I have a love/hate relationship with social media. I on it waaaay more than I’ll actually admit to. It feels like a quick way to fill in gaps in my day. Waiting for kids at sports? Hop on Facebook. Sitting in the lobby waiting to pick up kids from school? Check out my Instagram feed. Waiting for the water to boil? Scroll through Pinterest.
Sometimes I hop on, see a few cute pics of my friends’ kids, laugh at a meme or two and hop off, no harm no foul. But other times I hop on and have messages in my inbox that I don’t have time to get to just now, so I hop off and then completely forget to message people back. Or, I get sucked down the hole of seeing some star’s amazing transformation, but of course I never actually get to the end because of all the pop up ads. Or, I simply scroll and scroll and scroll and completely loose track of time!
When I find myself getting sucked down the rabbit hole of social media, I’m obviously less engaged with my kids-with life happening right in front of me. But also, I get snippy and short. I’m grouchy. I’ve spent the last hour looking at other people’s best moments and honestly, I’m feeling a little jealous, a little dissatisfied with my own life. Even feeling this way, I go back for more and that’s the part that truly bothers me-the pull it has over me.
But I can’t get off social media. For two reasons: 1: I use it for my work. 2. Honestly? Even though I hate it, I still kind of like it. I like seeing pictures of my friend’s kids, seeing my what my fellow college alumni are up to. Mostly, I like reading articles and blog posts that validate what I’m feeling, my struggles, my insecurities as a mom. Oh, and the memes. I love me a funny meme.
If you are like me and you kinda hate social media but are you aren’t going anywhere because you also kinda love it, I have some tips for you. Fill your feed with the good stuff. Scrap the rest. Here’s how to do it:
It’s okay. I give you permission. Just do it. Click “unfollow” and move on! They won’t know. Don’t feel guilty about it. Who knows, they might have unfollowed you too! And they don’t care, so why should you!?
That friend that always posts about politics (if politics aren’t your jam)? Unfollow. The mom from school who’s really nice in person, but her life looks so perfect online it kinda makes you hate her? Unfollow. The lady from work who always posts that cryptic feel sorry for me even though I’m not telling you why, nonsense? Yep, you guessed it, unfollow! The friend from high school that posts pictures of her kids once every 5 minutes or so? It’s ok, you can unfollow her too.
Find the Stuff You Like
Now that you’ve cleared away the stuff you don’t like in your feed, it’s time to find the stuff you do like. It’s your feed, make it work for you. Are you hopping on looking for news articles? Follow journalism pages. Wanna laugh more? Follow comedians or a funny meme page. Wanna be motivated? Follow a life coach that you love. Need some spirituality in your life? Find some amazing religion bloggers.
Limit Your Time
Ok, so you’ve cleared out the crap and added in some good stuff. Guess what? It’s still going to be addicting. It’s still going to make you feel jealous and a maybe even a little covety. (Covety’s a word right? 😉 It’s still has the power to zap your time. It’s still taking you out of the present moment.
So you’re still allowed on it, but you have to limit yourself. Set up some rules for screen time, just like you do for your kids. Set a time limit or a pick a certain time of day to check your social media. But for goodness sake, don’t get on first thing in the morning. Speaking from experience, it’s the worst time. Start your day with prayer, or meditation, or quiet time, or exercise, or a cup of coffee on your porch.
Trust me, these rules will work. I know because I recently did it. My feed is filled with bloggers I love, bible quotes on lovely backgrounds, and memes that make me laugh out loud. Because I’m not perfect, I don’t always follow these rules. But when I do I feel more peaceful in general. I feel like I’m controlling my social media and it’s not controlling me.