My stepson never cared about financial freedom or wealth until he started getting up at 6AM and working Monday through Friday. Now all of a sudden, he’s interested in his step-dad’s advice.
After several conversations and strategy pow-wows, he’s devised a Fastlane plan. This is a great start.
However, there’s one big problem, a problem that will likely prevent him from succeeding: He’s addicted to social media. He wastes countless hours scrolling content on YouTube and Instagram.
He fails to see this as an issue, making the problem worse. He fails to recognize his addiction. He fails to recognize what this is doing to his brain, his motivation, and his goals. And when you add up his full-time job, his commitment to the gym, and his social media addiction, there’s no time left for his Fastlane plans.
If nothing changes, he will remain hog-tied to a job he hates, clutching on the ubiquitous excuse of “I don’t have time!”
Actually, as I remind him, he does have time. But social media is more important. Whenever I see him lost in a social media binge, I tell him, “That’s not going to make you rich,” and he realizes just how much time he’s wasted.
As I’ve been saying for years, your actions express your priorities.
You might say, “I want to get rich,” but your actions say, “I want to be comfortably entertained, outraged, or humored.” You might say you want to lose weight, but that tub of ice cream in your freezer says otherwise.
Priorities get your time.
If mindless social media scrolling is your priority, you will never succeed. Let me repeat: You will never succeed.
A highly-discussed thread at the forum, “Young fastlaners: Shut-Down All Social Media,” advocates abandoning social media.
I totally agree, but only from a consumer perspective.
Social media is a tool. For your business, it is incredibly powerful in reaching an audience. For your life, it is addictively destructive, purposely designed to steal your attention, hack your dopamine system, and keep you enslaved to the platform. You are being manipulated.
Katherine Boyle, a tech executive at Andreessen Horowitz, said it best:
We are in a full-contact, all-out war with forces competing for control of our minds. Not just attention but control… this may seem like a consensus opinion, but in practice, eradicating these forces from one’s life is a daily battle that requires contrarian actions, not just belief.1
Whenever I visit Twitter to post content, I notice I get stuck in the scroll loop for a few minutes and leave with higher anxiety, anger, and stress. Countless studies show that social media influences anti-success in the form of anxiety, depression, and intense feelings of FOMO. Some studies even suggest that it fosters suicidal feelings. And this negative baggage doesn’t even account for lost time!
This brings me to the metaphor everyone– including you– needs to hear regarding social media…
A drug kingpin who sells heroin to his addicts doesn’t snort his product. He is the producer and lives in a mansion with a Rolls Royce parked on the driveway. You are the consumer and live in a trailer with a Honda parked on the gravel.
The social media kingpins are engineering their product for addiction, stickiness, and agenda. You are the product.
In the last 20 years, I’ve met many successful people. And you know what? I don’t know any of them who are rolling through Instagram and TikTok 3 hours a day. They only use these platforms to serve their business purposes, not their entertainment vices. In other words, the guy with 2 million YouTube subscribers isn’t spending hours swiping through social media; they’re spending hours creating content for the swipers.
I’ll leave you with another metaphor.
Social media is a hammer. You can use it to build a great business that will set you free, or you can use it to bludgeon your brain into mediocrity and submission.
The choice is yours.