Devil’s Advocate: How to Use Social Media to Learn, Move & Grow

Social media gets a bad wrap. 

It’s bad for your brain.

It makes you anxious. 

It takes you out of the present moment. 

Valid points, sure. But there are positive ways to use social media. You can use it to be more productive, connect with others, and maybe learn something about yourself. 

The Effects Of Social Media

People often talk about the negative effects of social media, and there’s a space for that. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics talks about the negative effects of social media in kids and teenagers, even using the phrase “Facebook depression.”

The authors of a study from Nottingham Trent University said “it may be plausible to speak specifically of ‘Facebook Addiction Disorder.’”

Social media can lead to less productivity

But what about the upsides of social media? 

Here are a few ways social media can be positive:

  • You can connect with people from anywhere
  • It allows for quick and easy communication
  • Stay up-to-date with what’s happening in your area and the world 
  • It’s super effective for growing and marketing a business
  • It can be a free and easy form of entertainment

Basically, social media can be used for good, bad, and harmless things. It’s up to us to use it well and to use it productively. 

How To Use Social Media For Your Own Good

Now let’s dive into some practical tips that will help you use social media for productivity and not idleness.

First, create a to-do list

Creating a to-do list each day will help you be more productive and less distracted by social media. You can either do this manually or with a to-do list app. 

But just plan your day, preferably at the end of the previous day.

A good idea is to pick the three most important things you need to do. And then just focus on doing those things. If you do more, great. But three tasks is a good place to start. 

Join Facebook groups

Facebook groups are one of the best features of the gigantic social media platform. You can find a group of people who are interested in the same things as you, regardless of location, age, race, gender, or anything else.

This is great news for professionals who want to network. 

You can end up collaborating, learning productivity hacks, and encouragement from others. 

Look for job prospects

Social media has changed the game for job-hunting professionals. It’s now so much easier to find the exact career position you’re looking for. The only downside is that now everyone can do this, so the market becomes flooded.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try. The best place to look for a new position is LinkedIn. It was created for this very purpose. 

Sell more with LinkedIn Sales Navigator

Speaking of LinkedIn, it’s the professional’s social media platform. It’s built for connection and networking. 

And if you’re an entrepreneur or a salesperson, you can utilize the LinkedIn Sales Navigator. You can easily find people who may want to buy what you’re selling or promote what you’ve created. This tool lets you search by location, industry, professional experience, keywords, and more. 

You’re not wasting time; you’re using it to grow your business. 

Keep an eye on the competition

It can be helpful to be on social media, especially if you run a business. You can see how other people in your industry are marketing their products and engaging with their audience. 

It’s not as if you need to outperform them. But you can definitely learn from your competition. 

Start a conversation

Speaking of engaging with your audience, social media is a great place to do this. Why? Because that’s where people already are. 

You can quickly, easily, and publicly speak with and hear from your target audience. You can show yourself to be someone who accepts feedback while also providing valuable and expert advice. 

Use app-blocking apps

Believe it or not, there are apps whose only job is to monitor your use of other apps. They allow you to set reminders to get off social media, or they can simply block your access to them. It depends on what settings you decide on. 

Here are a few app-tracking and app-blocking apps you can check out:

Start a thankfulness journal

Being thankful sounds like a small thing that wouldn’t make much of a difference, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Paul Mills, Ph.D., a professor and researcher at the University of California-San Diego, found the benefits of thankfulness after conducting a study on it.

“Somebody once said a grateful heart is a healthier heart,” Mills said. “And that’s what we saw in this study.” 

So try this: write down three things you’re thankful for every day. Have a notebook that is solely for gratitude.

You may find yourself happier, less stressed, and more productive. 

My main point here is that social media, while it does have its negative effects if not used properly, can be a useful tool to help you be more productive. 


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ERIN FALCONER!

Erin shows overscheduled, overwhelmed women how to do less so that they can achieve more. Traditional productivity books—written by men—barely touch the tangle of cultural pressures that women feel when facing down a to-do list. How to Get Sh*t Done will teach you how to zero in on the three areas of your life where you want to excel, and then it will show you how to off-load, outsource, or just stop giving a damn about the rest.

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