Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Youtube, Periscope and there are plenty of other social media sites and apps.
I like social media. It helps me access useful and inspirational content that I would otherwise wouldn’t have access to. There’s also the ability to connect with friends and family near and far. However, as with most things, there’s a tipping point to social media where its benefits decrease and disadvantages increase. We end up scrolling our newsfeed for hours, watching funny videos, and reading motivational posts with no intention to act on the motivation they give us. If I don’t keep an eye on myself I can easily spend too much time on social media, so to keep my social media usage at a happy level I employ some guidelines.
1. Only follow people and accounts that inspire you and help you.
I unfollow everything that does not help me. It took some time to have enough courage unfollow friends and family but I did because it’s not hard to keep up to date with them in real life because they are accessible to me in other parts of my life. I can just catch up with over the phone and when I see them in person. Also, when I have IRL conversations with and they tell me some cool news about their life, I can surprise them by being surprised, rather than saying ‘Oh yeah, I saw your post about that on FB.'
2. Do not repeat follow.
If I have someone who posts the same stuff on all their social media profiles I only follow them one account. To reduce mass content overlap, I have dedicated a specific purpose to each social media app. For example, Instagram is for inspirational and useful stuff. Facebook is for connecting with people I already know, Twitter is for starting conversations with new people, and Pinterest is for finding and saving articles and recipes I want to reference again in the future.
3. Set up times for no social media.
I set specific times during my day where I never use social media, and other times where I can browse my feeds as much as I want without feeling guilty. This helps me use the rest of my day mindfully, knowing that I have time for social media set up.
4. Spend more time creating than consuming.
Over time, I have noticed that I feel terrible when I haven’t spent enough time on creating and doing things myself and too much time on consuming information. And when I am feeling like that, social media seems to magnify that everyone else is doing cool stuff. And in the the end this is kind of true, because I am choosing to spend my time, not on being active and creative myself, but on reading about the things other people have done and created. Now that I understand this process, I make it my priority to work on creating new things and ideas myself so that my life is interesting enough to me so that I don’t have to live vicariously through other people’s social media.
Now go forth and unfollow! If you think you might have trouble unfollowing people read this excellent article on how to cut down on mass content duplication on Instagram that translates to all other social media!
What is your biggest pet peeve on social media? How do you think you can reduce this? Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.
With love and simplicity,