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How to have a healthy relationship with social media

Hi, I’m Liz and I’m a self-proclaimed social media addict. While I do run a blog Instagram that requires lots of content, I keep a tight rein on my “personal” social media presence. I attempt to share my life online in a way that’s beneficial for my mental health. Here are some tips and tricks I’ve picked up on how to have a healthy relationship with social media.

How to have a healthy relationship with social media

Do not post for other people

Say it with me now: do not post for other people. I know, I know, the whole point of social media is to share for other people to see. But if you’re only posting something with specific viewer and specific hoped reactions in mind, don’t post it. When you post, it should be to share something that you genuinely want to share as a piece of your life, not something that you are posting just so that other people will see it and think about it a certain way.

Limit how often you check in

Checking your social media constantly can turn it from a habit into an addiction. It’s important to set limits on how often you check, and how long you browse. If you need to wean yourself off of constant social media usage, you can start out small by checking just a few times a day; morning, lunchtime, and evening. I only check my personal Instagram once a day, at sunset time. Checking it at the same time each day keeps me from wondering what I’m missing througout the day- I know I’ll see it when I check!

Remove people who are bad for you

Most social media platforms have a blessed mute function, which allows your to remain digitally connected with someone while preventing their content from showing up on your feeds. Muting allows you to create distance from people whose content might negatively affect you, without totally severing the connection. Feel free to mute anyone who’s content makes you feel bad about yourself, annoys you, or you just find straight-up boring. My exes are currently so deeply muted that I wouldn’t know if they were literally dating each other. Follow my lead and mute who you need to! And don’t be afraid to take it one step further and unfollow or block people if that’s what you need to do, too.

Control who can see your content

Just like you control who’s content you see, you can also control who can view your content. If someone is not good for you, block them from seeing your content. There is no harm in establishing a digital boundary where you need to. For example, I experienced someone who always responded to my Instagram stories in weird ways. So, I blocked them from seeing my stories. They don’t know, and my life is improved.

Don’t analyze views/likes

Let me let you in on a secret: It does not mean anything when someone views your Instagram story. There is no hidden meaning of them stalking you, being curious about your life, etc.  I can’t tell you the number of random Instagram stories I click through without really caring what I’m seeing! Stop looking to see if your ex saw your story, or if the cute guy from the bar spied your outfit today. Chances are they’re just clicking through and not actually searching for your content.

Turn off the like count

Instagram introduced a new feature where you can turn off the like count on your posts. Doing this frees you from focusing on how many likes you get on a certain post. That shouldn’t matter! All that matters is if you like the post. Removing likes also removes any insecurities you may have about other people judging how many/few you likes you get on a post.

Don’t post impulsively

Take a breather before you hit post. Are you saying something negative on Twitter because you’re having a bad day? Are you posting a pic because you want the guy you’re talking to to get jealous? Think about whether you would want the content you’re about to post to stick around in the long run. If you think that the post won’t reflect your genuine life when you look back on it in a few days, don’t post it. Before you post, ask yourself this question: Why am I posting this?

I hope these tips have given you some ideas to reflect on! Let me know if you have any more ideas for how to have a healthy relationship with social media.


This Post Has One Comment

  1. Mark Herring

    Thanks for sharing your advice! (I’m a big fan of the mute button!) While I was already a social media addict before, the pandemic definitely made my doom scrolling even worse. But in 2022, I’m working on reclaiming a healthy relationship with social media, without having to cut it entirely out of my life. Currently, I try to limit my social use to a set 30 minute time frame each day. One book that was big help for me that I highly recommend is Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport

    Thanks again,
    Mark Herring

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