With the rise of influencers, fitness trends, extravagant lifestyles, and every other thing that’s become popular on social media in the last 10 years, it’s become increasingly easy to get drained by it. Apps that once were used as platforms for sharing memories, laughing with others, and having a good time overall have turned into places where everyone is trying to be someone they’re not. It can definitely be overwhelming to log into Instagram or Twitter nowadays, but with these tips, you can turn it into a more positive and manageable experience.
- Set time limits: This is a great way to avoid mindlessly scrolling for hours on end. You can set a timer or use productivity apps that remind you when you’ve reached your time limit on certain apps. (Here’s a list of screen time limit apps.)
- Choose your platforms wisely: Not all social media platforms are created equal, each one caters to different audiences and purposes. This doesn’t mean you have to be present on every one. Choose the platforms that align with your interests and values, and consider getting rid of the ones that don’t add any value to your life.
- Curate your feed: Be mindful of who you follow and the content you consume. Unfollow accounts that don’t inspire you or add anything to your life. Don’t follow people just because they’re celebrities or they’re rich. While some people follow them for “motivation”, they usually just end up feeling worse about themselves. Follow accounts that create meaningful and positive content, like educational resources, motivational speakers, or accounts related to your hobbies and interests. (Looking for content creators to follow? Here’s 15 of our most loved ones.)
- Regularly go on a digital detox: Take regular breaks from social media to recharge. Maybe even set certain days where you don’t use social media at all. Instead, go outside, do something you haven’t done in a while. Stop procrastinating and get your work done. And if you are done with your work, spend some time on your hobbies!
- Be conscious of your engagements: Tying to the mindless scrolling, make sure you’re engaging in meaningful interactions. You may leave thoughtful comments, share valuable content, or have genuine conversations with people online. Actively participate in communities and discussions that align with your interests.
- Practice self-awareness: Be mindful of your emotions and mental state while using social media. If you notice negative feelings arising, take a step back and assess what might be triggering those emotions. It’s important to prioritize your mental well-being and take breaks as needed.
- Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries for yourself regarding when and how much time you spend on social media. Avoid using social media while working or during personal activities. This can take some perseverance, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll thank yourself.
- Be selective with notifications: Disable unnecessary notifications that constantly pull your attention. Pick which notifications you think are essential and disable the rest. This will also help minimize distractions and allow you to focus on more important tasks.
Remember, social media is a tool, and it’s up to you to determine how to use it. An important thing to remember as well is that most of the stuff we see on the internet is fake, unfortunately. I’m not talking about content from news outlets or what’s going on in the world, but rather the things we see most.
The influencer life, where people get paid to breathe and get flown out to private locations on the daily, or the fitness life where girls look perfect during a high intensity workout and somehow their hair is curled and they haven’t sweat at all, but because they have a flat stomach they’re qualified? Or even the grind life – where somehow everybody wakes up at 5 in the morning and is 3x more productive than the average person.
Sure, there may some people who live these lifestyles and aren’t faking it, but my point is to take anything you see on the social media with a grain of salt. Focus on yourself, and don’t waste time taking in content that has no added value to your life. By following these tips, you can turn social media back into something fun and not overwhelming to your mental health. It should only be an outlet for fun and inspiration, not something to constantly compare yourself to or to waste hours on. Stay safe on social media, everyone!