Designing Social Media for Personal development Through Design Thinking

Updated: Sep 18



Before I Getting into Design Thinking, I am Content Creator in Different Social Media Platforms for more than 4 years. And I also consulting regarding Social Media Management and Marketing for more than 1 year. Any Social Media Consultant will know “How Social Media is used in business for Customer engagement, Marketing, Recruitment, etc?” and also know Social media consumption is Indirectly and Directly Influences the user’s opinion about everything they consume. But Recently When I view Social Media as Design Thinker, I thought if social media usage is so powerful “Why shouldn’t I Design my Social Media Environment for Self Improvement?”. Through the Design Thinking approach, I have Redesigned my Social Media Environment for Self Improvement.


EMPATHIZE

In this phase, I need to Self Empathize and I knew I had to track my own social media usage and its effects to understand how I was influenced by social media. It may sound easy but when it comes to self-empathy the difficult part is I want to track my social media activity without changing my natural Social media activity. So sort out this issue I came up with three tools to track my social media activity. And I planned to track my social media activities for a week. After Setting these tracking tools I started to work on other important works so my natural activity will not be affected.


1. Using Google Activity Controls

Through Google Activity Controls we can choose to save our activity like Web&App Activity, Youtube Search & Watch History.


By turning on these controls I can track my whole App & Web Activity. But I cannot see exactly what I am doing inside the application.


2. Using Screen Recorder Android App


I used Screen Recorder to track my whole Social Media Activity for 7 days. But It covers a lot of phone memory. so I need to transfer those videos to PC. It also drains the phone battery soon. However, It only records the only usage it will not record my emotions and intention of my activities.


3. Making Notes


During my free time in a day, I will note down what are contents I consumed via social media and What are opinions I have generated by consuming that. I also note down activities & feelings which are influenced particularly by social media usage. (Like applying for Science event which When I saw its Advertisement in Facebook feed. Watching a Youtube video by clicking the link in my Whatsapp Group etc).


DEFINE


After a week with all the data from my tracking tools, I started my analyze phase. By Analyzing those data I got these insights,


My Problems


Most of the problems in My Current Social Media Environment are due to doing wrong actions due to unawareness and immaturity. These are the major problems,

  1. First Very Important thing by analyzing this data I realized that when I started to use social media in 2011, I didn’t think about why I am following or liking pages because in initial stages just like that I have followed many memes pages, cinema media pages, actors pages. But today all their updates are ended up in my feeds, so involuntarily I consume the contents which are no way useful to me. (Like In What way news of particular actor shaven his beard is going to use for me in life)

  2. Expressing my opinions on many social issues in Which no way I am directly related but after sharing that I will end up in feeling I have done Something Good. (Very Stupid Right, Fun Fact My Old Friend thought I have Become a Journalist by seeing my social media updates)

  3. When I consume more content about a particular product or service it creates more interest in that product or service.

  4. Just only because of social media connectivity learning about other’s life activities involuntarily who are not so important to me. (Like seeing post of my acquaintance is having coffee in Starbucks)

  5. Notifications for texting apps urge me to text back.

My Wants

  1. I want a Social Media Environment which should be helpful for me to improve myself.

  2. Social media should help me in my professional career.

  3. Social media should influence me to learn more things that are useful to me.

  4. Not want to end up in knowing unrelated and unuseful information from social media.

SOLUTION


It is clear from the previous phase that wrong actions in initial stages led to the current undesired environment. First, we need to go back to the initial stage I have two options one I need to undo the wrong actions and the other one is creating a new social media. I choose the second one because creating new social media takes less time and energy. And then I need to do the right actions to get the desired Environment.


What are the Right Actions?

I ideated these right actions based on my insights from empathizing & define phase

  1. Connecting with people who I want to really want to interact in my real life.

  2. Following authenticated pages of Top Organizations and top technicians in my professional field.

  3. Following pages of people who I think Very Inspiring for me.

  4. Turning On Notifications on your phone Only for Important things.

  5. Joining in Professional Social Media Groups in my areas of Intrest.

  6. Sharing Opinions in Right platforms will make my opinion valuable just more than digital imprint.

  7. Never Hesitate to Unfollow or Hide the posts of Spammers.

  8. At last, follow some authenticated pages on Health, Fitness, News, and Education.

Prototype ( My New FB Account)

I applied this solution in my new Facebook account. Everything Worked correctly but however I get irritated when persons I follow share some unwanted stuff, So I need to regularly hide the posts in our newsfeed.


TESTING

I applied this solution to all other platforms with little iterations depends upon the Social media I use such as Medium, Linkedin, Twitter, Youtube, Instagram.


MY RESULTS

To Surprise, Even this blog is a result of this process. Really after applying this solution on different social media platforms, I have a very positive feel in using social media. I learn at least 2 or 3 ideas every day, I Engage with the right professional people. To Great extreme When we follow these steps in the new social media account, I observe most of the social media algorithm itself suggesting right organizations, persons and feeds that we like to engage and learn respectively. I also engage with my right personal people in social media.

Finally I have very Good Social Media Environment, In which I am Improving myself lot.

AUTHOR:

SANTHOSH GANDHI (UX Researcher & Writer)


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