Minimizing the Negative Effects of Social Media

Hand holding a Social Media 3d SphereYou ever catch yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media posts, only to find yourself dissatisfied with some aspect of your life? Maybe it’s your work situation, your body, or something else you’ve suddenly realized you’re lacking. You may find that your mind starts to chatter things like, “Wow, what a gorgeous vacation… when am I going to finally travel?”, or, “How do they get such clear skin?”. This is all too common for many of us, which by the way, is normal. We all go through ups and downs in our lives, but when you’re scrolling through social media, you’re scrolling through everyone’s ups. Think about it – how often do people post a picture of themselves rolling out of bed, no makeup on, hair like they don’t care? Or a status update about an argument they just had with a loved one? It’s very likely that you rarely, if not ever have seen this. Our social media friends are almost always posting about the ups in their lives, and when we’re bombarded with all of this positivity, it becomes very hard to focus on all of the positives we have in our lives. We may find ourselves in a constant state of comparison to the hundreds or thousands of posts we see each day. As such, the challenge of maintaining a grateful outlook on our lives becomes daunting. Is being constantly updated on everyone’s lives worth this extra challenge? Maybe it’s time we brainstorm an alternative. If you find that you’d like to minimize some of the negative effects of social media, here are a few things you can do:

Our social media friends are almost always posting about the ups in their lives, and when we’re bombarded with all of this positivity, it becomes very hard to focus on all of the positives we have in our lives.

1. Unfollow people you are no longer in touch with

If you would no longer make an effort to meet up with one of your contacts on social media, unfollow them. When you unfollow someone, you are no longer subscribing to their posts. On Facebook, this is different from ‘unfriending’, since you will still be able to search for your contact and see their updates at your own will (rather than having it automatically posted on your home page news feed). Nevertheless, if you don’t care to make plans with this someone, why the need to see all of their vacation time and perfectly edited selfies? Save yourself the grief and unfollow them. This suggestion is especially true for people you don’t even know (i.e., celebrities).

2. Dedicate a time slot in your day for catching up on social activity

If you are absolutely positive that you must stay updated on all of your social media, dedicate a limited amount of time each day to these updates. Many of us have times when it is difficult to focus, and our go-to distraction is the mindless social media scrolling. If we can at least eliminate this distraction by staying disciplined with our dedicated social media time, we’ll be much more productive with our time. Maybe limiting ourselves to ten minutes after dinner is a reasonable option.

3. Just delete it

How many different social media apps do you actually need? Not want, need. If we’re in the mindset of limiting these negative effects, and are really concerned about our well-being, why have so many different options to begin with? Maybe you actually do need these options for some reason, but for most of us it’s a want. Social media is great for staying in contact with friends and family, or even for promoting a good cause – but we can usually do all of this with just one outlet. Pick the outlet that you find to be most distracting, and the least essential, and just delete it. Done.

If you try one or all of these suggestions, you may find yourself having more time on your hands for a more productive, meaningful and happy day, every day. Use that time to be grateful for all of the positive things you have going on in your life – yes, there are plenty. Thanks for reading, and happy ‘limited’ scrolling 🙂

For a little more illumination to your world, please join me in the ‘30 Days of Light‘ challenge and let me know how it goes!

 

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