Live in the Moment: Delete Social Media | Ryan Thomas | TEDxAshburnSalon

hi everyone I stand here with a simple offer an offer that if accepted yields instantaneous results and inevitable positive consequences my offer is this the chance to purge yourself of social media and reclaim your personal identity I challenge everyone to try going one week without social media and I guarantee it will change your life I can attest to this because I personally have been without any social media for almost a year and it's completely changed the way I view the world I'm not saying that all social media is bad social media can be used for marketing or to spread a positive message to the world however it apps like Facebook Twitter Instagram and snapchat are taking over our lives they're taking us out of the present moment and causing us to exist only in a virtual world and nobody should live like that social media has taken over astonishingly quickly if you think about it when we meet a new person the norm is no longer to ask them for their phone number the norm is to friend them on Facebook or ask for their snapchat or Twitter username in 2008 only 24% of the US population had a social media profile now 81% has won this astronomical growth is because social media is seen as a do-it-all platform it's widely replaced texting and email in a lot of cases and it's used as our main source of news this leads to people spending hours a day with their noses just glued to their phones psychologists at Trent Nottingham University found that we spend twice as much time on our phones as we think we do and that amount of time is five hours a day nearly a third of our entire waking lives I'm sure you're familiar with this site that used to be me in fact I would wake up every morning and immediately reach for my phone the amount of notifications I had would determine how good my morning was yay people want to talk to me I would spend one to two hours thoughtlessly scrolling through all my social media profiles before even getting out of bed I would check Twitter then snapchat then Instagram then go back to Twitter to see if anything new had been posted just in the last 30 minutes I was an addict wasting my time and the time that I was wasting was being spent looking at other people's posts and seeing how I thought other people lived this influenced me to shape my life in a similar way and I took on the values of what I saw online in hindsight I wasn't living my life at all I was living society's life this is one of the biggest problems with social media it causes people to live their life based on some societal standard humans have always had an instinct to fit in collaboration and cooperation were necessary for our species to survive because of this a sense of belonging is one of the most sought-after and rewarding feelings anyone can experience think of the feeling of your favorite sports team winning the big game or finally finishing a group project where each member of the group knew their role and carried it out perfectly successful group interaction triggers a firing of the pleasure centers in the brain and releases amounts of dopamine synonymous with drug use a feeling of belonging is sought in humans like drug addicts seek their next fix and social media is designed to exploit this all the little features like comments likes and being able to share posts are just gimmicks designed to get us hooked by causing dopamine to be released I was guilty of just posting what I thought everyone wanted to see than anyone I knew that on social media I was simply crafting an image of myself but I didn't care I loved attention and I loved the ability to portray myself any way I wanted it wasn't me I was losing touch with my authentic self and this problem manifests mainly in my generation as teenagers have grown up with the Internet we've spent our whole lives interacting with our peers online we're more comfortable on our phones than in a face-to-face interaction and this has catastrophic consequences on our mental health studies have shown that kids who spend more time on their phones have less developed frontal cortexes and we need our frontal cortex to plan for the future think rationally and solve problems my generation is losing those abilities because we can't focus on anything besides our phones combine that with the fact that social media is our main source of forming connections with other people and it's easy to see why teen depression has skyrocketed 33% just since 2010 and teen suicides have gone up 31 percent in the same period we are killing ourselves just to fit in yet everyone around me somehow thinks they're better than social media they tell me oh I only use it to look at me more I just like to keep up with my friends that I can't see every day it the conversation that I constantly hear is gossip and judgment did you see my post did you like it did you see her post why was she hanging out with him why did he say that he's so creepy why'd she post that she has no self respect the people around me are addicted to stalking other people yet maintain the assertion that they're somehow above it all and all the features that I talked about earlier the gimmicks they can't replace real life interaction alike can't replace a smile or a compliment but we treat it as if it can we allow ourselves to become less social and lose touch with the face-to-face interactions that really matter in a study by Pew Research Center 55% of participants said they interact with their friends online on a daily basis only 33 percent said they interact with their friends face to face on a daily basis think about this how many of you have ever pulled out your phone and stared at it just to avoid an awkward social situation I know I see that every day in school how many of you have ever taken a long video at a sporting event or concert so you can relive the moment later or share it with your friends instead of actually making sure that you're living in the moment and enjoying life as it happens last winter I was at a crossroads in my life I've always been driven but I really had no idea what I wanted to do track has always been my main sport but I didn't really think I wanted to run in college I've also always had dreams of attending a top-level academic school but schools like that required true excellence I had no motivating force and nothing that separated me from the people around me I cared more about creating the image that I wanted of myself online than working to secure the future that I wanted everybody has dreams of greatness when they're a kid nobody wants to live an average and unfulfilled life yet so few people are willing to put in the work to developing themselves and unlocking their full potential I realized that if I devoted myself to improving on the track I would have a way of standing out from other applicants and maybe reaching one of my dream schools so I began dedicating myself to track more and attempting to spend less time on social media however about two weeks into this new routine I realized that while I was training for track more I was spending about the same amount of time on social media I was simply shirking my academic duties and losing some sleep I had to decide if running track in college and my future was more important to me than trying to fit in and it was slowly but surely I became disgusted with who I was and I wondered how I had let myself become so addicted to something that had no value in the long run I decided to quit social media cold turkey instantly if says if a massive weight had been lifted off my shoulders I began to see the beauty in the world around me I discovered my passion for life and I found a sense of individuality and contentment with who I was in the week after I deleted social media I changed more than I have at any other point in my life I really ate it not only my actions but my mindset my goals and my overall attitude towards life I realized that at any given moment I can be doing anything I want to in the world I simply have to choose to do what's best for myself and because of this I'm on my own path now and I'm my own person I'm not standing up here proclaiming that I'm a perfect person devoid of weakness just because I deleted social media but I am claiming that I'm in control of my own happiness and satisfaction with life I'm also not claiming that by deleting social media you will immediately become a better person find happiness and reach your goals deleting social media in itself doesn't bring anything of a direct value to your life it's simply an avenue towards individual thought and freedom everybody spends their life searching for happiness and yearning for fulfilment yet most people spend so much of it looking at other people's lives online if you have the superpower to be present in the moment and you aren't so preoccupied with what everyone else is doing you'll find that life is a little easier happiness is always at hand it's easier to treat the people around you with kindness and have straightforward but proof relationships I think the world would be a better place if everyone possessed this skill thank you [Applause]

  1. YouTube is the only exception. Although I use it strictly for learning new things , I abuse it at times. Everything I’ve learned lately came from this app. I plan on deleting it soon as well, it nearly serves me no more.

  2. ….You could restrain yourself and just do 1 day a week to check everything. That day you can go wild and spend any time on it, is that ok peoples?

  3. Social media agreed is a biggest waste of time. And it's more socially isolating then being alone. People aren't really social they're all they care about is posting their content getting likes they don't care about really making friends

  4. It's what you DO with social media that matters. Like what he said, social media can
    be used to spread positive messages around. I have quit using Instagram because I felt too competitive.
    I felt too entitled to other peoples' responses. But, now that I am off it, I feel better.
    You don't need to reply.

  5. I deleted my Facebook a few days ago and I feel so free and don’t even miss it . I feel more private and less on edge .

  6. I've been without social media as well for over 1 year. Best decision ever. All I have is this youtube . Now I can focus on my life and what's important.

  7. I really liked this guy's message and his over all positive attitude in this video. I also liked his explanation about why being so focusing so much on social media can be so unhealthy for young people. Good job!

  8. You know a society has become totally moronic and zombified when pastimes such as Facebook and Reality TV enrapture the masses and become the "NORM."

  9. I'm 22 and I've never had FB,snapchat,twitter or that stuff. The only social media I use is whattsapp since I need it as a student (for group studies,exam solutions and so forth) and youtube (music,tutorials,khan academy etc…). Never felt left out.


  11. Social Media is societal cancer. PERIOD. I never had it & never will. I have even lost pre-social media friendships (and an almost 20 year relationship) because I wouldn't do it. I am guilty of taking videos at shows, but it's not to share online, it's because I know the bands I like aren't going to be around forever & I want it to watch when I'm old & can't do this stuff anymore.

  12. I am not on any social media account other than WhatsApp and YouTube but I am worried of people around me who have multiple social media accounts .

  13. Love this and so happy you've rediscovered life and yourself!

    Ive never had Snapchat, I only use Facebook & Insta for ideas of things to see when we travel. Ever since I stopped following ppl I know, celebrities and pointless gossip I've been so much happier 🙏

  14. it was so hard for me deleting facebook I wad addicted to it because I delete it to 2 times without waiting 30 days I reactivate it so today I deleted all my fake friends from Facebook and even some real one than I delete it my facebook.

  15. 14 year old self: look up to people that are 'famous' on social media

    17 year old self: look up to people who doesn't use social media

  16. I never joined any social media like Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and dont feel that I missed out on anything. Only use You Tube to watch educational informative videos. The truth is that as it is I can barely find enough time to do the important things in life, such as spending more time with loved ones. Life is short and it is a matter getting priorities in order. For me it is more important to live my own life than to spend my time following the lives of others. Especially the lives of strangers that I may never meet.

  17. i isolate myself. i isolate myself out of disgust of this world; and what it has become to, ie; the smartphone and rap/pop culture. i see before me a society of natural entities that had been completely and fully integrated into the consumption and production system; defined through the selfish devalued natural needs interested only in the means to fulfill those needs, centered around the self "eccentric" marking the decline of any potential to excess the eccentric to any higher meaning or cause other than hedonism devoid of any will to question existence, you can only be seen through the material molecular level as pitiful matter and relation between atoms without any meaning.

  18. I have youtube, what’s app, LINE and Instagram account. I usually spend 2hours on SNS and 1hour to searching on the web everyday … it’s became my routine …….. I’m not ready for deleting my SNS account and feeling detached with friends and other people.

  19. I deleted my Instagram and Twitter a few months ago. Now I just deleted my Facebook and I feel so much peace. I can be really productive now. I’m going to read my Bible more watch more “how to” vids on YouTube instead of Vlogs. Now that the weather is getting nice maybe start getting together with friends and enjoy each other outside of social media. I’m really looking forward going to the beach and just relaxing without posting my every move on social media.

  20. You can’t be on social media in moderation
    Moderation doesn’t happen on social media
    You’re on it ! You’re hooked
    You’re addicted

  21. Deleted Facebook and Twitter, and never had Instagram, Snapchat and all the others; I only have WhatsApp. Now all I need to do is stop reading the comments on YouTube.

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