We’re all used to being connected all the time, through calls, messages and social media platforms. And while these connections are now mostly virtual with close to half the world’s population being on some type of social platform, the fast-moving network of social media has led to the decrease of attention spans of users, causing a resulting increase in heart palpitations instead.
The constant need for staying connected has resulted in many facing social media fatigue, characterised by the tendency to withdraw from social media. Social media fatigue starts with feelings of anxiety and overwhelm at the thought of interacting online. The idea of boredom and concerns about online privacy also add to social fatigue.
Not only this, more than 70% of users spend an hour on social media daily across all channels. And more than 55% of business owners are taking courses on how to manage social media, trying to improve their social strategy and engagement. No wonder so many people are feeling stressed and panicked over the idea of interacting online.
To help you overcome this overwhelm, we’ve put together 5 tips on how you can combat social media fatigue for better mental well-being.
1. Set a time limit
It’s okay to take a break, no one will judge you. Stepping away for a bit and limiting your time spent on social platform and news sites can put you at ease. It can also free up some time which you can utilise however you please, rather than mindlessly scrolling through Instagram. Try inculcating hobbies that you love or lost touch with in your daily routine, these can act as designated phone-free zones where you can simply relax and unwind.
2. Create healthy boundaries
We make the rules on how we interact with people. We may have different expectations but setting healthy boundaries can give us control over our physical and mental safety, communication, emotions, energy and time. They also help us understand what is and isn’t okay. Choose boundaries that align with your values, such as not discussing politics online, choosing to not argue or comment unnecessarily on hate messages, giving yourself permission to not dive into the endless world of news.
3. Focus on things in your control
One thing you should always keep in mind is that not everything is under your control. Not what people say, not how they react and not what the news reports. If we focus on such incidental things, we may lose our sense of control. Instead, we should refocus our attention on the things that are within our control like what time to wake up and go to bed, how to spend our free time, what to read or post about, how much time should we spend on social platforms and if we want to be notified on everything or not.
4. Mute or unfollow
People have strong opinions and why shouldn’t they, they have the same right to react to certain news or social situations as you do. But, it’s important to remember that you also possess the same control. We have the power of controlling what shows up on our feeds and if you sense that your social platforms are turning hostile due to someone’s negative opinion, you can always choose to hit mute or unfollow.
Remember, your mental health is of utmost priority and shouldn’t be jeopardized over someone’s comments, posts or messages. You can always rescue yourself from heated debates and discussions by simply unfriending or blocking.
5. Less is more
You don’t need to post many times a day to beat the algorithm. This can instead lead to undue pressure and loss of quality. Rather, try reflecting on why you’re posting what you’re posting before you share anything online. Serve to the people who will genuinely be impacted by your content instead of appealing to a mass crowd that won’t bother interacting. This will help you be more authentic with your content, showing your true self to your audience by taking away the pressure of perfection and allowing you to just be you.
It’s evident that the pressure we’re putting on social media as the holy grail of marketing and advertising isn’t a fool-proof strategy. Our social presence is holding precedence over our mental and physical wellbeing. Succumbing to these pressures can seem difficult to avoid due to the increased stress and anxiety but perhaps it’s time we don’t blindly follow the herd and instead find a solution that works just right for us.
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