Motion vs. Action
When you’re in motion you’re planning and strategizing and learning. Those are all good things, but they don’t produce a result.
Action, on the other hand, is the type of behavior that will deliver an outcome. If I outline 20 ideas for articles I want to write, that’s motion. If I actually sit down and write an article, that’s action. — James Clear, Atomic Habits
The dissatisfaction with social media and big tech in general has been growing steadily over the past several years. Dozens of books and podcasts on the subject have come out, as well as documentaries such as The Social Dilemma, and CEOs once hailed as heroes have been repeatedly called before congress.
And yet, very little seems to have changed. We seem to be stuck in a state of motion when it comes to the problems of social media, and are having trouble moving into a state of action. Experts gather more and more data on the harmful effects of social media, journalists report doggedly on the missteps of the companies, and young people are encouraged to study ethics. These are all great and essential things, but if we don’t move from this motion into some sort of action, change will come too late, if at all.
Frustrated social media users often ask what they can do, and then receive the same oversimplified answer — delete all your social media. This isn’t a desirable or even practical answer for everyone, and doesn’t necessarily solve the overall problem. If you aren’t ready to ditch social media, here are a few simple things you can do to have a better relationship with it and fight some of its more unsavory practices.
1. Adjust your settings. This handy article tells you how to access your privacy settings on several of the major social media platforms. So if you haven’t lately, make sure your settings are as satisfactory as they can be. Twitter now allows you to view data they have stored on you, and you can also download “Information About You” from Facebook to get a better idea of how you’re being tracked.
2. Spend less time on the platforms. Choose an app that helps you manage your screen time, or impose other limits such as social media “fasting periods.”
3. Find a new platform. We usually think of the few biggest social media platforms when we talk about social media, but you might be surprised at how many alternatives there are. We’re working hard to soon make droplet.social an alternative platform, too!
4. Join a like-minded community. The Center for Humane Technology hosts events and discussions where you can learn more about human-centered tech, and meet others who care about the same things you do. Droplet has also started our own LinkedIn group to facilitate discussion and the sharing of resources and ideas.
Experiment with the above suggestions and meditate on which meet your social networking needs. Hopefully you will find that there’s a wider and better world out there waiting for you.
Have any other suggestions? Leave them in the comments!
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