5 Tips To Use Social Media Mindfully
Most people have sort of developed this “love-hate relationship” with their mobile phones or social media in general. Being on social media for a longer period leaves them feeling empty, lonely, or sad. But at the same time, they cannot disconnect from it because of FOMO. Also because it’s a part of their daily routine now.
Just how many of us look for our phones first thing in the morning when we get up? And then spend at least half an hour scrolling through the flood of messages and timelines of different apps.
It seems to be difficult to take care of our mental health and be active on social media at the same time. But here are some tips to help you out -
- Make sure you follow the right accounts - We all mostly follow meme accounts on Instagram. You can also start looking for accounts about topics that you are passionate about. If you like reading poems, look for accounts for poetry. If you like painting, follow more accounts about that.
When you are tired and want to learn something new or want to cheer up, these accounts would help you lift your mood. Along with this, limit your exposure to negative, disturbing content. Filter out the content you want to consume.
- Social media friends - Everyone has at least one or two people in their life who became their friends through social media. While it is nice to interact with them, remember that online interactions cannot substitute face-to-face conversations. DO spend quality time with them but ALSO remember to make time for your friends and family who meet you every day.
Connect with people on LinkedIn from whom you can learn new things about your career, someone who can be your mentor. Use social media to make connections that would be beneficial to you in some way.
- Detox breaks - One of the best ways to make sure that you do not fall into the trap of using social media for a long time is by taking timely breaks. If you have a habit of using social media for a long period every day, start small. Try not to use your phone for half an hour before sleeping. Then you can increase the time to one hour. Eventually, you might be able to take one full day of detox break from social media and phones in general.
These breaks can help you focus on the things that need to get done. This will help you stay disconnected for a while and maintain focus on your work. If nothing, it will give you time to connect with your friends and family members irl.
- Turn off the notifications for not-so-urgent-message apps - There must be times when you pick up your phone to do something important, but you get lost in the sea of notifications popping up one after the other. That makes it difficult to leave the phone. That is why make sure you have only the important notifications turned on.
I understand if you want to keep on notifications for your email or WhatsApp. But for social networking apps like Instagram and Snapchat, you can turn them off.
- Be aware of your emotions while using social media - Feeling bad because you are comparing yourself with your friends on social media? STOP. Pay attention to how certain posts make you feel. When you feel uncomfortable, close the app and take a break. Do something that makes you feel better. Talk to someone you trust about how you are feeling. Write down your feelings. Healthily process your emotions.
You can ask yourself -
- What am I feeling right now?
- What makes me feel this way?
- Am I making certain conclusions about myself or others?
- Are the conclusions really true?
- What can make me feel better?
These are a few tips for you to take care of your mental health while using social media. We cannot completely stop the usage of social media, all we can do is use it with precaution and take care of our mental health.