This is the first official weekend challenge of #SelfCareFeb. We are going to take a look at social media. I kind of touched upon this in yesterday’s post, but social media has become increasingly important in our culture and for many people it has become a source of “information” on what is going on in the lives of people around you.The problem with this is that it can be so easy to believe that someone else’s life is going better than yours just because they are posting selfies of themselves smiling on the beach in Thailand or in front of their brand new car, which is simply not true. Everyone is at different stages in their life, and comparing your current stage in life to someone else’s is not going to do you any favors. It can make you feel pretty bad about yourself. Here are some tips that you can implement over the weekend to make your social media more uplifting and inspiring:
[Note: I know that there are a ton of other social media outlets other than Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. I am just focusing on these three for the sake of brevity, but all of the following tips can be applied to any social media outlet! ]
1. Turn Off Notifications: Turning off notifications only takes a few seconds, but it can make a huge impact! I used to have notifications turned on on my phone and e-mail for Facebook and Twitter. All day my phone would be pinging and chiming to let me know that someone posted a new photo, or that another person just changed their relationship status, or that someone commented on a picture I liked. My e-mail inbox was cluttered with notifications from Twitter. It was information overload and I found myself wanting to check my social media every few minutes so that I didn’t miss anything “important.” It is a major time suck and you could be spending your time more productively.
2. Set Specific Limits on How Often You Check Your Social Media: This may be hard for most people to do, but it really frees up your time. I have seen people do similar things with e-mail where they only check their inbox at say, lunch time and before dinner. I personally only check Facebook twice a day, but mainly in the morning to say “Happy Birthday” to people. If you go on there with no specific time limit in mind, you will suddenly find yourself on the page of your sisters best friends nephews wedding album and wondering how you got there! Twitter can also be a slippery slope. People post a lot of funny things and interesting links, but you really have to reign yourself in.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Un-follow People or Use the “Mute” Feature: You really have to protect your energy. There are so many people on social media who love to whine and complain and “woe is me.” Reading that day in and day out can really affect you and kill your vibe. If someone is posting things that don’t jive with you or that you find annoying, mute them or un-follow! It only takes a second and you will feel so much better. I used to follow a lot of random people on Instagram who would post cool things 50% of the time, but the other half of the time that were things that I didn’t necessarily care for. I went on an un-following spree and only followed people who posted quality content. A side benefit of following fewer people is that you don’t have to spend as much time scrolling through your feed each day because there will be less content to scroll through! Many people avoid doing this because you feel that someone might get mad at you for un-following them, especially if they are a friend, but the truth is that they probably won’t even notice.
4. Have a Blackout Time: Imagine this: You hop into bed, stretch and yawn, and slip under the warm covers. You fluff your pillows and lay your head down and close your eyes for a moment…but then reach over and grab your phone and hop on social media and proceed to scroll, scroll, scroll, and the next thing you know you have missed out on a couple of hours of sleep because you were so captivated. Does that scenario sound familiar? This goes along with suggestion #2 above, but try to avoid catching up on social media past a certain time like 10pm when you should really be concentrating on catching up on sleep.
5. Evaluate What You Are Posting: Do your posts on social media uplift you or do they make you feel bad about yourself? Do you eagerly count the number of “likes” that you get on each post? Everyone loves to be noticed, but when you post on social media, focus on sharing things that you genuinely like and that you think would uplift others rather than posting gossip, commenting negatively on others pictures, or posting things that you wouldn’t want someone (such as your employer or mother) to see. Like attracts like, so when you clean up your social media image you will notice that the people around you will do so as well.
6. Take a Break: I know so many people who have taken a hiatus from social media for one main reason: they felt that they were spending too much time comparing their lives to others. Most social media outlets have an option where you can temporarily deactivate. You can take some time off and return when you are ready! Or you can just delete it all together. You may have to make more of an effort to stay connected with your friends, but the long-term benefits of being less stressed and overloaded with videos, quotes, and updates will be worth it in the end.
Comment Below: Have you ever found yourself constantly glued to social media? Which of the tips above will you be implementing this weekend?
#SelfCareFeb continues on Monday with Day 8: Three O’Clock Tea