Feeling like social media is affecting your mood too often? Do you worry that you may be hooked and want to limit the impact social media has on your life?
These mindfulness tips can help keep socializing online safe and fun:
1 – Set social media time slots.
Determine how much time you realistically want to spend on social media and set time slots you can stick to. Fewer, shorter bouts can help to keep you from getting sucked in. Set alarms and consistently respect your time limits.
2 – Always be respectful.
“Treat others the way you would like to be treated” applies to online life as well. If you wouldn’t say something to a person live, don’t say it to them on social media. It’s so easy to let emotions take over but once it’s out there you can’t take it back and it can wreak havoc on your mood. Consider kindness first. If you find yourself wanting to be combative, ask yourself if social media engagement is the best way to productively get your argument across? In general, controversial posting can do more harm than good.
3 – Unfollow people who make you feel bad.
By unfollowing or defriending people that bring you down, you can tailor what you’re looking at each time you log in. We can’t control everything that comes across our screen but we do have some power. People who overshare accomplishments, aggressively share different political opinions, or are mean to other people can impact our moods more than we realize.
4 – Check yourself when you start to compare yourself to others.
It may be disingenuous advice to say ‘never compare yourself to others’. As social beings it is built into our DNA to compare and contrast ourselves against our surroundings. Just be sure to question your comparisons when they get the best of you and remind yourself you are on your own path in life and it will never look like anyone else’s. No two people are on the same path and this can help to keep you inspired rather than defeated.
5 – Check in with yourself daily and ask yourself if social media will bring you value that day.
We all have different reasons for scrolling through social media including boredom, social connection, entertainment, work, or networking. When you’re feeling fragile emotionally, ask yourself if time online is what you really need in the moment. Would you be better served taking a walk, spending some mindful time in nature, or calling a trusted friend?
Social media is here to stay and we all have to figure out the best way to navigate this way of communicating that brings humanity the most value. It can quickly spiral out of control if we do not continuously check in with our motivations for staying plugged in.
Any other tips to help keep social media usage healthy and productive?
Good luck and STAY MINDFUL!