Sometimes Social media may feel like a death carousel, and you just can’t stomach the constant notifications. You just want off. From the constant banter between political big wigs on twitter, your friend’s live feeds notifications, birthday alerts, they can all get overwhelming. Rather than completely unplugging from your social media life, you can purge by forgoing the social media metrics.
You don’t purge by deactivating the social media accounts, but rather you deactivate the numerical machinery that powers them. Likes. Retweets. Views. Followers. Subscribers. The metrics by which the content – words, photos, videos, are made valuable. After installing a series of browser extensions, your accounts content can remain intact but expunges the boldface, ubiquitous numbers that clutter and dominate ones social media feeds.
Benjamin Grosser , a tech enthusiast who builds little UX hacks for liberating Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram from notifications, explains that the demetricator software’s are designed under the premise that the back and forth of content and applause has less to do with what we actually want to post but rather more to do with our insatiable appetite for validation. We are now more reliant on numbers, so we let them stand in for meaning more than they do. When we remove the social media metrics we might find a slightly healthier, more sustainable life online.
Grosser adds that we create rules for ourselves about how to act within the system based on what the numbers say, but we don’t even realize we’re doing this. Online etiquette ends up being dictated by digits. We adopt insecure behaviors such as self-consciously deleting an under-performing post. We rarely comment on something that’s more than two days old, afraid we may appear as online stalkers. Our own posts are so shaped by a hunger for numbers that over time we only create content that can get the most online validation – which is most always inflammatory, incendiary, and infantile.
By deactivating the social media metrics, you lose the capability of seeing notifications such as how many people liked a recent post. This new found freedom encourages a sense of optimism. You can never know whether a recent post went viral or not, only hope it did. The internet becomes immeasurable and imprecise hence, interpretable.
Social media without the metrics encourages people to be more mindful of their online interactions. Users read posts more carefully, uncolored by arbitrary rankings and even leave more comments. It can also however get someone easily bored with social media. You might still try to chase the high of a well-liked post, but no rush of dopamine may be rewarded. Memes and internet challenges also make little sense without the telltale metrics.
It obviously can’t be an easy experience living a life without the precious social media metrics, however it is a good option for anyone looking to get some control over their social media consumption.