If you see one more photo of pasta pop-up on your friend’s Snapchat line-up, you might virtually slap her with a noodle. Or maybe each time you’re dragged into a rabbit hole when you log onto Facebook you feel an urge to break-up with social media. But you don’t want to toss it all away. You do enjoy hearing about events and reading things that make you laugh out loud. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to be all or none when it comes to social media.
People often seek counseling to mend broken relationships. Why not take the same approach when it comes to social media? Figure out where the relationship is going and devise a plan that includes attention to your needs and lifestyle goals.
How to Not Break-Up with Social Media
Begin by logging your social media time for a week.
Grab a pen and paper and lay it out there in black and white. Keeping a paper log can provide the reset (and re-education) you need to start using writing as a tool for relaxation and mental revival and writing legibly again! Also, it will reveal your screen habits.
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Turn screen time in on itself and use an app to take control!
Moment Screen Time Tracker tells you how much time you spend on your phone, tablet and other screens. Moment’s Phone Boot Camp can help you reboot so you can reorganize.
Once you understand your patterns, set a reasonable goal.
Seek moderation, not complete elimination. Which peek-ins could you miss without feeling anxious? Maybe you don’t need to “check-in with friends” before and after breakfast. Establish a time each day to allow yourself a glance at each screen.
Try to remember why you opened your social media accounts.
Maybe you logged into a photo-based platform, but you’re not much of a shutterbug. Maybe another platform seemed like a great way to connect with fun friends, but it turned out those folks use the platform to vent and rant. If the tone or mechanisms of a social media site don’t suit you, it’s OK at this point to leave it. Your actual friends will not forget you!
When you decide which platform(s) to stick with, take control of the tone.
Instead of letting others make you angry or cause feelings of insecurity, use your favorite social media platform to truly connect on and off-line. Don’t stare, compare and despair! Try committing to posting one encouraging thing a week. Use the event functions to organize actual meetups that will enrich your life. On that note, commit to posting one creative thing a week or highlighting someone else’s creativity. Pretty soon the platform will feel less like a complaint board and more like an innovative incubator.
The point is that you don’t have to let your screens go blank to find balance. Implement self-reflection and self-control so that social media can become a healthy lens through which you celebrate the past, live in the moment and shape an intelligent, interesting future.