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Monday, November 21, 2016

Come On Folks Time To Shut It Down, Get Out Of Here While You Still Can!

Get out, plant a garden, go for a walk, try surfing, ride a bike, talk to people you don't know, do anything but sit at home on the internet...

The more time young adults spend on social media, the more likely they are to become depressed, a study has found. 

Of the 19 to 32-year-olds who took part in the research, those who checked social media most frequently throughout the week were 2.7 times more likely to develop depression than those who checked least often. 

The 1,787 US participants used social media for an average 61 minutes every day, visiting accounts 30 times per week. 

Of them a quarter were found to have high indicators of depression. 

"One strong possibility is that people who are already having depressive symptoms start to use social media more, perhaps because they do not feel the energy to drive to engage in as many direct social relationships," said Dr. Brian Primack, director of Pitt's Center for Research on Media, Technology and Health.

 "People who engage in a lot of social media use may feel they are not living up to the idealized portraits of life that other people tend to present in their profiles. 

 This would be concerning, because it would imply that there is a potential vicious circle: people who become depressed may turn to social media for support, but their excessive engagement with it might only serve to exacerbate their depression."


Quit Social Media. Your Career May Depend on It.' (nytimes.com)

The New York Times ran a strong opinion piece that talks about one critical reason why everyone should quit social media: your career is dependent on it. '

The other argues that by spending time on social media and sharing our thoughts, we are demeaning the value of our work, our ideas

(Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternate source.) Select excerpts from the story follows:In a capitalist economy, the market rewards things that are rare and valuable. 
Social media use is decidedly not rare or valuable.
 Any 16-year-old with a smartphone can invent a hashtag or repost a viral article. The idea that if you engage in enough of this low-value activity, it will somehow add up to something of high value in your career is the same dubious alchemy that forms the core of most snake oil and flimflam in business. 
Professional success is hard, but it's not complicated. 
The foundation to achievement and fulfillment, almost without exception, requires that you hone a useful craft and then apply it to things that people care about. [...] Interesting opportunities and useful connections are not as scarce as social media proponents claim. 
In my own professional life, for example, as I improved my standing as an academic and a writer, I began receiving more interesting opportunities than I could handle.
 As you become more valuable to the marketplace, good things will find you. To be clear, I'm not arguing that new opportunities and connections are unimportant. 
I'm instead arguing that you don't need social media's help to attract them. My second objection concerns the idea that social media is harmless. 
Consider that the ability to concentrate without distraction on hard tasks is becoming increasingly valuable in an increasingly complicated economy. 
Social media weakens this skill because it's engineered to be addictive. 
The more you use social media in the way it's designed to be used -- persistently throughout your waking hours -- the more your brain learns to crave a quick hit of stimulus at the slightest hint of boredom.
 Once this Pavlovian connection is solidified, it becomes hard to give difficult tasks the unbroken concentration they require, and your brain simply won't tolerate such a long period without a fix. Indeed, part of my own rejection of social media comes from this fear that these services will diminish my ability to concentrate -- the skill on which I make my living.
 A dedication to cultivating your social media brand is a fundamentally passive approach to professional advancement.
 It diverts your time and attention away from producing work that matters and toward convincing the world that you matter. 
The latter activity is seductive, especially for many members of my generation who were raised on this message, but it can be disastrously counterproductive.

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