There is no denying the important presence of social media in our contemporary world. Whether you love social media or you hate it, chances are you use it. Despite how you may feel, there are as many positive uses for social media as there are negative. It’s all about how you choose to use it. Yes, it is possible to be mindful of your social media. Here, I’ll offer you a few tips and tricks to customize your experience and some intentional thought processes to go along with them. You can put these mindful hacks to work right away and be feeling less stressed about social media by the end of the week! Let’s go.
Identify what you want to get out of it then customize your newsfeeds.
First, take a hard look at why you use social media. Is it to connect with family and friends? To network for business? To stay socially apprised of events and happenings? Is it to observe or engage in current and political conversation? Sure, you can use social media for multiple reasons, but defining why you want to use it will help you weed out what you don’t want to see or engage in. Once you have your list ready, use the Facebook (or other platforms) feed customization features to tailor what you see. This way, you don’t have to worry about seeing things that either don’t matter to you or even cause you stress. (Hot tip: there are tons of videos on how to set up your social media, just check Youtube!)
Give yourself a break.
Taking regularly scheduled social media breaks is super healthy for your mental wellbeing, as well as for your eyes!. You already know how inundated we are with constant images and information, but did you know that the American Journal of Preventative Medicine found that a high amount of social media usage is linked to feelings of further social isolation? With the coronavirus pandemic still raging across the globe, the last thing we need is to amplify our feelings of social isolation.
Instead of opening up a social media app, try taking regularly scheduled “breaks” from social media throughout the day. Allow yourself to only check your accounts at lunchtime or in the evening between 5-7 pm. By planning out your usage, you can be more mindful of the time you are spending online. To combat feelings of social isolation, use your free time to connect with yourself. Try a breathing exercise or guided meditation for self-care. (link these) If you are looking for more mindful techniques, check out our library of resources here.
Do more good.
One of my favorite social accounts to follow is the Good News Network. I love this account because it brings me a sense of peace and hope in a time when the media is overflowing with negative and traumatic updates. I make it my mission to share positivity on social media and commit to not spreading information that causes me or others additional stress. You can choose to be mindful of the information you share online and shape not only your personal experience but also the kinds of things others associate with you.
It is possible to have a mindful social media experience. Whether you want to be on it all the time, or if you choose to limit your exposure, the key is to be intentional about your use. Many times, we mindlessly turn to social media because it’s so easily accessible. If that works for you then GREAT! If not, set realistic goals and boundaries for yourself that allow you to customize your digital footprint.
Your digital self is an extension of your real-life self. Treat your digital self with the same care that you would in real life. Then, you will have a totally meaningful experience on social media.