|Posted on June 30, 2020 at 11:50 AM|
Stop the social media madness! For those spending an excessive amount of time on social media (like many of us are in these "stay at home" times), there can be a serious increase in feelings of sadness, dissatisfaction, frustration, or loneliness. We see an increase in these feelings in ourselves, and likely in our teenagers.
Consider some of the negative aspects of using social media:
-A fear of missing out (FOMO) can keep you opening social media apps minutes after you last checked in.
-Many of us use social media as a “security blanket”. When we are in a social situation and feel anxious, or awkward we grab our phones. This also keep us from face-to-face interaction that can help to ease anxiety and keep us from meeting new people.
-Excessive social media use could be masking other underlying problems, such as stress, depression, or boredom.
-Comparing. We see other's post about all the great things they've been doing and photos where they never look tired. Keep in mind- we post what we want to post, and most people aren't posting their down moments, so comparing our everyday to someone else's best moments is not accurate or helpful.
-These things snowball as we continue to use social media to numb or ignore negative feelings, and then we feel worse, and in turn, spend more time on social media, etc.
In these cases, it's time to take a look at online habits and make some changes for a healthier balance.
- Set a timer once or twice a day for 15 minutes and catch up on the highlights and then move on to something healthier.
-Create a list of things you want to do and when you find yourself bored or anxious, choose something productive or healthier from that list. ( I sense a future post coming from this tip!) Some ideas may be downloading ebooks to your phone, watching TED talks, listening to a podcast, oh yeah, and going outside or interacting with your family or friends!
- Limit your social media platforms to 1 or 2.
- Define a goal for yourself- is social media to catch up with long distance family? Is it to post for your business? Is it a form of a journal for yourself to look back at events? Once you have a goal for social media use, consistently ask yourself if you are using it for more than that and adjust accordingly.
- Follow people that are positive or informative for you. If you consistently find yourself upset by someone's posts, unfollow them. Just because you know who the person is, doesn't mean to you have to be an online friend or follower.
- Consistently check in with yourself on how you feel after checking in on social media. If it isn't something positive (happy after seeing updated photos of your niece, or excited about a new recipe, for example), consider your social network and if you need to adjust your time, platform and who you follow towards something closer to your goal for using social media.
I know, you are likely reading this on social media, right? Social media isn't all bad, we just need to get clear on how it can be used for each of us individually in a positive way and continually adjust to make sure it is an asset and not a liability in our lives.
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