My Social Media Experiment – 5 Simple Rules
I have been a big supporter of social media. I think it’s been a great way to communicate with people and businesses. It certainly has been a great way for influencers or other creative types to get their work in front of lots of eyes. For lots of folks it has been very lucrative.
Let’s face it though. Most of us are addicted to social media.
Many of us find ourselves glued to the phone, refreshing minute after minute, even when nothing new pops up. While there are many benefits to social media, like quick access to information, there are also many negatives. Social media can cause stress and anxiety and damage self-esteem. Sometimes the best thing you can do is take a break from social media.
I decided to step back from Facebook in particular. Unfortunately, I can’t step away from social media completely. My job requires it and I think it would be more of a disadvantage to not be “part of the crowd” and my first impulse to stop for the rest of the year but that is unrealistic because it is also a great way to connect with an audience.
But, I have deleted the Facebook app from my phone and that has given me the “break” I was looking for.
A lot of you asked why I made such a quick decision? Frankly, out of all the social media platforms out there I found Facebook to be the most misleading. Certainly, the most “harsh” in terms of humanity. But, it also is the platform that gives you the ability to “speak your truth” and frankly….for me….some of the “truths” out there are ridiculous.
I think the last straw was seeing the overwhelming amount of imature “bashing” that frankly is pure bullshit.
If you go to the comment section, you will encounter people offending other people by insulting them simply because they do not agree with their opinions. In a way, social media enables people to take on different identities, or helps them create a new one.
So, while I think it is an important tool, I think it should be in moderation. The convience of having it right on your phone feeds to addiction. I’ve noticed that I can enjoy social media more leasurly now that I don’t have such direct access to it on my phone.
Plus, without the app…I swear my phone is faster! Another plus….maybe I’ll be tracked less.
So, after taking some time away….this is my conclusion:
- Schedule Time to Use Social Media and Plan Intervals to Step Away. Balance is the key (as is often the case) to forming healthy habits on social media. Experts recommended setting aside time to browse as well as planning stints to log off and ignore notifications. It’s particularly important to stay off social media when you’re spending time with friends or family and before you go to sleep. It may be helpful to use an old-fashioned alarm clock to wake up in the morning, so you can leave your phone in the other room when it’s time to go to bed.
- Understand your Purpose when Logging into Social Media and Stick to it. We’ve all gone online to check the time of a birthday party next week and found ourselves, an hour later, watching video after video. Be thoughtful about why you’re logging into a site and sign off when you’re finished. This will also make sure you’re using social media the way you want – to connect with friends or get updates on your favorite band – without letting what other people are posting take over.
- View Other People’s Posts as Inspiration Rather than a Comparison. Seeing other people broadcast their successes and post picture-perfect moments might make your daily life appear pale in comparison. But remember that these moments aren’t representative of someone’s whole life, and the person posting them is probably struggling with a lot of the same issues you are. Looking at these posts as inspiration to work toward your own goals, rather than directly comparing your life to their Instagram, is a healthier way to use social media. It’s also helpful to be selective about who you follow. If someone’s posts consistently make you feel bad about yourself or leave you frustrated, then consider unfriending or unfollowing that person.
- Think Before Posting. Really think about what you’re sending out to the world. Before you hit send on a post, consider whether it’s spreading positivity. You can help make your feed an encouraging place by avoiding trolls or online arguments and fostering a community of support and positivity among your friends or followers.
- Put your Mental Health First. Check in with yourself before using social media. If you’re feeling down, maybe go outside for a walk or grab coffee with a friend rather than spending time online. If receiving notifications throughout the day makes you feel stressed or anxious then it’s a good idea to delete social media apps from your phone or disable push notifications, so you only see alerts when you sign in manually.