If you think Facebook is offering its services for free, you’re wrong. Every month, you pay $1.27 to use Facebook. Wanna know how? Let me tell you a small story.
Three months back, I decided to uninstall Facebook and Messenger from my smartphone. I wasn’t sure if I will be able to live without them. I was addicted to scrolling the endless news feed to know what others were doing. One day I asked a question to myself,
“Everyday I spend most of my time looking at what others are doing with their lives. What am I doing with mine?”
So, I decided to minimize my Facebook usage. And, the first step was to uninstall the app from my smartphone. I thought if I do that, I won’t be getting any notifications, which are a major part of distraction for anyone who uses Facebook. I decided to use Facebook on my mobile browser when I feel like browsing.
After so much thinking, I uninstalled Facebook.
The first few days were very difficult. That is when struck me how I was addicted to Facebook without my knowledge. When I Googled about how and why it happens I found a lot of amazing information.
The Art of Persuasion
Several companies like Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram etc have a bunch of people called persuasion engineers or attention engineers. Their work involves developing features that hook us to the website. Their ultimate goal is to make us spend more time on their app. If you see Youtube would automatically play the next video after the end of a video and Facebook automatically plays all the videos when you scroll through its feed. So, instead of rapidly scrolling, you will stop for a moment and see the video. These are techniques employed attention engineers to make you spend more time on their websites.
The more time we spend, the more ads we watch and click. The more ads we watch, the more money they will make.
You Pay Facebook to Use the Service
As on 2016, Facebook made a revenue of approximately 27 billion dollars from ads. At the end of 2016 Facebook had 1.8 billion monthly active users. Doing a simple math, you could say that every user indirectly contributed an average of $15 per year. That is $1.27 per month. We pay the money to Facebook by clicking the ads and also we waste so much time scrolling through the newsfeed. Funny right?!
When you look at the user data of Facebook you can see people under age groups 18-34 make the majority of the user base. They comprise 59% of Facebook users. This is a period where get to achieve more things and make a future for themselves. Instead we’re spending all our time on social media. Sometimes, I feel that we’re missing out the point. Technology should help us be more productive and not otherwise.
Value Your Personal Time
Every person on an average spends 8 hours in sleep and 10 hours at office/school/college. Daily commute, food, and other activities take 2 hours. What we have in hand is those precious 4 hours that define who we are apart from our regular routine. This is the time we spend for ourselves. This is our personal time to experiment – to try new stuff. But, we’re slowly losing this personal time since the dawn of social media. To be more precise, we spend all the time looking into others’ lives.
I’ve minimized the use of Facebook and I am happy now. I check my feeds once or twice a day, for a new minutes. Compared to before, I spend more time reading, writing and jotting down ideas for my upcoming stories. This phase better. I am more addicted to doing more. I wish this continues.