I work on social media because I like social media. I enjoy scrolling through feeds, laughing, connecting, and getting inspired. There is a ton good to say about social media, and I think all the nay-sayers ignore the long list of positive features. It can build community, it can connect you with similar people when you can’t find them in your daily life. It can help make your life easier by teaching and informing. Its how most people get their news now a days. It exposes you to beauty that you wouldn’t otherwise see. And it’s great for a good laugh most days.
That being said, social media is a lot like most of your favorite foods. It’s wonderful, it brings you joy, but it needs to be consumed in moderation. It, like every other thing in this world, has negative features to balance it’s positive ones. That doesn’t mean you need to delete all your feeds the moment you notice the not so glittery side of social media, but it does mean that you need to find a way to filter and control yourself and your feeds.
I’ve written about the dangers of consuming things online. At the end of it I decided the solution was to balance what accounts I was following with accounts of the adverse. Then a few months later I wrote about how I filtered all toxic media out of my feeds, which is what I should have done in the first place. It was a learning experience because I lost most of the accounts I was following based on my definition of what toxic media is. I had to start over and find more accounts to follow, mainly ones that focused on hobbies and clean humor. I built back a nice positive social media experience. I thought that was it, that I had achieved what I had set out to do.
But then my fiancé, who doesn’t use hardly any social media, pointed out that I was scrolling instead of doing other actives, which lead me to realize that scrolling always seemed like an easier task than my hobbies, because scrolling doesn’t require you to think or move or commit to anything.
Did I make my social media experience too pleasant? I don’t think so. I think that space needed that revamp, but I do think it being so nice made me lose sight of how much I was actually on it. After all, when your media isn’t make you angry or stressing you out, it’s pretty easy to consume it for long periods of time.
So I was faced with the next level of social media editing. Timing.
There are a lot apps that will time you on social media and let you know when to get off, but I honestly think the best fix for these kinds of things is pure willpower. First you have to acknowledge why you need to cut back. You don’t have as much time for your hobbies, maybe you never cleaned your feeds and you’re having bad emotional responses to things, or maybe you simply aren’t getting the things you need to done. Notice the problem, notice what caused it. Then force yourself to do other things.
It’s a problem when your mindless consuming has taken over to the point you have to force yourself to go do something you enjoy. It’s time to notice that and take that into account. Hobbies aren’t chores. Your brain feels like that because its gotten used to not being used. It’s time to get up and get back at the things that make sharing on social media worth it. After all, social media only works because it reflects real life.