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What I learned from my social media fast | Amber Quinney | [email protected]

What I learned from my social media fast | Amber Quinney | TEDxYouth@Buffalo
six months ago I did something so unbelievable it changed my life I went on a 30-day

fast

and for the first time in a long time I felt free free to think free

from

judgment free to focus and free

from

this busy noisy information hungry world six months ago I did my very own

social

media

fest that's right I logged off you see I only intended to

fast

for 30 days because I realized I was so far immersed in the

social

world I felt like I was losing myself but suddenly 30 days turned into 60 days
what i learned from my social media fast amber quinney tedxyouth buffalo
in 60 days turned into six months six months

social

media

free and I feel like I recovered

from

something that was heavily influencing my creativity and my intelligence in a way that I didn't like I felt like I was in my own world and I loved it you see that smile right there that's

what

I felt like but I

learned

something in these last six months I realized that

social

media

is one of the biggest threats to the brain it's a very scary thought but

social

media

has programmed us to
think less to focus less into question less now let me be clear I am NOT anti

social

media

as a marketer a

social

media

consultant and research student I've benefitted firsthand

from

being on

social

media

I've met business partners that began as simply a Facebook Connect I've profited

from

being simply

social

media

savvy helping business owners position their online brands to attract target audiences I study behavioral effects of

social

media

as the thesis of my research so again
I'm not anti

social

media

but I am conscious of the dangers of

social

media

consumption and I use this word consumption it's an economic term to describe our

social

media

use because we are literally feeding our minds ideas thoughts content emotions as we scroll up and down our timelines and we do it so frequently that these ideas thoughts emotions content become a habit it takes 21 days to make a habit so after 21 days this habit of constantly being on

social

media

becomes a pattern of
our character deeply ingrained in our lives I'm a research student at my college and while experiencing my

social

media

fast

I decided to change the topic of my research to focus on

social

media

effects I was curious to know

what

are the tangible effects the difference makers of

social

media

consumption and I was interested in three variables academic performance income levels and self-confidence or self-image so in other words I wanted to know is there a relationship between time spent on

social

media

and grade point averages do students who spend more or less time on

social

media

aren't better grades

what

about income the people who spend more or less time on

social

media

earn higher wages or higher salaries and

what

about self-confidence do people who spend more or less time on

social

media

have a better or worse level of self-confidence overall I wanted to know

what

difference if any at all that

social

media

have on our lives and when I present my research in April my hope
is to create awareness about

social

media

effects and how we could use

social

media

tools to add value to our lives now there are seven point six billion billion with a capital B people on this planet and of that seven point six billion about three billion are

social

media

users Facebook alone has 2.2 billion monthly active users and those are active users that figure doesn't include people like me who take a leave of absence every so often 500,000 literally a half a million people joined
Facebook every single day which amounts to about six new profiles every second three two one eighteen people just joined Facebook in that last 30 seconds of the 2.2 billion people on Facebook about 76 percent say that they check it daily by a show of hands and be honest how many of us here check Facebook or some form of

social

media

at least once a day our hands go up fair enough now the problem with

social

media

is that it's programmed us to behave in ways that are dangerous to our mental
well-being first

social

media

has created this fake world of perfection and we've been programmed to curate our lives around this fake sense of perfection let me explain

what

I meet anybody here follow a few people on

social

media

whose life just appeared to be so perfect like men so-and-so is always on vacation it looks like that person's always eating out every time they're gonna snapchat best grades beautiful family anybody follow a few people like that now

what

I'm not saying
what i learned from my social media fast amber quinney tedxyouth buffalo
is that

what

I'm not saying is that that person's online posts or online activities are false or fake that's not

what

I'm saying because I'll admit I'm one of those people who have been told wow your life looks so great so that's not

what

I'm saying

what

I am saying is we shouldn't judge a person's online life we don't know their offline life we don't know their offline reality because

what

happens is we begin to compare ourselves to people
who's online controlled take anybody read a good book here lately recently that's like reading a book and comparing your life to a character in a book understand that

social

media

is nothing more than the virtual world full of narratives stories that people tell about their lives and experiences and the thing is we want to tell the world all the great and the positive things about us which is fine but

what

we cannot do or

what

we should not do is judge ourselves criticize ourselves
against

what

we perceive other people's lives to be that is one of the psychological effects of

social

media

we've been programmed to constantly play this game of catch up constantly catching up with the next person competing with the next person when

what

we should do is embrace where we are in our own individual journeys and believe me if you're here today you're exactly where you need to be second

social

media

has taught us to constantly be seeking

social

validation

social

validation is when you write a post upload a picture and then spend about 20 minutes or so rearranging the caption in a million times this has come up with something that people will like love or something people will share essentially something that people would react to something that people with

social

ly validate this is big on Instagram how many Instagram users do we have in the room so you probably know about the Instagram well I call it the Instagram so Instagram is an image sharing site
and the insta draft is when you take a bunch of photos compare them and then the best one makes the cut who's done that before it's okay no shame you take about 30 different selfies they all look just about the same something like this or like this selfies are front right you'll take about 30 different selfies that all look the same and your friends will help you narrow down the top three or the top five and then your try on different captions and different filters and boom the
winning picture and the winning caption makes it to the right the instil hey a your Instagram profile where all the other perfectly curated image and captions exists that is ridiculous think about how much time that takes or think about this people actually experience identity crisis because of that kind of

social

pressure

social

validation is when

social

media

users are constantly posting for likes and attention and they feed their ego with this false sense of confidence true self confidence is
the only form of validation that we need and true self confidence is something that grows on the inside not online lastly and probably worst of all

social

media

has programmed us to think less or as one researcher put up put it we began to outsource our ability to think digest that for a moment if you will we've outsourced our ability to think how is it that our ability to think to think critically to rationalized to create the images we see inside our imaginations the innate feature that
makes us all human how is that outsourced and to whom do we outsource well search engines of course business owners are familiar with this term called outsource it means to obtain a good or service

from

an outside supplier especially in place of an internal internal source hip-hip so in other word person a pays person B to do a job the person a could do but it seems I don't know more cost-efficient for person B to do the job

social

media

has taught us to do that same kind of outsourcing with
what i learned from my social media fast amber quinney tedxyouth buffalo
our brains everything is findable on Google so we think instant information is at our fingertips so instead of gaining knowledge through practical and life experience we just ax our good friend Google and in less than a second Google has an answer well everything if everything is on Google then perhaps everything has already been

learned

and there's nothing else to be

learned

there's nothing else to be

learned

do you see how that pattern of thinking could be dangerous I call it mindless
behavior the Internet has amplified this trend of shifting knowledge

from

the inside to the outside and taught us new strategies to find information we want to know through search machines but the truth is there is something new and exciting to be

learned

every single day and not everything could be found on Google more often we should look within ourselves for the questions that we seek answers to rather than outsource that intelligence that brilliance to a search machine so

what

's the
point of it all it's this

social

media

is killing our

social

capital as a society one light at a time but I believe I believe we can reverse those habits on

social

media

and we can use

social

media

for

social

good believe it or not my friends we can use

social

media

to add value to our lives I'll show you how first

social

media

can be used as a tool to self brand how many here know that personal branding is important personal branding matters I've landed interviews internships and
countless career opportunities by being mindful and diligent about my personal brand online and offline I tell people all the time the

amber

that you meet online is the same

amber

you'll meet offline Facebook Instagram and LinkedIn are great tools for helping us develop our brands when I say brand I don't mean he say she say nonsense or hearsay I mean how you consistently present yourselves or conduct yourselves online we have to be very cognizant about

what

our online profiles say about
us as they could open up opportunities for us just as quick as they could close them so let's make it our business each of us to conduct ourselves online in such a way that is consistent with our values and our true character another thing

social

media

is a great tool to help you expand your network now I'm a networking guru and I limited connecting with people outside my im

media

te circle exchanging ideas and information developing relationships that stuff is fun to me but that is not to
be confused with connecting with strangers online you see me must be very selective about who we choose to connect with and who we allow to be connected to us because frankly not everyone has our best interests

social

media

can be used as a tool to cultivate relationships with people we actually know I use Facebook as an example Facebook is a who you know network my rule of thumb is I like to know 90% of my facebook network meaning for every 100 Facebook friends that I have I know 90 they are
not strangers in the other 10 the expectation is at some point in the near future will connect further maybe we'll see each other at an event maybe we're planning to attend the same conference maybe we have a number of mutual friends who could provide an introduction but the point is we're not aimlessly connected on Facebook and we're not following one another without a purpose I'll show you an example of how

social

media

can be used as a tool to self brand network together
and how that could yield positive results for everyone I received this message via Facebook about a week ago

from

a young lady who I will say is in my age group a lot of times when we think about networking we think about networking up but I'd submit to you today that it's equally important to network across in your peer group

what

people who are here today so I received this message on Facebook

from

a young lady we don't know each other personally but we've been connected on

social

media

for some time we have a number of mutual friends she introduced herself and she said

amber

I want to applaud you for all that I see you doing on

social

media

I want to invite you to be the first feature of the first edition of my online magazine Wow talk about opportunity right first of all shout out to her for using

social

media

for

social

good because her online magazine is going to tell the stories of women and girls and inspire people across the globe but secondly you see how we
could use our personal brands to attract opportunities to us and connect us with like-minded people of everything we've heard here today there are three things that can be taken away to help all of us have better online experiences first if you do not have an on if you do not have a positive purpose for using

social

media

then log off and log off im

media

tely as a marketer as a Content writer I'm here to tell you it's not about the likes it's not about the number of followers
it's about pure engagement real life and real time engagement and we should use that same approach in our personal lives we have to be clear with ourselves and honest about

what

our real intentions are so the next time you got a press send on a post which will inevitably be today remember this talk and action so

what

is my intent is it to motivate the spotlight or bring awareness to to bully or harm someone with my words

what

really is my intent second learn to like yourself first if you
ever hear the phrase if you live by people with compliments you'll die by their criticism it's true when you actually like who you are appreciate

what

you have to offer the road you won't find yourself seeking

social

validation online so learn to like yourself first so that every other like on or offline will just be extra and lastly this one is my favorite consider cutting back on

social

media

by logging off and logging back into your real life for every 30 minutes you spend on

social

media

do something that stimulates your brain you can read a chapter of a book how many here know that leaders are readers see II always read about sixty books a year whereas the average person reads just one book a year they call it face book in those 30 minutes no shade you could you can do so much you could learn a new skill you could have a deep offline conversation want someone anybody here see black panther lately that movie alone has sparked such great and necessary dialogue you
can read a book you can learn a new recipe spend time with a loved one you could teach a class you can do so many things someone here I was talking to in the audience before I got up here say they took a trip to Africa since they've been off

social

media

you can do so many things do something so profound that it ignites your soul every since I logged off

social

media

and log back into my personal life I've been able to reclaim my time like never before and I know that you can't sue
thank you