Most of us have a love-hate relationship with social media. I’m sure you can relate…
- You LOVE how it allows you to stay in touch with your friends + family.
- You LOVE having a platform that enables you to share your thoughts and ideas with others.
- And you LOVE being able to connect with people who you may not otherwise have met in real life. The relationships that social media affords can truly be life-changing!
BUT you resent the time-suck that social media can be. You hate how tempting it is to mindlessly scroll all day, wasting time that could otherwise be spent doing something that is much more productive.
And even more, you loathe the comparison trap that you often fall into- watching everyone else’s highlight reel + secretly wondering why your life doesn’t look like it came straight off a Pinterest board.
So the question becomes- how can you maximize social media for it’s advantages while preventing feelings of inadequacy from surfacing?
It starts with being intentional with HOW you use social media. In this blog post, I’m sharing my best strategies for enjoying social media WITHOUT allowing it to overtake your life!
This post may contain affiliate links, for more information, see my disclosures here.
Nowadays we live in a world where people treat life as a constant status update; and where people show more concern over how their lives appear to others rather than how their lives feel.
We validate moments based on how many “likes” and “comments” we receive. We snap photos to prove to others that we are busy enjoying life. We get so preoccupied with trying to live a life for others that we often forget how important it is to live a life for our self.
It’s no stretch of the imagination that this generation’s drug of choice may, in fact, be social media…
And while it’s easy to point fingers + blame social media for ruining our lives, I have a slightly different take on the matter, my friend. You see- here’s my reflection to you- social media is nothing more than a tool– which means that your experience, whether good or bad, is largely dependent on how you decide to use it.
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Social media CAN add to the quality of your life. It CAN absolutely improve your relationships. And it most certainly CAN enhance your communication skills.
But here’s the trick- it takes some work to fully enjoy those benefits.
So to help you up your social game, I’m sharing with you my Top 3 Must-Follow rules when it comes to social media!
Step 1 to Improve Your Relationship with Social Media : Set Limits
Cutting back on social media use has never been easier thanks to a number of apps + settings that now allow you to put a time limit on your social app usage!
iPhone users can access this feature right from the settings menu. Simple click: Settings > Screen Time > App Limits > Set Limits.
Now, to be fair- this isn’t a hard + fast enforcement. Time limits can be ignored (if you’re over your allotted time, you simply have to tap ‘Ignore Limit’ to keep scrolling) BUT the power with this feature is that it increases your awareness of social media use.
That’s pretty important, my friends- because you can’t change something that you’re not even aware you’re doing. In my experience, I was quite shocked to learn just how much time I was spending on my daily scroll.
While I still have days were I’m tempted to stay on my phone, I will admit that this feature has done wonders to curb my social media cravings!
PRO TIP: If you’re having trouble adhering to your social media limits- start small! Gradually decrease the time allotted on your social apps each week instead of trying to reduce it all in one fail swoop.
Step 2 to Improve Your Relationship with Social Media: Turn Off Notifications
It’s easy to get distracted in today’s world.
It’s even easier to lose focus when your phone is continually chirping new updates at you- alerting you of new happenings on your favorite social app.
The best thing you can do to feel more at peace, reduce anxiety + actually increase your productivity is to disable all your push notifications. Again, for iPhone users- simply visit your settings to adjust this feature.
When we allow those small chirps + dings to dictate when we hop on social media- we are transferring our control over to the app. Instead mute those messages + decide for yourself when you want to consume social media!
Step 3 to Improve Your Relationship with Social Media Use: Curate Your Content
Keep in mind that your experience of social media is largely influenced not only by the quantity of content that you are consuming but also the QUALITY of content.
You, my friend, are in control of much of the content that reaches your screen! Don’t take that power lightly- Unfollow accounts that leave you feeling drained or that trigger you to make comparisons against your own life. And seek out accounts that uplift you, that inspire you + that motivate you to grow into the very best version of you possible.
If you’re looking for even more in-depth strategy to help you curb your social media habit, I encourage you to check out my favorite read on the topic: How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price.
It’s a relatively quick read that really delivers on what it promises by helping you to break your smartphone addiction!
Remember: In the end, life is but a series of fleeting moments, collected and savored but only truly experienced in present time.
Don’t get so caught up capturing the moment to share across social media, that you forget to live it!
AND in case you’re wondering what to do with your newfound free-time, I’m throwing in this list of my favorite ways to spend time offline.
I’d love for you to add your favorite ‘real-life’ experiences in the comments below!
- Get outside! Enjoy a nice walk through the nearby park, along the beach or on your favorite hiking trails.
- Take a bath. Light some candles, throw in your favorite bath bomb and soak in the relaxation!
- Invite your friends over for an old-fashioned night of board games or cards- Monopoly, Scrabble, Battleship… there’s a lot of good ones still out there!
- Read a book. Write in a journal. Or just sit in your favorite place and meditate.
- Head to the bar and challenge any group that walks in to a game of pool or darts… losers buy next round!
- Try a new restaurant and order a dish you’ve never ordered before.
- Find a hobby. Many community centers offer a variety of classes or programs a low cost to their residents. You may even meet a few new friends!
- Act like a tourist and explore your town! There has to be a few shops you haven’t been to yet or a museum that you pass every day yet never visit! You might just find something new that you love!
- U-Picks! No matter the season there is usually a ton of different u-pick farms near-by; think pumpkin patches in the fall, strawberries in the spring, and u-pick wildflower locations in the summer. It’s so much more fun than buying from a store.
- Paint, sculpt, craft! Let your imagination run wild! Dollar Stores are great places to find some cheap crafting supplies.
- Bake a cake, decorate some cupcakes, or try your hands at a pie! Just don’t get your recipe from Pinterest- instead head over to your local library to find old cookbooks (like your mom used to use)! Bonus points if you deliver your finished product to share with a friend.
- Speaking of libraries.. did you know that they sometimes offer free events, speakers and/or presentations to their communities. Check it out to find what’s happening near you!
- Go star gazing. Or if you live in the city, give your local planetarium a try! You might just learn something new!
- Spend some time outside with your furry friends. When’s the last time you played fetch with your dog?
- Wash your car– by hand! Give it a wax too! You’ll admire your handy work for days!
- Build a bonfire. Then roast marshmallows and build s’mores til you can’t move.
- Indulge in a fresh mani/pedi. Save some money and grab a friend. Have her paint your nails and return the favor by painting hers.
- Relax at the beach the entire day. You might just find a pick up game of sand volleyball to join.
- Work up a sweat! Try a new group fitness class at your local gym- something you’ve always wanted to try but haven’t had the courage to sign up for just yet.
- Make some new friends. Visit your local nursing home and visit with some of the senior residents. It will surely put a smile on their face, and you may be surprised to find yourself smiling too:)
- Bike, scooter, rollerblade somewhere new. It doesn’t matter how you get there as long as you don’t drive!
- Clean your house! De-clutter the mess by getting rid of anything you don’t use anymore. Donate what’s still good and pitch the rest. You will be amazed how good a clean home feels.
Here to support you! XO- Britney (ms.fit.farmer)