Okay. Let’s get into this then. Social media. We all have it. We can’t live without it. Social media crept into our lives, got us all in a strong hold and has refused to let go. Social media has without a doubt been one of the most influential things to happen to us – it’s provided us with so much positivity and opportunity. But let’s not beat around the bush, it’s also destroyed lives.
Now I know that introduction sounds a little dramatic but I’m not wrong. Social media is everywhere and everything at times – as much as we like to think it’s not. And you know what, I don’t think that’s always a bad thing. It’s helped us create businesses, connect with people, help people and much, much more.
But of course you’ve always got the side of social media that’s brought with it safety concerns, mental health issues, trauma, bullying and more as well. Which is always devastating and heart-breaking to read and think about.
But like with most things in life, it has it’s good and it’s bad. And the good thing about social media is that there are plenty of things we can do as users to help make our experience of the various platforms safer and more positive. There will always be certain things out of our control – but let’s focus on the things we can control.
For me, social media has been the highest of high and the lowest of low. It’s allowed me to create this blog when I was at the darkest and lowest time of my life with my anxiety disorder. It’s allowed me to turn it into a full-time business, land me opportunities with amazing brands and make more money than I ever thought I could, from something that I built from scratch.
It’s also allowed me to build my confidence after my entire normality and independence was taken from me. It’s allowed me to make friends and meet people who understand what I’m going through. But with every positive, there’s definitely a negative.
It’s affected my self esteem more than I ever thought possible. I’m always comparing myself to others. And I struggle to stay in the present moment sometimes because I’m scrolling through my phone.
But it’s okay – I don’t let those few negatives take away from the positives of social media. But I do continuously work on having a healthier relationship with social media platforms so I can find more balance in my life and take better care of my mental health. Here are some tried and tested ways I adopt a more healthier relationship with social media!
Turn on your screen time limits
iPhones have an amazing screen time limit feature but if you don’t have an iPhone, I’m use there are similar features on the phone you have. If not, you’ll have to set your own screen time limits. But regardless of how you do it, it’s a great tool to start with to cut down the amount of time you spend on social media. I turn all mine off at 9pm.
Block, mute and un-follow generously
Those buttons are there for a reason. It’s not illegal to use them, so use them wisely and use them generously. If someone gives you bad vibes, is bringing you down or making you feed bad about yourself (either intentionally or not), use the appropriate action for you and watch how your social media feeds get that little brighter.
Related read: 8 Reasons To De-Clutter Your Facebook Friends
Follow more people that inspire you
And as well as removing people who don’t align with you or jive with your energy, you should also follow more people that do. You are in control of who or what you follow. Algorithms may get in the way but who you choose to follow is up to YOU, so follow those who are bright, positive, natural and real who inspire you online, instead of making you feel bad.
Know your why and your purpose behind it
This really helps when we find ourselves aimlessly scrolling. Which is very common and a hard habit to break. We all use social media for a reason so try and understand your why before you do it. For me, I go on social media in the morning to answer comments, to share blog posts and to interact with other bloggers. That’s my reason.
Turn off your notifications
Turning off notifications on social media platforms is an amazing way to deter you from checking them every single time that little red dot pops up. You’re still getting your notifications, you’re just not being hounded with them all day, every day. So this allows you to check them in your own time.
Set personal boundaries
Whether that’s only checking social media for a total of 2 hours a day, turning off social media by 8pm or culling who you follow and interact with, set those boundaries and stick to them where possible. Boundaries are amazing for all areas of life and need to be established to help you find a balance that works for YOU.
Remind yourself that it’s mostly a highlight reel
If you struggle with comparison like me, then this is something you need to remind yourself of every single time you fall down that rabbit hole. Photos get edited. Filters get applied. Make up gets put on. The perfect lighting gets arranged. Some people only post photos from their fancy holidays or trips away and don’t show you anything else.
Remember, everyone is within their right to show what they want on their own social media platforms. If you only want to post your highlights, then that’s fine. But if you’re someone that struggles with comparison and jealousy, then you might want to think about un-following these people or perhaps giving yourself some mindful affirmations before you use the platforms.
Try and leave your phone elsewhere when doing something
Sometimes social media can interfere with us having meaningful connections to the person we’re with or the thing that we’re doing because we’re scrolling through Twitter. Try leaving your phone elsewhere whilst you do certain activities, to help you be more in the moment, present and connected.
Social media is wonderful. But only if you allow it to be and make those positive changes so that your social media platforms are a place you want to be but also a place you don’t feel like you need to be all the time.
What steps do you take to create a healthier relationship with social media? Anything to add to this post? Let me know!
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