My relationship with social media is the epitome of a love/hate relationship.
On the one hand social media changed my life for the better:
- I’ve met SO many incredible people, friends and a business partner thanks to instagram.
- social media gives me a platform to create and inspire, which is what I love to do.
- I get to connect with my friends I don’t see very often.
- [accidentally] landing a social media position at a growing start-up changed my career trajectory.
And on the other hand, it’s slowly ruining my life:
- I’d get SO much work done if I didn’t waste my time scrolling…
- the comparison trap is REAL. I wonder why I wasn’t invited to that event or asked to do that partnership.
- the pressure to have a perfect, beautiful, and curated instagram feed.
- attempting to optimize every IG post so it gets a fair amount of engagement.
- I’m legit losing sleep over the instagram algorithm
- social media can make me feel like shit about myself
It’s funny that I’m SO critical of the other relationships in my life. Do I have a healthy relationship with exercise? At the moment yes. Do I have a healthy relationship with food? Ultimately yes. Am I in a healthy relationship with that guy I’m in a relationship with? Yes. He is my rock.
But what about my relationship with social media? In theory I shouldn’t even have to ask. But this is 2017 and I’m on my phone [almost] every waking minute.
Obviously I think social media *can* be great. I’m getting a freaking masters degree in it, after all. But I’m also struggling to have a healthy relationship with social media.
As much as I’d love to say peace out to social media, I can’t. It’s how I run my business(es). A necessary part of blogging and Holistic Happening.
Sometimes I do wonder if I didn’t *need* to be on social media, would I even bother with instagram? I never had a “personal” instagram and only ever used it in conjunction with blogging. Oh and I used to use it to filter pictures I wanted to use elsewhere 😂
I’m still navigating these feelings I’m having about social media and where I go from here. But here are some of the things I’ve been doing, and some things I’m hoping to implement.
Tips for Having a Healthy Relationship with Social Media
▶︎ Do a weekly social media detox.
As you guys know, since summer I’ve been doing a weekly instagram detox every Saturday. From the time I go to bed Friday to the time I wake up Sunday, I’m not allowed to go on instagram. I call it my Social Media Shabbat.
I instated this rule for a few reasons:
- ONE: I noticed my thumb instinctively going to instagram on my phone without even *thinking* about it. That’s freaking CREEPY!
- TWO: I was spending all my down time obsessing over numbers and likes.
- THREE: I like rules so I knew if I set a rule, I would follow it.
I haven’t *banned* myself from facebook, pinterest and twitter on Saturday’s yet. The “other” social media channels don’t mess with my brain as much. Sure, sometimes on facebook I see yet another random chick I went to sleepaway camp with got engaged. And twitter is a sad reminder of how messed up our world is right now. BUT I don’t let the content I see on those platforms mess with my self-worth.
Nope, just instagram does that for me. So for now I’m only staying off the ‘gram on Saturdays.
And you know what, I’m not missing out on much. It’s refreshing. Plus I’ve found that it helps me recalibrate. My thumb remembers that it shouldn’t instinctively go to instagram after checking email.
▶︎ Mini Social Media Breaks Throughout the Day
Any of y’all with a “real job” probably do this anyway. I’m going to guess that you’re not on instagram scrolling because you’re actually working. And there’s people to give you dirty looks when you spend too much time on your phone.
But me, I’m home all day. Writing sarcastic blog posts, bitching about doing homework and trying to create dope yoga playlists. Okay, that’s a real romanticized look at my life. There’s no boss giving me dirty looks when I waste 30 minutes watching IG stories.
SO I take mini social media breaks throughout the day. I’ll set a timer for 30, 45 or 60 minutes and POWER through some work. During that time I’m not allowed to go on social media. I’m not even allowed to text or check my email. I just gotta BE focused. I get through SO much more work when I’m not obsessively refreshing IG.
▶︎ Does it bring you joy?
I’ve been doing some SERIOUS unfollowing lately.
We all have that person on social media that makes us feel like total crap about our lives. They have the perfect apartment. The perfect boyfriend / husband / fiancee / whatever. Their outfit is always fabulous. And of course they have the best job.
First, a gentle reminder that NO ONE’S life is as perfect as the life they share on social media. It’s a topic I’ve already covered and will continue to bring up. So remember that you don’t know what’s going on behind the curated photos you see on the ‘gram.
Also you have the ability to UNFOLLOW them. It’s that simple. I’m not ashamed to admit I can feel hardcore twinges of jealousy thanks to social media. When I notice that jealousy getting out of control, I unfollow. In the same way I tidied up my apartment, it’s a good idea to tidy up your social media. Follow the people and brands that give you energy and joy and inspiration. Not the energy sucking vampires that make you feel like crap.
▶︎ Connect with people that don’t give a crap about social media.
There are times when I feel like every dinner conversation I’m having revolves around the instagram algorithm and peak posting times. And that’s great, I love learning more from my peers and discussing the woes of social media.
But I’m also happy there are people in my life that barely use social media.
My boyfriend, for one. And most of my girlfriends from childhood. We’re not talking about social media beyond them asking about how Kayla in the City is going.
When I’m out to dinner, you bet I’m NOT scrolling. Or on my phone. 99.9% of the time I’m not even documenting the experience. I think it’s really important to put the phone away and have conversations about things beyond peak posting times.
Your turn: Any other tips for this social media addict? How do you maintain a healthy relationship with social media?