Using Social Media: A Guide To Healthy Habits

How can you use social media without it controlling your life?

There was a point in time where I could not go about my day at work or on the weekend without checking social media numerous times. Constant notifications would distract me. I’d check the notifications and before I knew it, I’d be scrolling through the feed instead of eating my lunch or sterilizing those instruments (I work in the dental field).

I started to become slightly depressed with my life, like something was missing. At the time, everything was fine. No major health crisis, no financial strain and good relationships with my significant other and my daughter. So, I wondered, what could it be?

Then, it hit me. Scrolling through social media one night before bed, I realized that my mounting anxiety had nothing to do with real life at all. Social media was bringing me down! It was like I was constantly comparing what I did in life to what everyone else was doing. It seemed like everyone had it better than I did: a better dinner, a more exciting social life and better selfies (I don’t actually take selfies but, hey, you know what I’m getting at).

What I didn’t realize at the time is that most people who post on social media don’t usually post the bad stuff. Or the day to day stuff. They post what they want you to see, which is fine, but doesn’t amount to the whole story of their life. I wouldn’t expect everyone to share everything, nor would that be healthy, but for someone even lacking a little self esteem, it can be daunting.

If you find yourself feeling down about what you see on social media, or find yourself checking it more than you’d like, here are some suggestions:

1. REMOVE THE APP FROM YOUR PHONE

It’s hard to control the amount of time you check social media when the apps are right there and readily available. Removing them from your phone means you have to go to the website and sign in every single time. It will also stop the constant notifications that reel you back in every time. Deleting the Facebook app from my phone was the best thing I ever did. Being naturally on the lazy side, it was a hassle signing in all the time. Try it!

2. SET A TIMER WHEN YOU CHECK SOCIAL MEDIA

If you find yourself constantly losing track of time when checking social media, set a timer. Decide how much time you’re willing to spend everyday on social media and don’t exceed it. An even better idea is also deciding when you will check social media. First thing in the morning sets a bad tone to the day, while before bed will affect your sleep. Try to find a neutral time of day when you would be least affected by what you see.

3. DON’T GET INTO “FIGHTS” ON SOCIAL MEDIA

If there’s anything I’m guilty of, it’s arguing with random strangers (and even people I know!) on social media. There is nothing better than getting my point across after a bad day. Or is there? While justifying your views on social media seems invigorating and enlightening for others at the time, the reality is that, for most people, it’ll make you depressed, ruin relationships and on top of that, you aren’t going to change anyone’s mind. So, what’s the point? It’s better to find a creative outlet for frustration and anger, for everyone. Which leads me to my last point…

4. POST OUT OF LOVE, NOT ANGER

Regardless of how angry we are at the world, most people just don’t care. I’m not saying to care about what people think, but you’re only going to depress yourself and others by posting negative things. Again, you won’t change anyone’s mind, so what’s the point? If social media is so depressing in the first place, it’ll be beneficial for everyone to avoid depressing subject matter.

Negatives aside, social media is great if utilized properly. It’s a wonderful way of keeping in touch with people we don’t see often.

While I’m still working on a couple of these points myself, I will say that they do help. Try them out yourself! Don’t worry, you’ll survive. 🙂

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