For the entire month of August this year, I did not check my social media once. I didn’t scroll through instagram, or open a single snapchat. I did every now and again post a photo- simply because that is the business I am in – but I did not once look at what anyone else in the world was doing.
I can honestly say that it was the most refreshing thing, and the best part of it was that when I decided to break the fast, checking out instagram felt like a fun treat.
That, I think is the most important lesson I learned from my 'unplugging'; it isn’t the social media that is making you feel depressed and alone, it is your relationship to it. If you wake up in the morning and go straight to the scroll, you are essentially saying that you are putting other peoples experiences before your own. If you feel genuine joy at seeing the people who you follow’s experiences then you are having a healthy experience with social media. If it gives you a case of 'FOMO' then more than likely you need to look at why you are on social media to begin with.
I go through phases with social media. I recognize that it is necessary for my career, and I really do enjoy the process of taking photos, and creating an aesthetically pleasing platform for my followers. However I very easily slip down the rabbit hole of comparing myself to my peers, and 'checking in' on other accounts. This is not healthy; because I know the only person on this planet who can make me feel happy is me.
Armed with this knowledge, here are a few of my guidelines for social media use!
1. Never before 9am, never after 5pm.
2. Only follow accounts that make you feel uplifted for following.
3. Use a tracking app to make sure your screen time is accounted for (I like moment).
4. HAVE ONE DAY (OR EVEN A WHOLE WEEKEND!) WHERE YOU DON’T SCROLL. JUST POST AS NEEDED, AND AVOID THE SCROLL.
5. Try even being completely phone free for a day (may need to ease into that). It truly is the most freeing feeling to not carry a phone on you!
6. Keep your social media apps in a folder on the last page of your phone – to avoid temptation
7. Turn off all notifications.
8. When using your phone for non-social media related use, DO NOT check your accounts!
I am sure that if you follow these little tips you will find yourself more calm and in control of your emotions and lifestyle. I definitely feel the difference when I do!
Peace and love,