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Six Ways to Use Social Media Mindfully

by Marissa on January 24, 2018

How to Use Social Media Mindfully | Person sitting at a computer | Marissa Vicario

Email, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter. That’s basically the progression of how I go about checking my online and social media accounts every morning upon waking. Yours might be similar. I’m acutely aware of how much I rely on social media so I’m constantly trying to use social media mindfully.  

Until I was in my late 20’s, social media wasn’t as prevalent as it is now. The closest I was to email when I was away from my computer was on a Blackberry. No apps. No Internet. Yet somehow in the past ten years, I’ve become addicted to staying connected via social media. And it seems I’m not alone. Most of us spend up two hours per day or more on social networking and it’s potentially affecting our mental well-being. One study found that social media use is linked with anxiety and depression. 

As I write this I haven’t posted on Instagram in a week. It’s rare, but it feels good to take some time off. I do so occasionally and sure, it might cost me some followers, but the sanity I gain is priceless. These are some of my tried and tested tips for how to use social media mindfully. 

One // Do a Detox: Spend a specified amount of time off of social media. You might choose five days, or possibly a month or longer to assess how you feel without social media’s influence in your life. You may find you don’t need it as much as you think you do.

Two // Unfollow: Clean up the list of people you follow and unfollow anyone who doesn’t inspire you. When you scroll through social media, it should feel uplifting. 

Three // Set Limits: Limit the time you spend online. Apps like Moment can help you learn about your social media habits so you can set better boundaries. One of my friends who commutes around the city a lot for work decided she could only be on her phone when she was sitting down. Right away, that boundary cut her social media use in half. Decide when it makes sense for you to be online and set your own boundaries. 

Four // Spread Good Vibes: Use social media to spread good vibes and positivity instead of complaining, comparing or lurking. Once you’ve posted something positive like a quote you love, a helpful article or a picture that makes you happy, move on to something else. 

Five // Keep Perspective: No matter how perfect someone’s life seems online, know that what you see is their highlight reel. You’ve heard it before, but it’s worth repeating that you can’t compare your reality to someone else’s highlight reel. 

Six // Resist the Urge to Count Likes: We crave likes because we want to feel validated, but understand that no number of likes can put a value on your self-worth. 

If you’ve found that social media is causing more stress than satisfaction, try one or two of these tips and see if you can make a shift to use social media more mindfully. 

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