Many of us today treat our phones as an extension of ourselves. We are simply lost without them. They enable us to remain in constant communication with our friends, as well as providing the instant answer to any question, our entire music catalog, and not to mention fun games and the latest online bingo sites at our fingertips. Because of this, it’s difficult to maintain a healthy relationship with social media.
Almost 3 billion people in the world use some kind of social media platform. Social media has become an indispensable part of our lives; for many of us, it is the last thing we look at before we drop off to sleep and the first thing we look at when we wake up.
Thanks to social media, we are now more connected to people than ever before and have quicker access to news around the world. However, like many types of technology, social media can be a double-edged sword.
There have been several research studies that, although extol the virtues of social media, also indicate a possible link between an obsession with social media and mental illnesses.
Ultimately, the positive and negative impacts of social media are determined by developing healthy online habits and finding the right balance between your real life and online life.
Scheduling Social Media Time
As with all things, excess is very dangerous. If you are guilty of spending several hours a day on your social media accounts, it is time you step away. You are not building a positive relationship with social media by continually scrolling and refreshing.
Balance is the key, and you must set up a particular time to socialize online while maintaining social media-free times during which you sign out and ignore all notifications.
This is particularly important when you are socializing with your friends and family. If you keep looking at your notifications, you might find that you end up missing something important in your loved ones’ lives.
Clarify the Purpose of Using Social Media
Before you log on, make sure you know what you are signing in for. We have all experienced times when all we needed to do was to confirm a friend’s birthday and then realized we spent hours scrolling down our Facebook timeline to see whether people have liked or commented on our comments.
Clarify your purpose before you log on to the site and make sure you log off once your task is done. Whether you aim to connect with some friends or get updates on your favorite pop star, clarifying your purpose will help you reduce your online time and strive for a healthy relationship with social media and real life.
Use Posts for Inspiration, Not Comparison
One of the biggest reasons for low self-esteem and reduced confidence is when we look at the wonderful things other people have broadcasted and start comparing our lives to theirs. People need to realize that pictures and snippets on social media do not give the full picture of someone’s life, and those people you are so envious of may be struggling with a variety of their own issues.
Rather than using posts as a source of comparison, you can use them as a source of inspiration that can help you work towards your own objectives. To do that, you should be picky about how you choose to follow.
For example, if there is someone whose posts make you feel unhappy about your body, your success, or unworthy and down in the dumps over anything else, it is a good idea to unfollow or unfriend them. You must not use social media so to create more negativity.
Think Before You Post
Although practical jokes or making fun at someone else’s expense may seem funny while you are online, remember that it can have a negative impact down the line, not just for yourself, but for other people as well. Many recruiters check a person’s social profiles when they are considering them for hire. If you have published something negative, you may lose out on the job —plus get a bad reputation if someone decides to talk about your negative posts to others.
So, before you hit that send button, make sure your goal is to spread positivity. You can make your social media profile a safe and positive place for all by avoiding involving yourself in online fights and trolling and instead of fostering positivity.
No matter where you go, you will find a lot of people with their eyes glued to their smartphone screens oblivious to what is going on around them. If you are one of these people, it is a good idea to adopt healthier social media habits. There are tons of ways you can achieve that.
- There are several tools made for Facebook and Instagram that can help you manage the time spent on social media accounts. Doing so can help you have more enriching and fulfilling real-world experiences.
- Designate phone-free zones or times for yourself. For example, you can decide that the time you spend with your children, spouse, or family is the time when you would put your smartphone far away. When you are in school, keep your phone in your backpack for emergency use only and pay attention to your real friends.
- Smartphone operating software has introduced Digital Wellbeing tools that tell you how much time you spent on apps and how many times you pick up your phone. They also discourage you from opening certain apps after a certain time. These tools are great for creating healthy habits.
- Also, use the “do not disturb” mode on your phone so that you don’t have to succumb to the temptation of looking at every notification.
Many members of the older generation believe that social media is inherently evil, and all it does it waste time and create negativity. However, as always, balance is critical, and if used in moderation, social media has proven benefits for your mental health as well.
Today, the younger generation considers social media as a platform where they can voice their opinions and connect with a community of like-minded individuals.
Regardless of what our aim is by using social media, we must always be mindful of how we use it. Only by doing so can we maintain a healthy relationship with social media.