Social Media Accounts are both blessing and a curse. I still remember one of my first social media accounts was with Orkut. I was quite excited with a thought of being connected with my friends, family members, and acquaintances. Similar to a mobile phone, these days there is a common chatter to take a break/holiday from Social Media. I think one of the reasons is that we are over-connected now.
There is no official count available on no of social media networking sites. My personal observation is that on an average an individual has 5-6 active social media accounts. Trust me if you are truly active then managing your social media profile is a full day’s job. Personally, i have observed that people spending the almost full day on social media apps/sites.
Recently, i took a very bold decision and deleted all my personal social media accounts. It was not an impromptu decision but very well thought through. I was weighing the pros and cons from last 6 months. Finally, i decided to go ahead. In this post, i will share the 7 points that weighed on my mind to decide in favor of deletion. The readers of this blog may or may not agree but the points to be shared are very valid and logical concerns/conclusions.
Social Media Accounts – 7 Reasons Why I Deleted Personal Accounts
1. Loss of Productivity:
Recently, there was a study published that in India people spend average 2.3 hours daily on social media accounts. The first look of this statement suggests that it is fine. Now correlate with another study which mentioned that employees in India spend approx 1/3rd productive time on social media apps. In productivity, we already rank lower and with the increasing influence of social media accounts, there is further loss of productivity. These studies corroborate the fact that we are becoming less competitive.
A few days back, i received a joke on my WhatsApp Account. It reads that “Do you want to earn Rs 30,000 per month from WhatsApp, Facebook, Twitter etc. If the answer is Yes then delete these apps from your mobile and start focusing on your work/profession. You can easily earn Rs 30,000 per month”. Though it was a joke but so close to reality. The reason being, social media accounts are sort of addiction because they increase the anxiety level to check “What’s New”. Initially, you will check once in a day then once an hour. In a short period, you will be online 24×7 and check updates on a real-time basis. The biggest concern for some of my friends is “How many likes they received on their new pic?”.
For a moment, leave all the studies aside, personally, i observed a sharp drop in my productivity. Therefore, i thought it’s high time to delete all the personal social media accounts and exit all the WhatsApp groups.
When you download social media app, how many of you check or wonder why you are granting so many permissions to the mobile app. Most of the apps need access to Location, SMS, Contacts, Identity, Phone Calls, Device Info etc. I fail to understand why a simple kids rhyme app need access to my Location, SMS, Contacts, Identity and Phone Calls. Therefore, privacy is a major concern and your privacy is at a serious risk. In order to protect mine, i deleted all the social media accounts :).
3. Data Charges:
In my telecom circle, one of the leading telecom providers is offering a 3G data pack of 2GB data at Rs 348. If you are active on social media then this is the bare minimum requirement. Have you ever wondered how much you and your family is spending on data usage per month including broadband and mobile data packs? I can guarantee it must be minimum Rs 2,000. For many families, it is monthly household expenses.
Social Media Accounts are heavy data guzzler. Not many people are aware that by default “Data Usage” settings in Whatsapp is that the media is auto downloaded. For example, if someone sends you a video of 20 MB whether you watch it or not, it will be downloaded i.e. 20 MB mobile data is used. The mobile user then shows ignorance related to data consumption. The definition of media includes Photos, Audio, Videos, and Documents. Therefore in this case data usage is not directly in your control but the people who are sending media files to you.
As we are moving towards consumption of rich content i.e. videos, the average data consumption is increasing at fast pace. In recent past, my social media accounts data consumption was as high as 5 GB per month. Therefore, this was also one of the reasons to take divorce from social media accounts.
4. What are you gaining from Social Media Accounts?
You will answer that “networking” or “i stay in touch with my friends”. In my opinion, these are very lame excuses. I know a person with more than 750 people in the friend’s list. He does not know 650 people properly. Even if it is networking then it should be qualitative, not quantitative. If you think that you can gain professionally through networking then gone are those days. In a recent study, it was concluded that probability of getting a job or business through professional networking is negligible i.e. just 8%.
On the personal front, i feel that social media accounts are quite stressful. As an individual, our own lives are full of ups and downs. On top of it when we go through the ups and downs of 500 people in our social media accounts, it is humanly impossible to manage. I have seen people getting frustrated to check out pics of a friend who is out of India 5-6 times in a year on a foreign holiday. In short, the posts / updates / shares on social media profiles are an unnecessary invitation to unwanted emotions in our lives. Let’s make life simpler and make our life more meaningful rather poking into other’s life.
5. Income Tax:
The personal social media accounts are no longer “Personal”. Your information is now “Public”. Today, i was reading that income tax department is now actively scanning the social media accounts to check out the spending behavior of the individual. It is then linked to the income declared. Though it is unofficial. Therefore, people who are actively posting pics of foreign holidays regularly should be beware if the tax is not paid. It is advisable to pay income tax then click pic wherever you want. I can assure that no one will bother you.
Personally, i don’t have anything to hide on tax front but as an individual, i love my personal space. I don’t want my personal life to become an open chapter or “public” for anyone and everyone to read / scan / access.
6. Jobs and Loans:
In recent past, more and more corporate and banks are scanning the social media accounts of a potential job seeker or borrowers. Therefore, if you are rejected in a job interview then it might not mean that you are not fit for the job. Maybe your post on some controversial topic on a social media profile is responsible for the same.
Similarly, your pic of expensive watch you purchased recently might be responsible for rejection of personal loan. As it shows your credit behavior as an impulsive buyer and not able to manage your finances.
Now you will question that point no 5 and 6 are not relevant to me then why i should be worried. The answer is very simple, when your social media accounts are under public scrutiny than as a user it is very difficult to judge what is right or wrong. Social media is still in nascent stage. Even today experts are not able to figure out what is good or bad credit behavior. Therefore, in future, you will have one more headache of social media behavior. You never know where it will hit hard. Therefore, prevention is better than cure.
7. Online Reputation:
I touched upon this topic in past. In one of the post, 4 Business that can take advantage of the fear factor i shared that the management of social media presence will be the key business of future. The more active the individual is on social media, higher the risk of damage to online reputation. Moreover, cyber crimes are already on the rise. Identity theft, Cyberbullying etc are common these days. As the internet is the unregulated place, therefore you will not have any control if someone is causing damage to your online reputation. Therefore, it is better to stay away from social media accounts.
Words of Wisdom:
You might be wondering that i am against social media. It is not correct. The point is that it is addictive in nature thus reducing my productivity. Secondly, i don’t have any control over my privacy and online reputation. In my opinion, future professions or jobs will be driven only by automation and digital technology/presence. Therefore, it is critical to safeguarding the digital presence. The personal social media accounts are driven by emotions and personal opinions. These might or might not be correct logically, politically and rationally. Therefore, better to stay away from sharing the same on digital media.
On the contrary, professional social media accounts are always managed with caution and sensitively. An individual or organization is careful about the brand image. These are maintained purely from a professional growth perspective. That is why i have mentioned that i only deleted my personal accounts. I will now divert/devout more time and energy towards my professional social media accounts. The sole objective of these accounts is to build online reputation :). It is the irony of life i.e Private profiles may damage online reputation but public profiles are managed to build the same. Therefore, private profiles are normally a curse whereas public profiles are generally blessings.
Copyright © Nitin Bhatia. All Rights Reserved.
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