Millions of people use social media on a daily basis. There are a lot of advantages to social media. Social media can platform your business, help you to keep up with friends and family and even give support during challenging times. But with those advantages, come disadvantages. Just as with most things in life, you need to balance the pros with the cons.
Here are 5 ways you can better balance life and social media:
We have all done it. We look at all the amazing pictures of people on social media and wonder, what are they doing that I am not? In some fashion, we all have felt that feeling for a moment. But, what is important to realize is that what you are seeing is just a moment in time on social media for that person. I call it the highlight reel. You are seeing a bunch of the best clips of people’s lives. What is dangerous about this highlight reel is that you are comparing a bunch of people’s best moments to your entire life. This can decrease confidence and be very discouraging.
When you are scrolling through social media, get real. Understand that every single person that you are viewing has faced trials and tribulations. Cut the ruminating during and after your time on social media and accept that you saw a moment in time for someone, and recognize you can’t realistically compare their one moment in time to your entire life.
Limit Your Time
Your time on social media can add up quickly. Five minutes in the morning, 15 minutes at lunch and 20 minutes at night; that adds up. What if you took 30 of those 40 minutes back? Could you get that run in? Could you read a chapter in a book? Would an extra 210 minutes a week help you work toward that goal? By limiting your social media time you increase the ability to get some time back in your day to help you achieve bigger goals.
Start by becoming more aware of your social media time. Be honest and track how many minutes you spend on social media. Then, cut that time in half and take the time you get back to do something healthy for your mind or body. If you feel you can’t get away from social media because you need to make posts for your business. Take time to look into programs where you enter in your social media for the week or month and it automatically releases it for you each day. This will keep you off social media, where you may blend doing business with checking your personal profile.
Social media can be a distraction. While in the middle of a project you get a pop up on your phone that says “John Doe just followed you.” This two second distraction soon becomes 20 as you look at John’s Page, thank him for following you and then scroll through Twitter.
When you are working on a project, be sure all social media tabs on your computer are closed. Do not enable push notifications on your phone for social media. Research shows it takes 15 minutes to get into flow (or the zone). When you are interrupted, it takes that much time to get back into the zone. Don’t waste your time, avoid distractions and use social media as a reward for getting work done.
Don’t Worry About Being “Liked”
Some people use “likes” on social media as way to boost confidence and get approval. While it is okay to want people to like your posts, be sure of two things: First, that you do not post out content and then hover over your social media to see every single like that comes in. That is a waste of your time and energy. Second, that you are not posting a picture or content to feel personally validated. Be sure that you are happy and approved with yourself, don’t give that control out to others.
If you are that person that hovers over social media to see every like that comes in, instead, make a posting and put a time limit to checking your social media. Post your content and then check your social media 30 minutes later. Go work on a goal or task and then as a reward check your social media status. If you post to gain acceptance from others, complete an honest self-check of all sectors of your life and make sure that you are content with where you are in those areas of life. If you feel off in one or more of those areas, take the time you spend on social media and instead channel it into improving the area in your life that you feel needs some working on.
Put Your Main Life Roles First
The goal here is to be sure that you have given quality time and attention to those people (including you) you love and care for before you give your time to social media. For example, the parents who use social media at the dinner table may be missing opportunities to ask their children about their day. Or, when you are on social media and around your partner, you may miss opportunities to touch or learn more about each other. And, when it comes to you, if you are on a walk alone and flipping through your social media, you may miss an amazing idea that your mind has. Alone time is a great time for self-reflection and the generation of new and potentially successful ideas.
During important moments put your phone away. If you want to take photos on your phone, only use the phone for taking photos. Make the commitment to yourself that you will not swipe the push notifications or post the photo you just took onto social media. Be present and in the moment. You can always post the photos you take later on. When you are alone with yourself, set the phone aside for at least the first 15 minutes and take time to reflect.