I think it’s safe to say we have all experienced a time when we have over used social media. I remember when Facebook first came out, I found myself logging in from my work computer multiple times a day, checking for updates, and to see if I had any new friend requests. It was a new and exciting world, and people were giving lots of their time and attention – myself included.
Fast forward to today – we have a variety of social media outlets to choose from. The top social media apps are;
Facebook with 1.94 billion monthly active users.
Twitter with 336 million monthly active users.
Snapchat with 158 million people using Snapchat every day and on average, users open the app 18 times a day.
Instagram with 1 billion monthly active users. 57% of Instagram users access the site every day. 60 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day.
From brands who are use these platforms to market goods and target consumers – to regular people wanting to share their life – it’s clear social media has a strong place hold online.
Similar to other aspects in life, it’s important to me that I maintain a healthy relationship with social media. I’m passed the days of needing to photograph every moment and share it online. The more I engage in conversation with friends and family about social media I’m finding the general consensus is the same. Taking time to disconnect is key when taking care of our mental health. Here are some tips on how you can be mindful of your usage, and be in control of the amount of time you spend on social.
Leave Home, Without Your Phone
Whether you are going to grab a coffee and the morning paper, heading to workout or meeting friends for dinner – if you can – leave your phone at home. Not having the option to be on my phone is always nice. It allows me to pay attention to the environment I am in. Look up at the sky, smile at a stranger, breathe in the air and stay present with the people you are with. Your phone will be there when you get home. Your day/night will be a more authentic, fulfilling experience without technology. Your memory will serve to be enough for documentation. Instagram doesn’t need to be the proof of life.
Edit Your Following List
I do this every few months on Instagram. When I feel that I am following too many people I will unfollow whoever I feel I don’t draw inspiration from.
I try to only follow people I know, accounts that align with my views, accounts that inspire me, accounts that I learn from or accounts I sometimes shop online with. We have all been down the proverbial Instagram hole – prevent this from happening by editing your list, and logging in less frequently. Your brain will thank you.
Delete The App
It may seem dramatic but it’s really not. We edit different areas of our lives all of the time. We do it with how we eat, how we work out, why can’t we do it with social media? Think of deleting an app off your phone as cutting the fat out of your life – even if it’s only temporary. You can do it for a weekend. Or before you go on vacation. Not having the option to pick up my phone and dive into social media changes the behaviour of me picking up my phone all together. When there is less reason to be on our phone, we gift ourself time off of technology. Time is a valuable and limited thing – try to spend it wisely.
Don’t Bring Electronics to Bed With You
When we bring our phone to bed, there is the temptation (we have all done this) to lie in bed and scroll. When we do this we are not allowing our brains to rest before going to sleep.
When preparing the body for rest mode, we should rest all areas, mind, body, soul – it makes for an easier transition from awake to sleep when we have a period of relaxation in between. Instead of scrolling I often play a sleep meditation, read in bed, or journal.