Apart from being a platform to connect with your family and friends, social media can be a great place to learn new things. With platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, etc, offering new information in different ways, it can be an overwhelming barrage of content. According to researchers, the overuse of social media can lead to depression, stress disorders, social isolation and a sense of loneliness.
To minimise the negative effects of social media, here are 5 habits that you can consciously inculcate into your life.
Regulate When and Where
We’ve all been guilty of being in situations where we’ve focused more on our phone instead of the person in front of us. Social media is one of the huge factors known to interfere with face-to-face communication. To cope with this, you can switch off your notifications during certain times of the day or switch on aeroplane mode on your phone when in a social setting.
Vowing to not use social media during meals with family and friends can not just cut down your social media time but also allow you to connect with the opposite person in a wholesome manner. Don’t allow social media to interfere with your work, distracting you from the task at hand and stopping you from interacting with colleagues.
This may sound like something you’ve heard before but the concept of detox cannot be more stressed upon. Constantly scrolling through social media can easily turn into a mindless act. Studies have proven that even a break as small as 5 days can help reduce stress and provide higher life contentment.
Another way to detox is to go cold turkey. Deleting apps that you wish to detox from to enforce the ‘out of sight, out of mind’ ideology. It may be difficult at first, but turning to friends and family for support can help you get through it.
Before you step onto any social media platform, ask yourself ‘why?’ What’s the purpose for this search? Are you specifically looking for something? Or is it just a mindless escape from your daily activities? Have you ever unconsciously craved the use of social media when faced with a task? We’ve all been there. The way to minimise this addiction is to always ask yourself if the time you spend scrolling through Instagram is going to help you be productive in any way. If you can’t come up with an answer, forcefully refrain yourself from doing so.
Customise Your Feed
Consciously make the effort of letting Instagram, Pinterest or Twitter know that you don’t wish to see a certain content on your feed by choosing that option. Utilise the mute option by muting certain words, phrases, hashtags that hinder with your mental stability.
Take a look through your follow list and ask yourself if the pages you’re following are providing content that’s helpful to you. If not, let go of such pages. This way, you choose what you wish to attain out of your social media experience.
Stay Off During NewsBreaks
Let’s get something clear, not all the information available on social media is official news. Now, if you’re following official pages who provide confirmed news then you’re good to go. But a lot of pages also end up reporting false information that can lead to you forming an ill-informed opinion. When it comes to unofficial accounts, it’s better to stay skeptical than to trust blindly.
It may be for leisure or for work, social media has weaved its way into our lives making it an integral part. But a lot of people have a tough time separating it from reality. If you think that you’re one of them, maybe it’s time to curb your curiosity of the virtual and start living in the real.