Minimalism is the Opposite of Social Media

Visakh Vijayan
5 min readMar 8, 2024

Hey there. I am glad you are here. I would go ahead and assume that if you are here, you are a little insane like me and find peace in the concept of minimalism or want to know what the hell is this all about.

I discovered minimalism around 2 years ago and it has made a huge difference in my life since then. Never before have I been at so much peace and had so much clarity and discipline in my life. The series of articles are ways in which minimalism has helped me and I hope it will help someone else out there too.

Social media has become an important part of our lives. Rarely does someone not have accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, etc. It allows us to stay “connected” to everyone. We have information regarding others, we know what places they are visiting, what clothes they are buying, what movies they are watching, and even how they celebrate their birthdays. Pretty cool right?

But Wait! Why?

Why do we want to know that? And why is it that we know about how 25 of our friends visited a place on this date? Why does our brain know that 15 of our friends are getting married on this date? Why does our brain know that 50 of our friends have eaten food at that restaurant on this date?

Information becomes knowledge when it has a meaning.

Oh! Let us do …

Maybe this thing isn’t evident immediately. But close your eyes and think about the latest set of events that have happened in your life and I will bet some of them are from Instagram.

We decide what is right from what our friends are doing on social media.

  • “Hey let us watch a movie, which one, the one others are watching. We will post it too. We don’t want to miss out on the talks”
  • “Hey let us go out to a restaurant, which one, the one at this place. Many of our friends have visited that place. We would be left out if we didn’t eat that. Everyone is having it”
  • “Hey let us get married and keep it simple, sure, but we have to do what others are doing, 'cause that is the least we can do. All our friends did so too”

If it's still not evident just try getting away from your device for 1 day. Just 1 day. A majority of us will start becoming restless if we are denied access to social media. This addiction has gone to levels where students are committing suicide when denied access, employees feel angry when there is no form of entertainment, and relationships are boring without social media telling them what to do next.

The Influencers

These are just the consumers. What about the content creators on social media or the so-called influencers? For one, they are influencing a lot of the public. Most of the influencers suffer from chronic depression. If not able to deliver they go into a stage of self-doubt. They cross all barriers to make content and keep refreshing their feed to see how the public has accepted their content or in short how many likes they are getting.

The Effects

On a cognitive level, social media takes away your attention span. A majority of users today are not able to focus on a task for more than 5 minutes. Due to the “short” video content on all media, they are addicted to consuming everything in short. The immediate dopamine hit that they get affects the other parts of their lives and anything that takes longer than 5 minutes, the brain rejects it. Everything needs to be presented in packets for it to be accepted.

The excuse we give is that we don’t have time. But do we not? If you open your phone today, the screen time of social media would be anywhere between 5 to 10 hours combined.

Reading a book is so out of trend that apps like Blinkist are bringing summaries of books so that users will read them. Listening to songs has gone out of trend so much that companies are making songs that are smaller and smaller in length. Every song has a hook step which is a small portion of the song that people will remember. Walking is not fun if you don’t have a smartwatch and can’t track your steps. The gym is not fun if you can’t post a workout video. Travel is not fun if you can’t post a travel video or have a GoPro. Events are not fun if you don’t have a drone to capture the moments. You capture every moment to live it after editing it on your machine and posting it on social media.

Feed is life, posts are memories, likes are respect and followers are achievements.

And for people who gather the courage to leave social media, they are left with nothing else to do since they have no hobbies except scrolling. Most of them are clueless as to what to do when the Internet is off. Remember the recent outage of Meta? People went crazy reporting the error since they wanted to get back “online”.

Reports suggest that meta lost $3 billion during the 30 minute outage due to users fearing it was hacked.

Instant gratification has become the norm. Most of the students are in the startup addiction and find it as a way to quit preparing for exams and take loans and start companies. Only to realize that it is not sustainable and end up in debt.

So what can be done?

Take a break and think about it. Is scrolling social media adding value to your life? Does knowing a million random facts about friends or family help you in moving forward in life? Does watching a movie or dancing to a song help you in life?

Sherlock Holmes once mentioned that there is no point in storing random stuff in our brains as it doesn’t help him solve crimes. And rightfully so, our brains are filled with things that we don’t need. Imagine a room full of junk. Would you be able to get the important stuff out of it?

Draw up a plan and figure out what is important in your life. And then stick to it. It will be tough because bad habits take time to get over. But the long-term effects are immense. It’s on you what you want to see yourself doing in 5 years.

Let your biggest achievement not be “being online 24 hours” when you leave this planet.

My apologies if the article is scary. But the situation is much worse than this and it will take a lot of time to explain the effects one by one. Better late than never. Embrace minimalism which teaches you to be happier with less. Less is More!

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Visakh Vijayan

Techie from Kerala, India. Days are for coding, nights for weaving tales of tech, travel, and finance. Join me in exploring this multifaceted journey