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This has been heavy on my mind as of late. As a content creator being on social is a part of the job. But it can also be a huge price to pay mentally and emotionally.
In today’s technologically connected world, some type of media is always at our fingertips. Literally. You only have to pick up your smartphone to be connected to your network of friends and family or to see the latest news headline.
While the convenience is nice and there are lots of ways in which such accessibility can be useful, these things can also cause a tremendous amount of stress for us all.
Let’s take a critical look at the media you’re consuming and the ways in which it can affect your peace of mind.
Types of Media
Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram give you an up-close and personal view of what’s going on in the lives of your friends, family members, and colleagues. It also provides you with up-to-the-minute news stories, giving you access to current events like never before.
Plus, there’s TV, radio, and newspapers. These standards may not be as immediate in their use, but they do add to the array of media consumption we experience each day.
Media and Stress
Exposure to all this media-on-demand can cause a great deal of stress in a number of ways. When you’re glued to your smartphone, answering every alert while also trying to pay attention to the world around you, your senses are bound to become overloaded.
This overload leads you to feel drained and stressed out. It can all become too much, having to be “on” all the time and ready to answer to emails, social media, and the latest world events.
In addition, all of this input can become intrusive. It cuts into your personal life and your work world. Many of us feel obligated to deal with work messages and crises at the drop of the hat, even while trying to enjoy leisure time with our families and friends.
Being exposed to the news regularly is another stressor. It can be traumatic to see and hear about terrible events occurring in the world around you. Reliving that trauma several times a day simply compounds it, even when it isn’t something that is directly happening to you.
Finally, there’s the stress of comparison. Social media can often lead to FOMO or “fear of missing out,” along with comparison. We can feel like our lives don’t measure up to those of our online friends.
If You Can’t Change It Don’t Read It
My sister, God love her, watches videos on YouTube about different political topics. Some we agree with and others we don’t.
While that is all well and good what does that do you? So that person agrees with you. Great. That does not leave you with any different results.
If you can’t or won’t change something by watching or taking in that type of media, then don’t.
It’s purely a waste of time and ultimately your life.
How to Cope With Limiting Social Media Usage
First and foremost, limitation is the key to finding balance. Decide what types of media are most important to you and cut the rest. Then set a schedule for when you’ll access that media.
Be vigilant and try not to sneak peeks. Soon, you’ll find your reliance becoming less and your mood beginning to level out.
You also need to make sure you don’t beat yourself up for wanting to check up on your favorite person on social networks.
For the people in your life who don’t get the struggle, you have to ignore their snarky comments. Even if they aren’t directed at you. Changing your social media habits is hard but more than worth the effort to change your mental health.
My One Month Experiment
I knew life was going to get busy over the month of March 2022, we were also going to go on vacation that month. Which would leave me with at least two weeks of getting ready to go and being away and out of internet signal.
Which was a perfect time for distractions from wanting to click that little app on my phone.
Can I tell you that I never felt freer in all my days? I was more into life and wanted to do things IN REAL LIFE. I was so much happier in my soul.
I am working on finding the right tools to allow me to post on my business social media accounts and not having the apps on my phone.
It is a powerful thing. And if you give it a try you won’t be sorry about the results for your mental health.
Find Something Else To Put In Its Place
Find substitutions for your social media usage. Spend time focusing on projects that are important to you. Build DIY projects, start a garden, spend more time with your animals, or out in nature.
I’m telling you it is powerful when you limit your screen time.
Actually talking to people face-to-face. You’ll see how productive and social you can really be.
Also, when you do sit down with a form of media, be sure you’re looking at just one thing at a time. Multitasking is actually a contributor to stress. It’s best to sit and scroll through your Facebook feed before moving onto Instagram or flipping on the local TV news.
Let The Apps Tell You How Long You Its Time To Stop
Most social media apps including Facebook and Instagram have a way to track how long you have been on the app and are able to tell you when you have reached the daily time limit of scrolling.
They won’t kick you off the app but they will remind you. Which is great.
The setting is called Set Daily Reminder.
- Instagram, it’s under Settings > Your Activity > Set Daily Reminder.
- Facebook, go to the settings tab, and look for Your Time on Facebook .
Use A Scheduler
Even if you are not using social media for backyard farm business you could still use a scheduler for Instagram. If you want something to go out on your account schedule it on the scheduling app which is far less addicting.
Steps To Cutting Back On Social Media
- Set Time Limits
- Set timers when you go on the apps.
- Set your “social media time” of day.
- Remove the apps off your mobile devices for a period of time.
- Take a break when you feel down.
- Find something else to do when you feel tempted to scroll social.
When Should You Just Quit Social All Together
This can be hard if you have people who regularly message you on social or you use it for business.
But when you are hardly on it anyway or you are feeling depressed when using the social media apps it’s time to consider cutting it all together even if it’s for a certain time period.
Hopefully, this overview gives you some insight into how a daily barrage of media can affect you. Now that you’re aware, you can be a smart consumer of the media you choose and begin to feel calmer throughout your life.