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You Will Never Build The Next Big Thing If You Spend Your Day on Social Media

There is a negative correlation between work and talk. The more you talk, the less you accomplish. Part of the reason is psychological. Talking sometimes feels like doing. After a cool selfie with a celebrity, we feel like we have done enough for the day.

Attending an event and gathering likes and shares on facebook feel like real accomplishments. Because our minds are tricked by these likes and shares and congratulations and we feel like we have done enough or achieved a lot for the day without doing any real work.

Unfortunately, we live in a world where getting likes and shares is the easiest thing to do. Today, everyone of us is a celebrity with our own followers. We own our personal media companies and get to update it every other moment. What we have lost in the process is quite precious, we have lost our ability to distinguish between work and fake work.

Everyday we get this false feeling that we have worked hard all day without achieving much in the real sense of the word. Despite we choose facebook over work, because contrary to posting photos and attending events, doing real work is hard.

Today we spend more time on social networking sites than that we spend in doing real work. Posting tiniest of our achievements online and living on likes instead of doing important works. If you are an entrepreneur, this is not going to help you build an enduring company.

If you are an artist, this is not going to help you create masterpieces. If you are a writer, this is not going to help you write great work of writing. Rather, this is going to bring you down.

Jim Clark is one of the most important figures in the world of technology and entrepreneurship. He founded Silicon Graphics and Netscape Communications Corporation, the two most important ventures that contributed heavily to build today’s internet world, along with many other ventures.

Clark understands what it takes to build things, create next big business. He knows a thing or two when it comes to managing your productivity and doing great work. In an interview with Stanford president John Hennessy, a couple years ago, Clark discussed his personal understanding of social media frenzy and productivity.

Around 41 minutes into the talk, Clark says something very important about social media and its usage.

“I just don’t appreciate social networking, which has blown up in recent years. In part, because [I recently attended a panel on social media where a panelist was] just raving about people spending twelve hours a day on Facebook…so I asked a question to the guy who was raving: the guy who is spending twelve hours a day on Facebook, do you ever think he’ll be able to do what you’ve done? That’s the fundamental problem…people waste too much time on that.”

Then he goes on to how he approaches work and get things done.

“In my life, it’s been a lot about hard work and focus and study and very concentrated study, not about – you know – lots of interruptions, I’m guilty as anyone — but I turn my phone off or turn the buzzer off and make it unavailable for a good six hours a day. And I work — I still work. I like programming, I like doing things that are productive.”

I came across this talk and a short article on the blog of the Author Cal Newport, who has written extensively on the topic of deep work and peril of social networking and shallow work [I’m currently reading his book Deep Work], and argues that in order to accomplish something meaningful and enduring we need to spend time doing real work and honing our attention. In fact, it requires huge deep and concentrated work to build anything worthwhile. So, all makers out there, let’s get back to work.

Mohammad Ruhul Kader is a Dhaka-based entrepreneur and writer. He founded Future Startup, a digital publication covering the startup and technology scene in Dhaka with an ambition to transform Bangladesh through entrepreneurship and innovation. He writes about internet business, strategy, technology, and society. He is the author of Rethinking Failure. His writings have been published in almost all major national dailies in Bangladesh including DT, FE, etc. Prior to FS, he worked for a local conglomerate where he helped start a social enterprise. Ruhul is a 2022 winner of Emergent Ventures, a fellowship and grant program from the Mercatus Center at George Mason University. He can be reached at ruhul@futurestartup.com

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