Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you most likely have some kind of relationship with social media. In these hyper-connected times, it’s easy for this relationship to become toxic – often all it takes is one comment, fewer likes or an internet troll to make this happen.
But what can you do to develop a healthy relationship with social media (without relocating to a desert island)? Here are some habits you can cultivate to turn social media into a friend, not a foe.
Be authentic on social media platforms like Instagram and Facebook; it’s an excellent thing.
A recent survey by Havas Mediafound that almost one-third of participants regularly exaggerated their social media posts. This behaviour can cause friction and damage to offline relationships, as well as paint an unrealistic picture of what’s really going on.
Post a balanced perspective – the good, the bad and the ugly – because it gives others an opportunity to connect with you more authentically. The highlights reel is impressive, but it’s not accurate. As the saying goes, honesty is always the best policy.
SCHEDULE ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’ TIME
Try having a 15-minute block of time in your day where you let your fingers scroll to their heart’s content. Set a timer to hold yourself accountable.
Don’t think of limiting your social media time as a punishment – it’s to ensure you get the most out of your day with other activities and genuine, real-life connections.
DELETE THE APPS FROM YOUR PHONE
Remove the apps from your phone if you’re struggling to keep your time on social media to a minimum. It might sound like a drastic measure, but it really is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
Doing this means you’ll have to check social media on a computer, not when you’re out with your friends.
Many myths are surrounding social media and relationships, but one thing is real: we humans are social creatures, and we crave the kind of connection that goes beyond ‘likes’. Get off of your phone and get out into the world.