…
I’m going back to blogging. Consistently. My KyleTrouble.com blog is going to focus on business, because it’s getting harder to rank for multiple “niches” on the same website. I will focus on business there. ThisIsTrouble.com will continue to house my personal posts (like this), travel, dating, and more random stuff (it already has some 1,300 articles on it, so it makes sense to keep that style).
I’ve got some catch-up to do with Selo Oils and am working on a new business podcast with my agency partner.
I also have a real desire to start a newsletter of sorts. A monthly edition thing that will allow me to cover what’s hot when it’s actually hot. It takes CONSIDERABLE time to create a quality product around a hot trend…and you know that’s not my style. I can’t keep up with the fake gurus jumping on every trend every month and making a garbage $200 PDF “course” about it. This might allow me to tackle these trends on a surface level (while retaining quality) without risking the trend dying before I can make what I feel comfortable releasing).
Anyways, I’ll be sharing some thoughts about Thailand the rest of this week, so stay tuned.
Thanks for sticking with me through this.
PS: I took 4 flights and traveled for nearly 30 hours yesterday, so I barely know what day it is, but I did realize it is April 1st.
And no, none of this is an April Fool’s prank.
Leave your thoughts on social media below…
(And read this…)
Welcome back Kyle,
I hope you had a good vacation.
I’ve been experiencing the same, although I’ve always tried to limit my use, can’t ignore that the half an hour or so I spend daily on social media massively impacts my mood.
It’s a double-edged sword as Twitter brings in traffic, but we’re all better going back to blogging, linking to each other’s sites and cutting out the social media middle man. Like you say, the social media sites have done a great job of taking us off our platforms and onto theirs.
Jamie, thanks, and you nailed it. It’s capable of bringing in large numbers, and scaling rather quickly (much easier to get 1k Twitter subs than 1k blog subs, or email subs).
Part of this evolution is simply lack of attention spans with most people, and us content producers have given them what they want, but ultimately the social media sites don’t want you leaving them…so even linking to your own stuff has it’s downsides (I’m reasonably convinced the more you link out the slower your followers will grow).
I don’t know about you, but Twitter is still less than 10% of my traffic. I need to focus on the bigger picture. Time to stop being a cuck and producing stuff for social media companies 😉