How To Have a Healthier Relationship with Social Media
A few months ago my instagram account got hacked. I freaked out, had three (forced) days away from an app I had completely relied on and then realised that things probably had to change. It got me thinking a great deal about the way I use and consume social media. In particular INSTAGRAM. I got stuck in a rut with it, where I would scroll endlessly and tap away feeling less inspired the deeper I went. I would use it to kill time. To wake myself up in the morning. I would use it to get my feelings of connection, validity and love. And then I realised that it wasn't the way I wanted to live nor was it adding anything of value to my life. So I rethought things. This is what I did.
UNFOLLOW PEOPLE YOU DON'T CARE ABOUT OR ANYTHING THAT MAKES YOU FEEL WORSE ABOUT YOURSELF. because you don't need that!
I would follow people because I thought I should. Because it is about 'being social' or making connections. But then my feed was filled to the brim with people who I didn't know the names of. Or people I just didn't want to hear from. So I got rid of them. It took me about three sessions over the course of a few months. The first time I got rid of a few hundred. The second time I got my following count down to 100. And the third time I really committed to the goal of making my instagram feed a place of positivity. So I unfollowed anything that didn't align with that.
FOLLOW THINGS THAT MAKE YOU FEEL GOOD
After I pretty much unfollowed everything. I added back some good things. Like dogs. Lots of dogs. And it made things a whole lot better. TRY IT.
THINK ABOUT YOUR BOUNDARIES IN TERMS OF SOCIAL MEDIA
I wrote a post at the start of the month about boundaries and how I was starting to figure out where mine were. I really urge you to give it some thought. Because you don't have to document every dinner you go out to, every run you go on or every moment of everyday. You can choose. But I would say be authentic. Because that will make social media a much better place.
BE CONSCIOUS OF YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA TIME
Rather than using it to wake yourself up (because it can set the tone of the day all wrong) or for killing time, choose to be incredibly conscious of your social media time. Really engage with it. Or don't. I'd suggest making the first hour of your day completely social media free. It might help!
BE SOCIAL OFFLINE TOO
If you are anything like me picking up the phone to organise a meeting with a friend is a daunting task. But instead of turning to social media to get your fill of connection calling your friend is exactly what you need. Don't rely on social media for that connection that we all crave as human beings. Easier said than done.
REMIND YOURSELF THAT IT IS JUST A POST
All too often we get stuck in the comparison trap and it can often make us feeling ungrateful for the lives we do live! BUT just remember that the post you are consuming is just a post, often times a very curated, very highlighted post too. After a scroll sesh maybe a little debrief will help: remind yourself that it is just a post on social media and nothing more. Remember that you are more than your likes. More than your followers. And more that your instagram grid or engagement rate. Remind yourself that your life is blissful too. All of the ups and downs. All of the things that don't get instagrammed, because everything is a part of life. And that is what makes our beautiful, complex, messy lives all but richer.
HAVE YOU GOT ANY TIPS FOR HAVING A HEALTHIER RELATIONSHIP WITH SOCIAL MEDIA??? Do share them!