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S01E35 – How to Use Social Media to Your Advantage!

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Muslim Life Hackers

Channel: Muslim Life Hackers

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Episode Notes

Do you find your life consumed by social media? Are struggling to find a balance? In this episode, I give you some tips on how to use social media and still live a life outside it! :)

Episode Transcript

© No part of this transcript may be copied or referenced or transmitted in any way whatsoever. Transcripts are auto-generated and thus will be be inaccurate. We are working on a system to allow volunteers to edit transcripts in a controlled system.


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Episode 35 Welcome to the Muslim life hackers podcast, the weekly podcast providing you with tips and tricks on how to hack your life and maximize its potential. And now for your hosts Mithra maroof and maheen Malik.

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As we said, the crisis see

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some life hackers, this is me for America, the 35th episode of the Muslim life hackers podcast. In this podcast, I'm going to be speaking to you about how I use social media for my advantage. You can find the show notes for this episode over at Wilson life hackers.com slash 35. And in the show notes, you can find the things that I mentioned throughout this episode, maybe some tools, and some references I make. So do check it out. So let's begin. So before I begin, I just want to share with you this little funny story that happened. I was actually sitting down with like all these, like these younger girls, they were like, say around, there was 910 1112. And around that age group, and

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you know, the conversation on social media and like these communication apps just came up. And then one of the things we were speaking about was like, okay, who has what? And then every single thing that was mentioned, like say was Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, YouTube, telegram, WhatsApp, Snapchat, Goodreads, well, the funny thing was every single thing that was meant to last nearly all for like, I had it, and I was thinking, whoa, I mean, I'm not that fed by social media, you said, Well, everything except Snapchat. I mean, I don't have it yet. I'm not really sure why I need it. But anyway, so then, I was just later on, I was thinking about the conversation, I was

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laughing. And I was thinking, whoa, I have so many social media networks, and how do I keep track of all of them. And so I was thinking about, and while the surprising thing was that it is possible to take care of all of them, like not all of them, all of them, but like the ones that you mainly use. So for example, most of you, like, if you're on social media, then you probably use like,

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like maybe two or three that you're most active on. And the rest is just you just have like a, maybe you signed up and you forgot about it. So that that was the case with mine. So you see, with social media, it's people have different opinions on it. I mean, some people would be like, are,

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they they don't, they don't want to have anything to do with it. So they're like, don't have any social media, which which I respect, and that's up to each and every person. But then there's like another, another segment, and it's a very large portion, and including myself, we have social media, and we still want to use it, but at the same time, we don't want our lives to be consumed by it, like, our lives shouldn't just be about social media, like, it should be like it has some other things that we're doing as well. So then, so then in an attempt to use social media to my advantage, I started like, you know, testing with like, different things, and, you know, finding out different

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ways on how I can be able to achieve this. And it was, it did take time for for, for me to be able to come to the stage that I am right now. And what I have set up is might sound very complex. But it's, it's very simple for me because it's it actually grew with time. Like, I find that this tool and that tool, and I just kind of like added on and like these features and stuff. So

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if you have no idea what I'm talking about right now will hopefully make sense as I keep going throughout this podcast. So pretty much the first thing, the first way on how to use social media to your to your advantage is by realizing that, like actually knowing the nature of social media, I mean, the thing is, social media has its benefits, but it also has, you know, the very time consuming side, and the thing we have to know is that that that is the nature of social media. Because

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you see, these companies that create these social medias and like different networks, is like one of one of the aim is to be able to keep the user longer on their site, or on the app, because the longer you stay on it, the longer you know, the more likely you can be able to say click on an advertisement which gives like, which generates revenue for them. And so one of the ways that social media is able to keep the user on on longer on their on their site is through like you know, little little features that they have like little little tweaks that they make in order for us to be able to stay on the website. So for example, say with Facebook, right? Every time there's like a

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notification automatically, we open up and see what that notification is. And it we've like be because it

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It's been happening continuously and continuously, like we're trained. Either it actually becomes like, they've actually created a habit so that whenever there is something that, that clicks, or like one sound that comes in, we just quickly straightaway, straightaway go to that social media network and open it. So

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it these these things, like they're the actual design of social media, it is intentional, and it is so and they have created it in a way so that users can be able to stay on social media for longer. And, you know, you can think this is a conspiracy, whatever to waste our time, blah, blah, blah, but Well, to be honest, at least coming from like, having like a business background, the way I see it is that they, they themselves are a company, and they need to do what's in their best interest in order to earn money and be successful themselves. So like any other business, the, the businesses themselves have to kind of like, look out for ways on how they can be able to increase their profits

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and whatnot, even if it means people having to waste their time or, you know, doing things that may not be so productive for them. So anyway, where do I go with this? Okay, the reason I wanted to explain that, so that you can know, how social media has been set up. See, it's, it's, it's no coincidence that it's been set up like that. It's, it's intentional, there's a lot of testings that, you know, there's a lot of testing that goes place behind, the reason why they decided to change certain features, put certain buttons in a place, usage of certain colors, it all actually has a purpose. So keeping this in mind, the second thing to kind of work at is figure out your purpose on

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why you're using social media.

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So it can be that, you know, you want to keep in touch with your family and friends. I mean, it can be a simple reason like that. I mean, I'm not, I'm not going to judge you for whichever reason you choose to use social media. This is up to you on how, like, what are your reasons on being on it, right. And so some of my reasons that I am on it is also Yes, to keep in touch with family and friends to be for networking purposes. And also, I also use social media in order to be connected with certain causes to be connected with certain authors that I that I like to read about certain topics. Also, news, world World News, like say, there are like certain things that I'm following. So

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I'd like to follow that news. And it's very, it's very updated, and very current, depending on which social media, also, I have to use social media for marketing purposes as well, because of the work that I do. And so that is also another reason, which this this reason, actually, is one of the reasons that actually forced me to kind of have procedures in place, because the thing is, when I actually get on social media, to do other things, then what what happens is I can get really, really distracted and end up wasting a lot of time. So that's, that's what kind of also motivated me to be able to put tools in place. So that I get my work done, you know, do do what I need to do and move

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on to whatever next tasks that I have. Okay, so what social media is that I use the most would, would be Facebook, and I use Twitter as well, although Facebook more so than Twitter, and also like some other social networks as well, which, which is like, it's not as common as these two. So this is the one that I'm going to be speaking to you about, like what tools that I have in place. So if you to, if if you find yourself using these social medias as well say Facebook and Twitter, then you'll find this really helpful. If you're using other social media networks, then there might there may be some tips here that you will find useful as well. So let me get started. Okay, so the first

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thing that I keep in mind when I approach social media is how important the people that you follow the things that you read, have, like how big of an influence they have on you, and the way you work, they have an influence on your thoughts, the way you view the world. It's it's very similar to

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friends in the real world, for example, like, I think I've mentioned this in my last podcast, how the five people that you hang around with you are made up of like the five people that you must hang around with. And also there are things like, if you want to look to a person, you go look to their friends. And so keeping that in mind, being very careful what you consume, because that would have a direct effect on you. I mean, look at it like food. If you're going to be consuming food that is not so good for you then your health will suffer as a result. But if you're going to be consuming food that is good for you, then that would better enable you to kind of

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be more productive, and do the things that you want to do. And so, so pretty much I mean, in the comparison of food, it's just pretty much a rain food. I'm careful on what kind of brain food that I consume, because I know it has an effect on me. And I'm human like everybody else. And the thing is, I don't, I don't do this, because, you know, I feel that I'm better than other people than I am. I'm would work. I'm more deserving to go and read better things out there. No, I mean, I do realize that I am an individual like you guys. And I'm an individual like, you know, and an office and that I just want to make use of my time. And sometime when you read things that are like, so shallow, when

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like all these like dramas online and stuff, like it's mentally exhausting it, it actually, it's, it's mentally exhausting. I mean, I don't know about you, but I find it really mentally exhausting, like, following this comment, that comment this hits, like, Oh, my God. And so it actually reminds me when a site about how, like the politics and stuff that happened on social media, right, there was one particular drama that was happening on social media. And so what what what happened was, like, I found myself reading and reading and reading, and I was following, like, every part.

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I felt like it was a drum or something like I was following every episode of it. And what happened was that I wasted so many hours, so many hours of my life, which I will never get back again. And at the end, what did I increasing? I mean, I didn't increase in anything. Really, I didn't, I don't, I don't recall any direct benefit that I got, as a result of following that. I mean, it's not like I was able to get more work done. It was, I mean, it is possible that I could have get the whole overview of what happened in the whole social media drama, or by just like one article or stuff, instead of having to follow each and everything in real time as it happens. I mean, at the end of

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the day, it would have been both the same to me. And the second option, which is just like reading it, as it, reading it after it all finished, I would have just gained more time, I would have get that time back that I spent following all that. And also, but not to mention, you know, it's just mentally exhausting as well. It's like, well, what did they say? What did they say? And how have they said this, and blah, blah, blah? Oh, my God. Okay, so now that you know where I'm coming from, how exactly do I be intentional about social media and be able to use it for my advantage in this sense, like, how do I actually control what I consume. And so this is, this is how I do it. I'm on

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Twitter and Facebook, there's actually a feature in which you can, there's actually a list feature, for example, you can be able to create lists for yourself that are private and and you can see it in which you put together, you know, different pages different. And I'm talking about Facebook here, different fan pages, different individuals that you that you like to read the updates, and you can put them in one list. And you can also do the same for Twitter as well. And what happens is that after you set that up, you can be able to go back, like when you log on to social media can go straight away and click on those lists on who you want to

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read and stuff. So

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some, like I have this list, it was actually on Facebook, it's called f f t, which stands for food for thought. And in this list, in this particular list, I have like a list of like, like author's and like different individuals, public figures and stuff that I really like their insights and their way of thinking. So I have that in my list. And so like some of them, like it's the good thing about it is because they have like different perspectives and stuff and

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it's quite enjoyable to read. And, and then there there's also another list which I have is like more more around like our world, World News, you can say like different causes and stuff that are happening and what's the latest updates on it so I can put them all into a list

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as well, like categorized into another list, so that it's by topic, or by certain people. Also another thing which you can do is also categorize your Facebook, you know this list to be chained to people that you want to follow that you want to be updated on. So say for example, there are family members that are also on your Facebook along with like so many other friends that you have. So you can you can also have a list that's called family and from all in Sidon. You can find out all the latest updates happening in your family. And now you may think Okay, so what do I need to create that list because you would already see everything in your newsfeed right but it's true, you can be

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able to see all all the latest updates from your family and friends on your newsfeed. There are a few problems

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This however, one of the things is that Facebook changes its algorithm, which is like, how it decides to structure your newsfeed on, you know, whenever it wants to. So, pretty much it's like you don't really have much control over what you want to see on your newsfeed you see before it was that Facebook would show you the things according to what you like. Like, for example, if you have certain interests then and it obviously knows your interest because of the things you like, the pages you go to. So we will cater news

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based on your interest, right. But now, like the algorithm has changed again, in which that

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it now shows you your news feed shows you'd like the content that's popular and most liked and stuff like that. So I mean, even if you don't understand that, the main thing is that it keeps changing, and you don't have control over it. And again, it just goes back to the whole control thing. And it just also reminds me of this picture that I saw, once on Twitter, and it was this picture about this little, it's like a cartoon, they saw a cartoon sucker drawn image. And it's like, there's all these people, and they're all looking at their phones, like they all look at their devices. And then like, like, their braids of their braids or take it out of it. Look, I know, like, it sounds a bit

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graphical, but it's not like, it's actually a very meaningful image, I reiterate that you can check it out on my Twitter, but I can also link it to the show notes. So you can have a look at that. And yeah, like so pretty much like the message I took out of that was like,

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You're, you're consuming that media, it's like, it's just like mindless consumption of that media. And you don't, you're not being able to think with your own mind. And that's something that I Well, as you can see, I don't I don't really like that I like to think for my own self. So that's I take control about what kind of like who exactly I want to be updated on. And depending on, you know,

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it just really goes goes back to the whole, like the the ones of more and more importance to least important. So for example, I have like family all over the world. So I do want to keep keep in touch with them. And what I would do is, I do have my family list. And at the same time, we also have like a group on Facebook. So we have like a group in which like, whenever someone gets married or something, it's like the photos are there. So it's pretty nice. And it really, it works for us. And maybe that's something also you can try as well. So the second thing that I have in place is this, again, comes back to my purpose. So that's why it's very important to figure out your purpose on

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social media is one of the things that I do is like, I have to get on social media in order to do some maintenance. So for example, on Facebook, I might have to do some things on groups or Facebook pages. And so what happens is that I can easily find myself just consumed by the things that I see there. So that's what I have set up is on on my computer, or there is like the different web browsers I use. And one of the web browsers I use is Google Chrome. And in that I have what's called an extension, which is like an application, which blocks my newsfeed. So when I log into Facebook, I don't have a newsfeed, it's blocked. So it's just like empty. And so what I can do as a result is

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like I can be able to log on to Facebook reply back to my messages, I can do what I need to do, and which actually works out for the better for me, because that way, I can be able to give whoever I'm writing to my full divided, full, full, undivided attention when I write back to them. And I can be able to be more intentional in the way that I approach social media and get my work done. And then after that log off, because knowing myself once again, that if so, if that news feed was enabled, then I would probably read like, go down and down and down and keep reading and reading and reading. And it would be like a never ending cycle because I mean, Facebook is does have auto scroll, which

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is like, it's the content doesn't end. Again, it just comes back to how so so that we stay on it longer. So the fourth thing you need to be aware of is really be honest with yourself and your usage with social media. Because some people may may be able to use it in a way that they can control their time and everything. But some people may be all over the place. And you know, I I could relate to the second one. I mean, at a time in which like, I would find myself on Facebook all the time, I'm always checking it. And it was connected onto my mobile, so I always had it with me. And so what I did, I was very honest with myself, I was like, Look, if this is going to be continuing like this,

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then it's not gonna work. I'm going to be spending a lot of time I'm not going to get things done. So pretty much the

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What What I did was a tip that someone told me and how they used a very complex password for the social media so that they weren't logged on it on mobile. And so I did the same as well, for my Facebook, I had a really complex password. That is, it says very complex passwords, I don't even know what it is, it's just saved onto my password manager. And so what I what, what I can't do now is I can't log on to my Facebook on my phone. Because knowing myself and knowing my habits attached to it, it didn't work. And so I was very honest with myself, and I took it off. So that I removed social media off my mobile phone. It's not that I went to the extreme in which I was like, no social

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media for me at all.

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I did take it off my mobile, but at the same time, I actually scheduled myself some time to use social media, it's still it's still an experiment, I'm still trying to work out which one will work best for me. But right now, what I have found is right after I exercise, then I'll use social media. I can't change in the future, but

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I would use it, and then I would log off. So that is based on my habits and behavior. So I suggest you do the same as well, like step back and ask yourself, where where did where do you find yourself most likely, like, you know, really falling and wasting a lot of time when you log on to social media, is that when it's connected on your mobile, or is when

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you start when you're using your computer, you need to figure that out for yourself and then put in the tools in place in order to stop that from happening. And before in the past, I did have these apps on my computer

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in which he would actually block social media, or, or just give you like a limited amount of time to use social media. So I remember one it was on Google Chrome was called stay focused. You can find that app. And the apps that I did use back then it's on the Muslim life hackers blog, and you can check it out. I wrote a blog post about it. And if you find yourself unable to control your usage on your computer, then maybe you should have tools in place in order to be able to better control it.

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Okay, so there you have it, my social media setup as of now. Well, there are some things that will be changing in the future. And I'm always on constant lookout on how to work better. And so this podcast if you're hearing it, like say, maybe months down the track, then I'm not sure if if if it would be still be applicable. But hopefully it is and hopefully you found something you said in this podcast. I'm really interested to know what you found helpful from this podcast, and what other ways you use social media for your advantage. So that's about it for Episode 35 I hope you enjoyed this episode. And until next time, we'll see life hack is a PI take action and z

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