Should You Stop Using Social Media? 5 Ways Facebook May Cost You
There are at least five ways you’re losing out with each extra hour that you spend on social media. Get to know the hidden costs of your online obsession.
People talk about ways to make or save money with social media, but they don’t really talk about how much social media costs. Sure, it can be helpful in learning about things like personal finance and frugality. But is it costing you more money than it’s saving you?
1. Opportunity Cost
Opportunity cost may only affect you if your personal life is completely different from your professional life. Posting on social media can put you under scrutiny and sometimes cause you lose out on a job or a client. There have been many cases in which posting a photo or expressing an opinion has gotten someone fired.
True, everyone is entitled to their opinion — especially on their own social-media accounts. However, many employers, clients, and customers will judge you based on your online activities.
So if you’re often posting drinking photos, letting the world know your political affiliation, or even just saying that you don’t like something, be aware that someone might be watching you. And that could cost you an opportunity.
2. Time is Money
How much time do you spend on social media? The average adult spends about two hours a day on social media, according to a recent study. Think about it — that’s two hours you could use to do side hustle or freelance work and earn more money.
Have you ever told yourself that you just don’t have enough time for everything you want to do? Well, if you’re spending 14 hours a week on social media, that may be the reason! Stop using social media for a while — or only use it if absolutely needed. You’ll be surprised to see what you can accomplish in an extra two hours a day.
3. A Troubled Personal Life
If you’re constantly finding yourself surfing Instagram and Facebook, you may be sacrificing time that’s better spent with family. Social media can cause strain in relationships. For example, a 2015 study showed that envy increases in friendships and relationships when one person gets more likes than another on social media.
If you’re feeling a sense of inadequacy or envy — or even just feeling uninspired about your relationships — it may be time to stop using social media. Don’t let it cost you a friendship or a relationship. It just isn’t worth it.
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4. It’s Good and Bad for Business
Not only can social media cost you the opportunity to get or keep a client or job, but it can also take time away from your business. Many entrepreneurs and small businesses think that social media is the number-one way to get more eyes on their endeavors. That simply isn’t true. Sure, it’s a nifty tool that helps with your business, but you shouldn’t feel that you have to spend an exorbitant amount of time on social media to be successful.
Do you know how much time you’re spending on social media for your business? If it’s more than a few hours each week, it may be time to outsource, use a social-media scheduling tool, or even just take a breather.
Also, you may be spending more money on social media by trying to advertise. While “boosting” your posts may seem like a good idea at first, if it doesn’t have a good return on investment, you’re throwing money away. Take a look at your numbers — they may surprise you!
5. Increased Sadness
Recent studies show that social media is so addictive that a person can suffer withdrawal during a social media detox. What’s worse?
Even if you aren’t trying to stop using social media, it can still affect your health in some pretty negative ways.
For example, heavy social media users may experience increased sadness, anxiety, and depression. Plus, many people who spend a significant amount of time on social media are less likely to be social in real life. This may not seem like a problem at first, but a decrease in social activity and the resulting increase in isolation could cause health problems and even an early death.
Should You Stop Using Social Media?
Social media isn’t bad. That said, how you manage your activity on sites like Facebook and Instagram can mean the difference between a healthy and financially productive life and one of constant judgment, envy, and sleeplessness.