There has been a lot of chatter recently about social media, or what is now being termed ‘anti-social media’. It seems that everyone is turning their backs on social media, left, right and centre. Bloggers closing their Facebook pages, friends taking a break and, ironically, videos on the perils of social media are filling up my timeline.
I’m probably a little late to the party because I have only recently discovered what an amazing tool social media can be for sharing a message, networking and connecting with like-minded peeps and inspiring souls. In all honesty, until about 3 months ago, I just saw Facebook as a massive drain. That said, Instagram and I have had a long-term affair that I dion’t see coming to an end anytime soon. There is no doubt that it can be a huge time suck but if you’re not quite up for the whole I Quit Social Media shebang (even for just a little while) then I have a couple of suggestions to keep your online hangouts…social!
Here are my top tips to get smart and use social media more constructively and consciously:
I have recently decided to ban social media before 8:30am and after 8pm, and let me tell you, it has made a huge difference, especially to my sleeping patterns - how easy is it for a 2 minute check-in to morph into an hour trawl?! Also, I no longer check social media whilst I eat. No more mindless munching. In total I now spend around an hour of my day on social media, which might still sound like a lot but I don't feel distracted by it or dependant on it.
Of course, boundaries only work when you stick to them so do yourself a favour and stand by your word.
Flicking through someone’s Insta feed can be bloody demoralising. If you let it. The are two super easy ways to remedy this:
- Remind yourself that this is their highlight-real and not to compare it to your less than glamorous behind-the-scenes reality - awareness alone can make a big difference;
- Be selective with who you follow, i.e. if they make you feel like crap about yourself then unfollow/hide them from your newsfeed. I only follow accounts that light me up.
The social media cull
Are all the updates, 140 character rants and image spam on your newsfeed causing overwhelm? Well, maybe it's time you unfollowed some accounts and deleted some friends. I'm a major stinge at accepting friend requests on Facebook but my Instagram and Twitter feeds are another thing altogether.
I LOVE Instagram and get super excited when I find a new account to follow but I realised recently that I was following around 750 people! Which is crazy, I know, but even if you are nowhere near that figure there is still a good chance that you feed may be in need of some pruning.
I created some guidelines to help me whittle it down. They might help you too...
- At least 75% of their tweets/grams must light me up, connect with me in some way or provide valuable info. Otherwise it's an unfollow/unfriend/unlike.
- Unfollow friends that post all their Instagram photos to Facebook. Sure, there is room for a little doubling up but if I don't get anything extra from your IG account I'm not going to waste space in my already busy feed.
- Be selective and only follow the best accounts, i.e. not 100 healthy food accounts that post exactly the same pictures. Pick your favourites and unfollow the rest.
- Keep accounts that are new connections and budding links. This interaction is invaluable....so long as you actually use it so comment!
- I love discovering cool and unique brands on Instagram but I don't follow them unless they consistently post valuable content. If it is too samey/repetitive I will just take a screen shot and file it away on my phone for when I am looking for something specific or bookmark their actual website.
- Unfollow inactive accounts.
- Create a target - I aimed to unfollow 200 IG accounts and 50 twitter accounts.
The main message? SIMPLIFY and CREATE BOUNDARIES.
Social media isn't inherently good or bad. I's how we use it that determine this.
Just a couple of hours fine tuning your social media streams can save you hours of procrastination, distraction and comparison in the future. Sounds dreamy, right?
Once you've done this come back to share in the comments below how it went. Doesn't it feels pretty good to declutter your newsfeeds. Ahhh, spacious! All hail social media.
P.S. My friend and blogging wiz Claire recently shared a wonderful (and super-popular) post on how her social media addiction was making her a stressed-out, suck friend and her decision to quit social media all together (for the time being).
And hey, why not hop on over to the My•Goodness•Me Facebook page for more fun insights and inspiring quotes (I do love sharing inspiring quotes!)?