We all know the downside of social media— namely that it makes people feel alienated rather than connected, thereby betraying its own name. We are well aware that social media has the power to negatively impact our thoughts, emotions, and desires – it can cloud our visions and perspectives, distorting our view of “reality”; it can create false fears and magnify our insecurities, making our attention span as short as our tolerance level.
But living in the 21st century, it’s almost impossible to avoid or abstain from social media completely. That’s why “quitting” isn’t the solution. Most of us can’t do that, anyway. I know I could never do this as social media generates leads for my business.
So the real question is, how do we ensure that we don’t become enslaved or addicted to social media? Because after all, social media is only as harmful as we allow it be. The frequency and the intensity of your social media use can determine whether or not you are addicted to social media.
So first, you have to check your status (no, not your Facebook status, but your social media consumption and use patterns). Ask yourself these questions:
- Do you check your Instagram or Facebook (or any other social media platform) excessively?
- Do you find yourself obsessing over how many “likes” you get and become agitated when you don’t get enough?
- Do you equate the number of followers or friends on social media to popularity or likability?
- Do you feel envious or jealous when you see your friends’ “picture-perfect” lives on social media?
- Do you feel like you’re always missing out or being left out of significant events?
If you answered yes to all or most of these questions, here are some practical steps you can take to minimize your use of, and gradually detach yourself from, social media:
ONE - Find a hobby outside of the Internet world.
Whether its sports, arts, music, hanging out with friends, or discovering new restaurants, find something that you can enjoy, offline. Seriously, it’s a whole lot better than scrolling through the same newsfeed a thousand times a day.
TWO - Don’t live by the “pic or it didn’t happen” motto/mentality.
This mentality ruins the fun, really. Ironically (but too often), we miss out on fun moments because we are too busy trying to perfectly capture the “fun” moments. And the truth is, fond memories most often aren’t “recorded,” nor do they have to be “proven.”
THREE - Make plans to see people face-to-face.
Hiding behind the screens to communicate things that were intended for face-to-face is not only restricting, but quite frankly, cowardly. Besides, why choose 2D over 3D?
In light of the last quarter of the year approaching, why not set some healthy boundaries that will free us from distractions and lead us into a more healthy lifestyle?
With Love | Nikki xo