regain your privacy in an online world

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Social media trends come and go in the blink of an eye. While what’s hot on TikTok right now will be long forgotten over the next 24 hours, a trend across platforms has not only remained, but has steadily gained ground over the past year or so.

The “move in silence” movement that emerged last year at the height of the pandemic has not only endured but evolved. Followers of the trend are turning their backs on Gen Z’s preference for excessive sharing on social media, choosing instead not to broadcast their every thought, opinion, destination, place or meal in order to reclaim their lives from the tech behemoths. who have a helping hand in all its aspects.

“We live in an age of over-sharing, where social media has become a two-headed beast of exhibitionism on the one hand and voyeurism on the other,” says Juan Korkie, clinical psychologist at LightHouse Arabia in Dubai. “When people are constantly sharing details and photos of themselves, where they are and what they are doing. It is exhibitionism: behavior that constantly draws attention to itself.

“Users feel the need to share more and more”

“There is science behind why people need to broadcast aspects of their lives on social media,” says Racha Hijazi, clinical psychologist at Dubai’s Camali Clinic for Child and Adult Mental Health. .

“When people get likes for their posts, their brains fire up with dopamine, a neurotransmitter that stimulates pleasure. This behavior is very rewarding for their systems and they feel the need to share more and more. The brain acts the same in gambling and other addiction issues, which is why sharing on social media can easily become addicting.

Social media platforms are growing rapidly in all aspects of our lives. No longer just allowing ourselves to share thoughts or photos, these days we’re shopping on Instagram, building communities on Discord, and getting our algorithm news from Facebook. Earlier this year, Twitter took to finance, testing its “Tip jar” feature that allows users to send money to their favorite accounts and users.

Technology companies have always maintained new functions and features are a reaction to what their audience wants. Namely that it is no longer enough for the experience to be broadcast, but that the minutiae – the how, what, who, when and why – must also be broadcast.

“Social media will continue to evolve like human behaviors too, and there will be platforms to respond to those behaviors,” said Alexandra Maia, social media consultant and strategist, founder of House of Social. “Look at Discord. It has turned into an amazing community app; TikTok is a creator’s paradise; the NFT world gives artists an incredible outlet. There is and always will be room for great diversity.

What does “move in silence” mean?

To move silently on social networks is not to broadcast your every move. Disable your location, don’t announce your personal experiences and events, especially in advance, and ultimately don’t share your personal belongings with strangers.

“You would start to focus more on the present moment and enjoy the activity at hand, whether it’s dining out or being at a family reunion,” Hijazi explains of the effects. drive to move in silence.

“You would definitely focus more on face-to-face interactions. You would feel more in control of your personal life, without having intruders or strangers bullying you online with hurtful or inappropriate comments. And surely, maintain a real sense of who you are with less exposure and less need to conform to certain social images.

Data analysis company Statistical Said of social media use over the past two years: “All major social platforms appeared to thrive and reported monthly growth in their active use in 2021, compared to 2019.”

While traffic, as well as the average time people spent on social media, increased throughout the pandemic, users also had the opportunity to consider their relationship with the ubiquitous phone in their pocket, by following and silently recording their every move.

With readily available research regarding the detrimental effects of too much time spent online on focus, focus, happiness, and self-esteem, savvy social media users are increasingly aware of the fine line between l entertaining social engagement and the control or manipulation of behaviors and emotions.

“For me the question is, ‘Why are we sharing and what do we want to happen?’ », Explains Maia. “A lot of people share because they’re looking for validation – a quick nudge to feel better, or to show off and flex – instead of working on themselves to feel more confident in a way that doesn’t. not depend on how many likes or watch any picture or video.

“Those who spend hours a week browsing other people’s posts, liking, commenting… this person is vicariously living other people’s lives,” says Korkie. “Regardless of the fact [they are] sharing too much or spending a lot of time watching others, [they are] not here.”

Easy steps to move more quietly

Taking steps to reduce your reliance on social media to improve your mood or self-validate is relatively easy and involves reassessing your relationship with your phone and social media.

“Stop recording life, live it instead,” Korkie says. “Stop trying to capture moments with a device, capture it with your full presence instead. Detox from sensationalism. Stop chasing the intense, the amazing, the awesome and the upsetting. Consciously move away from addiction to intense experiences and develop your ability to find beauty and pleasure in the mundane.

She also says, “Stop looking, get dirty. Step into your life, do new things, make mistakes, have your own experiences. These are your experiences and they are worth far more than the lives of others.

“Do we share because we want to add value? Maia asks the question social media users might be asking. “Tell and share our stories, connect, make room for others, build communities, entertain, educate, inspire?

“You will have days or weeks when you like to share and others when you don’t, it’s that simple. People have to do what is right for them. “

Update: October 9, 2021, 5:13 a.m.


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