Summary of “Are You Using Social Media or Being Used By It?”

If you, like many people, use social media and generally agree that it’s an important technology, try the following experiment.
Take out a piece of paper and list your most important uses for these services – the activities that social media is well-suited to provide and that unambiguously enrich your life.
The social media industrial complex* likes to point to lists like these to justify its importance.
The average American adult social media user spends two hours per day on these services, with almost half this time dedicated to Facebook products alone.
To be more concrete, I claim that most users could probably reap 95% of the value they get out of social media by signing in twice a week, on a desktop or laptop, to catch up on the latest photos, or check their organization’s group, or to browse the most recent chatter relevant to a movement they care about.
Social media companies cannot reach multi-billion dollar valuations, or return consistent stock growth to their investors, based on controlled use.
The “Like” button? This was added to inject more intermittent reinforcement into the social media browsing experience – significantly increasing the amount of times people check their accounts.
Still use social media, if you must: but on a schedule; just a handful of times a week; preferably on a desktop to laptop, which tames the most devastatingly effective psychological exploitations baked into the phone apps.

The orginal article.