For the last few months, I've been really battling an addiction to my phone and social media.
Becoming more engaged on Facebook started off as a healthy desire to stay connected with friends and family, share hope and encouragement, and engage on Facebook Live around some of my passions--Enneagram and Biblical Studies.
Eventually, my use of social media turned from checking a few times a day, into scrolling anytime I felt stressed. Not only did social media not help with my stress level, it oftentimes made my stress even worse.
Social media has many blessings--allowing us to chat with friends during a quarantine, opportunities to connect with and learn from people around the world, allowing people to encourage one another and grow together. But social media can definitely become an addiction like anything else and we need to practice some self-care to make sure that we are enjoying the benefits of social media without it consuming our lives.
3 Ways to Practice Social-Media Selfcare:
1) Create Intentional Connections. We sometimes mistakenly believe that social media is a replacement for real, social connection. I'm finding that social media oftentimes makes me feel less connected. Instead of scrolling, I am trying to use my screen time to connect with a friend or family member. I prefer calling them on the phone, FaceTime, or Skype. Not only do I spend less time on my phone, but I leave those conversations feeling encouraged and truly connected with those I love.
2) Spend less time around stressful situations. While we will never be able to fully remove ourselves from stressful situations, it is okay to limit them on social media. I am not advocating for avoiding friends or family members that disagree with you--we need to have hard conversations in a healthy way. But if a connection on social media is consistently sharing upsetting or discouraging content, it is okay to remove yourself from the situation. If it is a family member or close friend, try snoozing them for 30 days. You can still stay connected but you won't see all of their posts in your feed. If this connection is with a stranger and they are repeatedly attacking you or saying upsetting things, it is okay to delete or block them--if you disagree on something, it is unlikely that you will change a stranger's mind.
3) Replace unhealthy habits with healthy ones. As I said before, my gut response is to scroll Facebook if I'm feeling stressed. I'm learning that I need to implement new habits to make that happen less often. I have started keeping my phone in the other room and only check it when I am expecting a call or have a specific thing to do on Facebook. When I start feeling stressed and I think about scrolling on Facebook, I take a drink of water. Not only am I not scrolling endlessly, but I'm also drinking WAY more water!
I know I should have implemented better social media self-care years ago and I will likely have to assess these things again three months from now. But I feel like I'm finally starting to move in the right direction, staying engaged in productive ways and forming true, authentic relationships through intentional connection.
I'd love to engage below:
What are some boundaries you have set around social media? What has helped you to maximize the benefits of social media without allowing it to consume your time?