Every time you log into your social media the idea is to “”see what your friends are up to””. But what you’re actually doing, is pointing a trillion dollar algorithm at your brain.
The social media companies make money when people use their platforms. The more time you spend on social media, the more money they make.
In order to keep you on their platform social media companies program their algorithms to show people the type of content that is most likely to keep you “engaged”.
Social media companies use billions-of-dollars worth of user ‘psychology data’ to design ways to keep users engaged.
So how do you fight back in order to stay connected with friends and family, with-out getting sucked into a never ending scroll session.
The answer is to practice being more conscious and mindful of your social media use.
Lets dive in.
Tips To Consume Social Media Mindfully
If you’re like most people, you check your phone too many times a day to count, and often (or at least sometimes) find yourself mindlessly scrolling through your social media timeline. Doing what? Basically just killing time.
You’re not alone though. And fortunately there’s some real easy tips to improve your awareness of your social media use.
Understand Why You’re Using Social Media.
Why are you logging in? Why are you reaching for your phone?
Are you bored, anxious, or nervous? Are you looking up a co-worker? Are you posting something to prove a point? Are you spying on a friend? Are you posting for attention?
Whatever your reason is, it’s important that you understand why you’re using social media.
Are you addicted to the internet? Here’s a guide we published to help you find out.
Be Mindful Of Why You’re Scrolling
Once you’re on social media, the human brain is easily susceptible to distractions. Logging into social media with a primary objective is similar to walking by a circus with-out trying to look.
As soon as you log in you’re bombarded with videos and photos specifically tailored to match your psychological profile for maximum engagement. With-in seconds you forgot why you logged in to begin with and are now mindlessly scrolling. STOP
Be mindful of why you’re scrolling and what your primary objective is.
10 Tips To Limit Your Social Media Use
- Make Yourself Log In Every Single Time.
By making yourself login every time you use social media, it adds a ‘barrier to entry’. This small barrier is enough to give your brain time to think. Do I really NEED to be on social media right now?
- Set A Time-Limit For Your Social Media Apps.
Do you know what your daily screen time is? You can set a time-limit on your phone to free up more time in your day by limiting the amount of time you spend on certain apps.
- Delete Your Social Media Apps.
The easiest way to stop scrolling on social media apps is to just delete them altogether.
- Turn Off Your Notifications.
If you’re going ot use social media, use it on your terms, not theirs. By turning off your notifications you decide when to use social media. Don’t let social media tell you when it wants your time.
- Have Time Away From Your Devices Every Day.
You can’t be “on call” at all times, it’s not good for your mental health. To preserve yoru sanity, and be more conscious of your social media use, set a time everyday when you turn off your phone.
- No Phones At The Table
It’s common courtesy to put your phone away when you’re eating. When sharing a meal at a table try talking like regular humans and save the phones until after the meal.
- Leave Your Phone In Another Room
If you’re someone who just can’t stay off their phone, try putting it in another room. Keep the temptation away from you.
- Put A Rubber Band Around Your Phone.
Try putting a rubber band around your phone to act as a reminder to yourself. Every time you sub-consciously reach for your phone, the feel of the rubber band will remind you to stop and think. Why am I grabbing my phone? What is my objective on social media.
- Get A Real Alarm Clock.
We all use our phones as alarm clocks. But more-often-than-not, having your phone on your nightstand leads to scrolling on social media before you go to bed. And again when you wake up. Switching to a regular alarm clock makes it much easier to give your brain a break from social media.
- Create Folders On Your Home Screen.
By simply organizing your apps on your phone into separate folers, you can reduce your screen time. Instead of having 4 social media apps to chose from give yourself 1 social media folder. This will break the entry barrier and give your brain another decision making point to help clarify your social media intent before logging in.
4 Tips To Control Your Social Media Content
- Unfollow Memes Pages
Meme pages can be funny, but memes are also one of the most efficient ways for people to spread mis-information or dis-information. Memes do not often provide any actual value to your real life.
- Unfollow/Mute Some Of Your Friends And Family
We all have friends and family who post too much or who only post political content. You don’t have to respond, and you don’t have to get upset. Understand that they have a different opinion than you and that’s OK. If you’re that upset, just unfollow or mute their content.
- Follow People Who Contributes Positively To Your Life
There is actually a lot of positive content on social media. If you’re going to spend time on social media consuming content, then at least make sure it’s positive or productive content. Follow idea pages, or personal growth pages, or positive quotes, or wisdom pages. Anything that adds actual value and positivity to your “real life”.
- Unfollow Celebrities
You’ll never guess what Kim Kardashian did last night ! Who cares!
Why do we worship celebrities? Probably because we all secretly want a more glamorous like similar to our favorite celebrity. But celebrity drama is usually just a distraction from something more important in your life.
8 Tips For Social Media Mindset
- Beware The Comment Section
My best advice for reading comments is don’t do it. Unless you’re posting something positive, don’t engage in negative comments. It’s not worth your time or energy. The comments section is not a place to try and convince someone of an opinion. The less you engage in the comments section, the better off your mental health.
- Spread Love As Much As Possible
One of the things that makes humans unique is our capacity for love and compassion. There’s a lot of hate on social media, so try and balance that out by only posting from a place of love and compassion.
If you see something you don’t agree with that’s OK. Put yourself in that persons shoes and have compassion for what life events may have lead them to have the need to post negatively.
Maybe those who post negative content are deeply unhappy in their own life. These are the people who need love the most.
Remember attitudes are contagious, let yours be the reason someone smiles.
- What You See May Not Be Reality
Most posts on social media are not real life. We paint our own pictures on social media and no-one wants to paint themselves as ugly or boring. When you see a picture of someone with perfect skin in a bikini by the pool you assume that persona has an amazing life while you’re sitting on the couch on your phone. Remember that person might be posting that picture as a way to overcompensate for their hollow feeling of aloneness.
- Be Authentic.
Never try and create an “online persona” that different from your own. Be you and you will attract other like-minded people like yourself.
- Avoid The Negativity
Just avoid it. There’s so much political fighting and negativity on social media. Social media platforms actually promote negative content because it creates more engagement. For your own sanity and mental health, don’t engage.
- Know Your Triggers
Recognize your triggers. If you know political content gets you upset, then unfollow those pages. Understand what gets you upset and don’t let those types of posts linger or pull you in.
- Let The World Move On
No matter what happens on social media, the real world continues on. If you feel upset by a post or if you posted something you shouldn’t have it’s OK. The world does not revolve around you. Apologize if you need to and let the world keep moving. If someone says something you don’t like, letting it go is probably the best option.
- Don’t Just Read The Headlines
Today articles are mostly read online. Because our average attention spans have dropped to just 8 seconds headlines have turned to sensationalism in order to grab our attention.
Most people don’t even read the articles, they only read misleading headlines. We wrote a fascinating article on this topic if you want to dive deeper into the specifics.
10 Tips For Social Media Manners
- Use Caution Posting And Tagging Photos
Tagging friends in “”unflattering photos”” is rude. Use your best judgement and if you’re unsure if you should post a photo or not, just ask.
- Don’t Be Reactive
If someone posts something you don’t like or that upsets you. It’s OK. You don’t have to respond, and likely responding when you’re upset will only further your angry state of mind. It’s best not to respond, or wait a day and then respond compassion.
- Avoid Over-Sharing
Don’t be that person who shares pictures of every meal and then posts pictures of yourself crying. Social media is a public community. Try to add value to your community. Don’t flood social media with your problems.
- Build A Legacy For The Future
One of the best parts about social media is looking back at your memories from years ago. Don’t post content that you’ll be embarrassed about when you look back years later. Post content that you’ll be proud to look back on.
- Give Credit To Sources
Give credit where credit is due. Social media is a place to share thoughts and ideas. Many tic-toc stars have become famous by stealing other peoples dance routines, only to be caught read handed. Always give credit to the source of your content.
- Avoid Texting During Face-To-Face Conversations
Texting someone else while you’re having a face to face conversation is beyond rude. By texting while you’re talking, you’re telling the person that you’re talking to, that they’re not very important. This is beyond rude behavior.
- Avoid Accepting Calls When You Are In The Middle Of A Face-To-Face Conversation.
Similar to texting while talking to someone, try and avoid disrupting your conversation to taking another call. When you take a call in the middle of a conversation, you’re sub-consciously telling the other person that they’re less important. Unless it’s an emergency, skip the call and call back later.
- Keep A Distance Of At Least 10 Feet From The Nearest Person When Talking On The Phone.
Don’t be the loud person in public blabbing on about how much you hate your mother-in law. Keep it discreet when you’re talking on the phone in public.
- End Phone Conversations When Paying For Purchases
I always find it so rude when someone is talking on the phone while checking out for a purchase. What is so important? Talking on the phone while paying for a purchase is rude to the cashier, and rude to others who have to listen to you blabber loudly while being completely unaware that you’re giving everyone around you bad vibes.
- Avoid Talking On The Phone In A Waiting Room, But If You Must, Leave The Area First
Respect everyone else. Waiting rooms are shared space, not everyone there wants to listen to you talk. Be respectful of those around you and take your call somewhere private.
Should You Just Let Go Of Social Media Altogether ?
This article isn’t all negative about social media. Social media has changed the way the world works. Anytime something has an impact big enough to effect the world there will be both positive and negative consequences.
As long as you’re aware of the negative consequences, then benefiting from the positive consequences becomes much easier.
When cars were first invented there were no speed limits, air bags, or seat belts. But once people started to understand the dangers of cars, they began to use them more respectfully.
For many people deleting social media completely may definitely be the right move to break your addiction. For others just being actively more conscious of your social media use is enough to avoid the pitfalls if infinity scrolling and getting baited into political wars.
6 Alternatives To Social Media
Like any addiction, social media is a way to distract your time and attention. People have addictions because they’re looking to “”fill a hole”” in the way that they spend their time.
If you delete your social media accounts, you might find yourself a bit “antsy” wondering what to do. Social media consumes much more of our time than we realize. If you cut off social media, you might need a new alternative source to focus your attention on.
Here’s some ideas for alternatives to social media.
- Human Interaction
Before social media, people actually talked face to face. Weird concept. If you find yourself bored, but trying to stay off social media, try calling a friend to grab a beer or go on a hike. Some type of face to face interaction instead of social scrolling.
If face to face human interaction is not possible, you can try a facetime conversation. Call someone and talk about the pros and cons to social media. Real human interaction gives you a better and more sincere feeling than social media interaction.
- Research Technology
Instead of scrolling on social media, invest in yourself. In today’s society, technology is progressing so fast that most people are getting left behind. Do you understand the future of crypto-currency? Do you understand blockchain technology or CRSPR DNA gene editing? Instead of logging into to see what Becky is up to today, invest in yourself and your understanding of the ever evolving technological world around you.
Yoga is one of the best alternatives to social media. Social media presents you with a false sense of reality. Yoga on the other hand focuses your mind and stretches your physical body helping you develop a stronger sense of mental clarity.
Practicing yoga puts you in a better mood and helps you connect with your higher-level consciousness.
Exercise in America is vastly overlooked. The average American spends 2 hours a week exercising and over 3 hours a day on their phones.
No wonder why heart disease is the leading cause of death in America and 1 in 3 Americans are overweight. While social media has proven to reduce confidence, exercising can build confidence.
Drop that phone and start exercising.
Social media blasts our brain with information at a speed impossible to fully digest. Meditation slows down your brain allowing yourself to process and digest information that you might have missed during your day.
Instead of going straight for social media to catch up on your friends life after a long day, try meditating and processing your own day first. Allow yourself to feel, reflect, and process all of your emotions. This will result in a higher level of conscious self-awareness and a deeper understanding for yourself and the world around you.
Being conscious of your social media use is as critical as being self-aware of how much alcohol you drink. Social media can be as addicting as many drugs and we need to be aware of that.
Social media is not all bad, just like having a beer after work isn’t bad. But 2 hours of social media a day is not good for your mental health, just like drinking a six pack everyday isn’t good for health.
Awareness and moderation is the key. As long as you’re conscious to pitfalls of social media, for example, getting sucked into political debates, thinking Instagram photos are real life, or infinity scrolling, as long as you avoid these pitfalls then you’re on your way to being a more conscious social media user.
We value human connections and, in the end, most humans value the same things. Social media focuses on debates and negative traits, but we need to be consciously aware that humans have more in common that we do apart.
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Thanks for reading !
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