Have a Healthier Relationship with Social Media
This is a guest post from one of our current members Michel Janse Smith.
Michel is a content creator, YouTuber, small business owner, actress, and 20-something gal just trying to live a more intentional life with her online friend group.
Visit her website www.micheljansesmith.com for more information!
Social media can be a beautiful tool. It’s full of inspiration, knowledge, celebrations, and ways to connect with new and old friends. On the flip side, since it’s so ingrained in our lives it can also have some negative stress-inducing effects.
These are some tips I am trying to keep in mind so that I can get all of the good out of social media and leave all of the negativity behind. (okay, maybe not all of it, but I can sure try.)
Try not to look at your analytics.
Even if you’re like me and social media is your JOB. I don’t have a huge Instagram but STILL, about 100 people unfollow me every. single. day. Seeing that puts me in a bad headspace. Am I annoying? Were they tired of seeing my pictures?
The fact of the matter is we can’t control those things. And you know what? Out of sight, out of mind. I have made it a rule to not check my analytics because I am aware of the negative effects it has on my heart. Try not checking yours too and see how you feel.
On the reverse, don’t hesitate to unfollow & mute people
I’ve talked about this before, I think the mute button is the greatest invention of all time. I hesitate to unfollow people due to the fear they’d notice. Instead, if seeing a person’s posts are making me feel stressed, anxious, annoyed, less-worthy, insecure, etc., I just mute them! Plus, when there are fewer posts on your feed & less stories to view, you spend less time mindlessly scrolling.
Turn on time limits for social apps
Thank you, Apple. You’ve successfully made me realize HOW MUCH time I waste. Setting time limits for social apps has really prevented me from endlessly scrolling through IG and Twitter while I procrastinate doing work that I need to do. Oftentimes, I will click “ignore time limit” once my 10-minutes are up, but I think it makes my relationship with social media more intentional and less mindless.
You know what feels GOOD? Making other people feel good. A beauty of social media is that it makes it incredibly easy to spread love (and hate, but don’t be one of THOSE people). I can physically feel a shift in my heart, mind, and mood when I take the time to lift someone else up. Comment a compliment on a friend’s photo, share a post you admire to your story and tag the creator, DM someone randomly, and say you’re thinking about them. It’s beautiful, isn’t it?
You don’t owe anyone anything
This is a bit vulnerable to share, but I really don’t read through my DMs because I feel like I OWE a response to everyone, and then I feel like a failure when it isn’t possible. I feel really ashamed admitting that, but truth is it would take me 3+ hours a day to respond to the amount of messages I get. Try taking the pressure off of yourself by releasing the expectation to always respond to everything sent to you. If you have time, amazing! If you don’t, no pressure. Let your friends and family know that if they need to get into contact with you, a call or text is best.
Ask your why
Before you post something, really assess why you are posting. Are you doing this for validation? If you too closely tie your self-worth to how this post “performs”, it might be healthier to not post at all. Noting feels more devastating than constantly refreshing and seeing a picture of yourself is getting fewer likes than you anticipated. A healthier “why” could look something like:
- I want to remember this moment in the future, so I am posting it to archive it
- I think I look great, and I am proud of this photo no matter how it performs
- This post features people, places or things I love — it’s about them and not me
- I want to keep my close friends and family in the loop on my life
What are some healthy “why’s” that you find help to disassociate your self worth with a post’s performance? I love you all. Remember you are worthy, loved, and beautiful. I am so thankful that social media brought US together!