“I’d rather live life than watch somebody else living it.”
– Al Jourgensen
The average American spends over 30 hours a month online (and I know many people who spend much more than that).
Over a quarter of that time, 8 hours a month on average is spent on Facebook.
What I found fascinating though is I recently read that when you are on Facebook, you are far more likely to comment or like other people’s photos and status updates than to post anything on your own.
The most popular activity on Facebook?
Browsing the newsfeed (mostly looking at pictures) and other people’s profiles.
Many of the other top websites (and apps) – Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr, Pinterest, Instagram – share this in common with Facebook: they are built for watching.
They want you to sit there and passively read, watch or otherwise absorb whatever they are showing you.
For all those websites, they want to increase how much time you spend on them because you are the product.
And don’t even get me started on the average of 80 hours a month people spend watching TV (online and traditional).
But let’s stick with the web – and especially social networking websites.
The Internet is Selling … You
For all these websites, you are not really their customer.
No, you are what’s for sale: your attention.
Their customers are advertisers.
The way they make more money from advertising, is by having more of you: either more people coming to their website, or people (like you and me) spending more time on their sites.
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and other peak life experience sharing websites however are the cause of something I’m seeing more and more: Spectator Depression.
Depression By Watching
Spectator Depression is getting down on yourself because you are on the outside looking in.
It starts when you sign up for Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, etc to connect with people
But soon, those connections turn superficial – and the you end up feeling less connected than before.
Instead of being happy – some people start to feel envious. It can seem like everyone else is living exciting lives, while your life is the same thing every week.
The truth is, you’re only seeing a small slice of everyone’s life – and it’s the most exciting part of their lives.
It’s only their best life experiences – because so much social networking has turned into trying to impress others, gather the most “likes” or otherwise appear popular online.
And on an average weekend, if you have a couple hundred friends, odds are somebody is going to be having an exciting time – and if you’re not, that’s why you feel disappointed.
Of course, being on Facebook isn’t the problem – but it is making the discomfort much worse.
What’s the real problem?
Spectating Kills Your Dreams
The real problem is too many lives spend watching, and not living.
Watching others does nothing to get you closer to the life you deserve….
And actually, it will slowly make it impossible to achieve your dreams.
We often think it a tragedy when someone works hard, and comes so close only to have their dreams shattered in one moment of defeat.
Olympians that fall short of the gold. Sports stars who tear a muscle and never recover.
But I don’t feel sorry for them – because at least they tried.
The real tragedy is that every day, people’s dreams are slowly withering and dying – their owners spectating, watching their life pass by – and never taking action to make their dreams a reality.
The only way to achieve your dreams is to spend your time taking action.
Otherwise, you’ll end up spending your life watching – and years later wonder where the time went.
Take action. Be a doer – not a spectator.
Data for time spent online is according to the Nielson Company and Morrison Foerster.
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