Social networks: opium of the 21st century

Sem títuloYou open your FB and see a comment/post/meme about moralistic, doctrinal, idealistic, political, sporting, religious, and the list is endless… You get exalted and waste a lot of time writing something about the ‘controversy of the moment’. Then you discuss, comment, enjoy some things and close the FB. It’s time for ‘something nicer’. See what your social circle is “doing”. It’s time for Instagram!

Welcome to the richest, most prosperous and happiest island the world has ever seen: the Instagram feedline. You go running your finger down the screen and enjoying the photos of people you like (or pretend to like for social policy issues).

From the moment you enter this frame, you start to waste time.  Let’s not judge the moral character of social networks. This is not our job. Let’s talk about MONEY. And time and money are like magnets.

The math

Let’s analyze financially the time spent on social networks and how this can be a trap.

A) How much did you receive from active income in 2016? Turn into dollars. Write down the value.

B) Now find out how many business days existed in your country in 2016 (if you are in Brazil, it was 254 days, if you are in the US, it was 250 days)

C) Multiply the number of working days by the hours worked (as a rule, eight hours a day)

D) You have reached the number of hours worked in 2016. Write down the value.

F) It is now simple: take the amount received from active sources of income in 2016 and divide by the number of hours actually worked in 2016.

I) John Doe received 80k USD in 2016.
Ii) He worked 8 hours a day in 250 business days. 8 * 250 = 2000 hours.
iii) 80,000 / 2000 hrs = 40.00 USD per hour.

The financial logic for social networks

The latest research shows that an average person spends per day: on YouTube (40 minutes), Facebook (35), Snapchat (25), Instagram (15) and Twitter (one). Projected those figures out over a lifetime: five years and four months.

Using the above accounts, you can imagine how much money you left on the table. “Oh, but life is not just money.” Who decides what is important in life is you, this blog has a clear mission. We do not write for average people, so we assume that you have a realistic view of reality, even if it is brutal.

If you spend five years and four months of your life learning something, working or even strengthening your social relationships in *real* life, your result will be exponentially greater. Let’s go back to the example of  John Doe

I) John Doe received 80k USD in 2016.
Ii) He worked 8 hours a day in 250 business days. 8 * 250 = 2000 hours.
iii) 80,000 / 2000 hrs = 40.00 USD per hour.
iv) Five years and four months on social media = 10664 hours
v) 10664 hrs * 40.00 USD per hour =  426,560 USD.


How much time per day do you lose by sliding the feedline? How much time do you lose seeing posts that do not add value to your knowledge?

The chance that you will find useful information in FB is zero. If this information is in a social network with 1 billion users, it is already completely useless. Besides being old, it comes from sources that are not very reliable. Any 12-year-old boy from the interior of Bulgaria can do something about it.

Virtually everyone in IG is rich and happy (which is realistically impossible, given the numbers of Western society). You just stare at other people’s lives. And these people, in their overwhelming majority, try to look like they are of a social class in which they do not belong. You trade your time for lies.

In both cases. Nothing solid to build from social networks when it comes to money. Obviously if you monetize through your social networks, then this business starts to have value. But every 100,000 users, how many earn money through social networks? I am sure that the absolute majority gains absolutely NOTHING.

See the practical example of John Doe. An average worker with an average time spent on social networks. The value of the working hour to John is 40 USD. This is the basis value for a rational analysis of time expenditure. John lost 5 years and 4 months arguing non sense on social media. By the end of this time, your bankroll  could be 400k USD higher. But who said opium allows rationality? Welcome to the 21st century.


4 thoughts on “Social networks: opium of the 21st century

  1. It’s so sad.
    I was very busy with my fb, I stoped to post, I blocked my feed. I never used snapchat. I have instagram but I don’t post every month, I think that I wasted all my time there, and see other people rich/happu all the time is depressing.

    They all are addictive.

    Good post man!


    • You are ahead of 99.99% of people when you have the perception of time lost. For example: ‘Likes’ in FB acts on the brain as a very short-term pleasure. Countless people feel better when they receive likes. The same goes for instagram. But what is the real value of this? None. Absolute time loss.


  2. I agree that people loose a lot of time in those social media but I disagree when you do this math with time that they use for it.

    Those time is needed to give a refresh to you brain, work, problems and others things that guide you to be crazy and depressive. Its true that people are using this time with social media and its very bad but you can’t change those time with money. You can do it for some time but after you’ll be crazy.

    We need relief time of everything that we do with intensity. I prefer go for a run, sometimes play some games, watch some series but I can’t use those time to study more and more and more. After some time studying I need a break to refresh my mind.

    BTW, I only follow IG and some doctors profile with some good information about health.



    • Humans are not machines. Everyone needs time for rest – both physical and mental. The question of mathematical calculation is to measure time x money. There are no excuses with wasting time when you even have a reasonable financial condition.

      You have highlighted productive methods for relaxing. I sincerely don’t believe that people “relax” in social networks. They get angry, depressed, nervous .. but nothing compared to the term ‘relax’ or ‘refresh’.



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