Social media can be a great place, as long as you are mindful of it. And that can prove to be tricky, what with all those notifications flying around and those posts that don’t always leave you feeling good. So how do you consciously deal with it? Here are some tips.
1. Know why you are on social media
Do you visit social media such as Instagram and Facebook to get inspired, or do you want to keep an eye on the news? Do you look at it to stay up to date with the life of your friends and family, or do you use it to share your own photos and messages with the world? It’s useful for you to determine why you like to use social media, so that you can use it more consciously. If, for example, you are mainly interested in staying up to date with your friends and family, ask yourself whether following that celebrity or news channel adds anything to your own purpose.
2. Set fixed times
We often find ourselves unconsciously tapping on the (for example) Instagram icon: while we’re waiting for the bus and have nothing to do, while waiting for our coffee, or even simply to see if (hopefully) there’s something new that we find interesting. It’s precisely at moments such as these that we don’t really look at the photos and captions with all our attention, but we simply scroll away to fill the time. By setting fixed times to look at your social media—for example at 9 a.m., midday and 8 p.m.—you will spend less time scrolling through timelines and you’ll do it with more focus.
3. Clean up your timeline
Do you notice that when you stop looking at your social media, you’re often left with an insecure, stressed or other negative feeling? If so, it’s a good idea to go through the list of accounts that you follow. Become aware of the posts and accounts that make you feel uncomfortable and consider unfollowing them. It also works the other way around: Find out which posts make you happy and try to find related accounts to follow.
4. Turn notifications off
They’re distracting and often lead you to visiting social media without actually wanting to. Turning off your notifications can ensure that you experience more peace during the day. You are less inclined to pick up your phone and you are more focused on the things that really matter at that moment.
* More insights and tips about dealing with social media can be found here.
Text Bente van de Wouw, Translation Julia Gorodecky, Photography Annie Spratt / Unsplash.com