Makarand Utpat

Life without Social Media: Is it Nirvana? Are We Ready?

Can you live w/o social media and still thrive?

I wouldn’t have thought so but apparently you can.

Watch and listen to this contrarian yet lovely TEDx talk from a successful Millennial scientist Dr Cal Newport who shatters the social media myths that we all hold.

He talks about how he went on a different path right around the time when Mark Zuckerberg had invented Facebook in Harvard campus and people had started to catch that technology.

I decided to dig-in and analyzed the emerging market trends and I am finding that they are moving against what Cal Newport is saying (re life without social media).

Here are 2 statistics: 

1)As per 2014 article (Nick Wilson- 6 social media shakeups we predict to occur by 2020), by year 2020, social media usage will be dominated by the demographics who won’t remember a time before social media.

That is huge, if you think about it.

2)As per Statistica 2017, in 2017, there are 2.46 Billion social network users across the world. By 2020 the number will increase to 2.9 Billions. So that’s an increase of 500 million by next 3 years.

Clearly, the trends don’t show any signs of slowing down.

Having said that, the points he is bringing are very much on the mark and valid.

Per Dr Cal Bewport, the “social media addiction” is:

(a)Having a negative impact on our productivity and our ability to thrive


(b)Giving rise to loneliness and anxiety disorders.


(c)Causing attention deficit syndrome with our attention getting fragmented due to our impulse nature of checking social media updates every few min.

The more I think about it, the more I find validity in it.

When we open any social media platform (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram) or open emails, we get bombarded with messages and posts that are fighting with each other to get hold of our attention.

This is only going to grow with the content shock.

Having said that, I believe, we tend to forget that social media is a technology created for us and not vice versa. We are in control when it comes to opening our FB posts, Instagram feed or tweeting.

If we stay disciplined (e.g. opening social media feeds at certain times and allocating only certain time or turning it off completely during morning and afternoon hours to get our work done), I think we can achieve best of the both worlds.

I have elaborated it how to do it in my blog “ 7 sure-fire ways to detox social media and enjoy life again.”

Overall, this is a wonderful talk by Dr Cal Newport with so many takeaways. I highly recommend it.

To your success!

Makarand Utpat