Social media, as we know it, was created to help humans interact more in real-time. But as people flooded the Internet, the Gates, Zuckerbergs, and Jobs of our world started hiring the influencers we worship as business tools with only one function – to inspire us to acquire what they want us to desire at the expense of our paychecks.
This wouldn’t have been a big issue if only some sets of villagers in India were using social media.
The reality is scarier and in fact, alarming. As reported by the International Telecommunication Union in 2015, about half of the world’s population (3.2billion individuals) had access to the Internet.
In a bid to imitate what our friends are wearing, we are pressured to spend more on things we might never attempt purchasing in “real life” as opposed to the truncated e-reality.
With the aid of the credit card and online banking system, it’s easier to blow your money away a moment after getting paid.
Aside from the peer-piloted expenses, most people are always “attacked” with social media ads – including the annoying ones and the concealed type channeled by influencers who might not disclose their relationships with the brands. All these red flags are parasitic to our financial health and must be uprooted before it wrecks our paychecks.
The Distractions on the Internet
Apart from spending money online, there’s another currency we lose every time we click on a link – the attention.
How many times have you stopped a project because of an entertaining chat with a friend or a new trend on Twitter? The distraction caused by social media cannot be described with words.
If time is money, then every minute you spent on Instagram is a direct deficit on your potential income or paycheck city.
Below, are the means employed by the ruling elites to siphon our attention without our permission.
The Instagram Wave
The foremost tool is something I term “the Instagram wave”.
Even though this is not the only social platform alleged of attention siphoning, Instagram is leading as a platform where people of similar interests like, comment and repost the costly meals they eat, the unfathomably interesting locations they’ve been and the flashy wears they’ve bought.
So, what’s the issue? This is a modern version of the historical “Mantenerse al día con Los vecinos” which means keeping up with the Joneses on translation.
To get more likes, comments and follows, you need to meet a certain standard that your paycheck cannot sustain.
The Virality Tool
Another challenge that accompanies investing a lot of time on the Internet is that you’d be exposed to different advertisements.
As a matter of fact, platforms like Google and Facebook show you ads based on your search history or information, making the ads irresistible and more tempting.
While direct advertisements are enticing, the virality tool makes clicking on a “buy now” embed a no brainer.
It is not uncommon for brands to invest a lot in making a campaign go viral on the net.
These campaigns are oftentimes motivational and tempting.
To overcome these tools, you need to reduce the time you spend online.
“You can be an influencer” inspirational message
Everyone can become an influencer, thanks to the Internet.
There’s a rat race on every social media platform, which includes brands, individuals, business owners, and business moguls.
This encompasses major social celebs and YouTubers who have been able to build an audience and monetize their social handles.
It’s evident that this urge to get famous is a great factor in entrepreneurship, storytelling, and other niches. However, there’s a potential challenge.
As we’ve experienced in the past, the challenge comes when businesses put all their hopes into one platform.
For instance, the recent Facebook News Feed, Google and YouTube commercialization adjustments have affected a lot of brands and destroyed many businesses.
This proves that banking on platforms you have no control over is a very costly mistake.
That’s the reason diversification is a must for those interested in making money via social media.
The value of your distracted attention
Though social media has undoubtedly contributed to reduced paychecks, the major threat to our financial health is our inability to control when to stay online and when to go offline.
This has cost us more than we can imagine.
For some people, it’s their financial stability, for others it’s their relationship with their loved ones and social life.
It’s ironic that the tool that was created with the hope of bonding people of various tribes have ended up polarizing the global community further.
Day in and day out, people of different races argue online over superiority, gender issues, and politics and we have not been able to figure out how the Internet can be useful to the business owners without jeopardizing the paychecks of the masses.
While building mutual online relationships between the few rich and the masses seems to be a herculean task, we need to restrict ourselves from being victims of advertisements and virality.