Social media has become an integral part of people’s lives. Everyone is on at least one of the popular social media platforms—Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Snapchat. These channels have become essential communication tools, allowing people to keep in touch with friends and family far away, as well as to conduct business transactions. In essence, social media is essential for navigating the world.
However, a number of studies have shown that using social media can be detrimental to people’s physical and mental health. But with so much personal and professional business taking place on social networks, users don’t have an option to log off completely, either. Managing social media and one’s well-being has thus become a priority. Here are a few methods to ensure your social media use doesn’t impact adversely on your health.
Take a Break
Social media is all-encompassing, and for some people, it is their job. But that doesn’t mean you aren’t entitled to a break from time to time. You don’t need to check your social feeds all the time, nor do you need to keep retweeting, commenting, or posting.
Allot yourself some time during the day when you do check your feed, and for the rest of the day, avoid it. Use that time to focus on other activities, instead. You can also take an extended break from social media, for a week or a month. Post a message on your channels saying you are taking a break and find other ways to keep in touch with your friends and family.
Many people use social media to create career opportunities, and it is a great tool, in that sense. But you are still allowed a break from your social media job hunt. Instead, to boost your chances of getting a job interview, you can adopt a creative resume design, which will help you catch the eye of potential employers without spending all your time trying to connect with them online.
Alternatively, you could choose times of the day when you engage with customers on social media, and stick to that schedule, unless there is an emergency. This will allow you to disconnect from the hubbub of the digital world while also giving you peace of mind to do other things that you enjoy.
Choose Your Channels
There are a number of social media channels available but you do not need to have a presence on each and every one. You may prefer to post on Instagram to get business leads, or use LinkedIn to offer writing services. Or perhaps you like how conversational and informative Twitter is, or the ability to join groups on Facebook. Maybe the temporary nature of Snapchat posts gets your creative juices flowing?
If one of these channels appeals to you over the others, you can choose to patronize that channel, instead of having other accounts. You are bound to find like-minded people on the platform that you are already comfortable with.
By focusing on a limited number of channels, you prevent yourself from being spread too thin. You can still enjoy the benefits of social media without having to worry about endless notifications from multiple channels demanding your attention all day long.
Post Only When You Want To
It often looks like some people spend all their time posting on social media. If you have wondered whether these people have a life outside social media, they most likely do. But they use social media management tools to schedule their posts in advance. You can also use such tools to post only when you want to, instead of having to post live throughout the day.
But that doesn’t mean you have to post constantly to stay top of mind for your followers. Whether you are using social media for personal or business reasons, you should only post when you have something to say, otherwise you look like you’re spamming your audience.
Limiting the amount of social media posts you create will also save you the pressure of having to think of what to write, what visual to use, and when the best time is to post, thus ensuring your well-being.
Distinguish the Social Self from the Real You
Remember that much of what you see on social media isn’t truly authentic. A number of posts are actually content curation, filtered imagery, or highlights of people’s lives. Not everyone wakes up looking that good, nor do they spend all their time on a beach. The pictures you see are carefully chosen so people’s social feeds look good—they don’t necessarily tell the full story.
Your social media presence is about you, not to impress other people. If you want to get creative, you can use social media templates to create beautiful posts that reflect your personality and your real self, while still giving you the opportunity to make a beautiful Instagram account.
But if you don’t feel inclined to go out of your way to curate your content, you don’t have to. You can share images that you are comfortable with, or post about what makes you happy, or sad. Showing your real self will not only help you stay authentic, but will also manage to gain you followers who are tired of seeing heavily filtered images.
Block and Mute
The digital landscape has inadvertently allowed loud and unhappy souls to become very vocal. These people, called trolls, appear everywhere, and can severely affect people’s mental health. If a troll is attacking you on social media, you can block and report them. That is your right as a digital user.
But it isn’t just trolls that can bring you down on social media. Perhaps seeing other people’s pictures lowers your self-esteem. You can block them or unfollow them so you don’t see their posts. You can also mute accounts or words that bother or upset you, thus clearing your social feed from content that could potentially damage your health.
Use Social Media When and How You Want To
Social media is a great tool to keep in touch with people and share your creative ideas. But it has also become a dangerous place that thrives on triggering people and showing inauthentic lives. You don’t need to be a part of that world, if you don’t want to. You can step away entirely, or choose how you want to use it. At the end of the day, your social media presence should make you feel good, and if it isn’t doing that, then you don’t need to engage with it.