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Conscious social media-ing

I made up a new verb.

One of my MOST listened to podcast, by a couple hundred listens, is on phone addiction. Which surprised me I won’t lie. If you haven’t listened to it go listen! It makes more sense if you listen to it first.

Since then I have worked on setting my boundaries with social media, but its been a difficult struggle. I still have the do not disturb feature on my phone, but my phone has moved to my room again but not to my side of the bed. I have been inundated with work and now having Troy since recording that podcast I am always ready with my phone to take videos and eager to post them so everyone overseas can see how CUTE HE IS CONSTANTLY! I get messages every single day about how happy his videos make people online and that makes me more happy than anything. But it has made me get online more and I have had to strictly set my boundaries again.

I think it’s a silent struggle that so many of us deal with but we aren’t really sure why or how to deal with it. It’s a love hate relationship- am I right? I absolutely ADORE that my friends and family on the other side of the world are able to watch Troy grow up, can see what I’m doing, and feel connected to me in some way and vice versa. It makes me so happy watching my friends stories. I love that I can work online, blog, make money online, connect with my followers and help others online. It’s radical.

But in the same breath I think a lot of us suffer with comparison, with getting angry with certain accounts online, feeling inadequate, wasting time, not being present with the people in the same room as us, and being on here all the live long day!

Where’s the balance, how do we manage? How do we stay up to date and not waste hours on here? How do we not lose ourselves in comparison watching everyone accomplish sooooo much.

We aren’t seeing the negative effects in plain sight. Anxiety, depression, all things that can be triggered by social media/phones- we can feel them, but don’t know what they’re from. And not only that- there isn’t a one size fits all solution. Some of us are okay mentally (and need to for work) to be online for 6 hours a day, and for some, one hour or less a day is all you should really do.

Are you an introvert? Extrovert? Are you in a good space mentally? Are you following the right pages? Are you reading the right things to feed your soul? Are you consciously scrolling? Are you productive in your work and job and have the time to be on social media?

Are your eyes taking strain? Are you being told constantly from your partner and from your work place to be off your phone? Did you know that irritability, depression, anger and restlessness are all symptoms for phone addiction?

You probably know the answers here. If it’s time to take a step back, do so.  The power is in your hands -literally.

You’ll find that being more aware and conscious while being on social media, you see what you want to see in a shorter period of time, scroll less, and are so much happier.

Here are some ways you can change things:

  1. Set a timer. 5 minutes of mindless scrolling. Timer goes off, get to your to do list.
  2. watch your important peoples stories, unfollow ALL of the people you find yourself comparing yourself to or who are negative, and spend time doing what you love!
  3. Be present with your family. Dinner, bedtime, bath time with your kids, put that phone away in the other room. One hour a day is going to be excellent for your relationships.
  4. This is a huge one – if you are on several platforms, so say Instagram, snapchat, Facebook, pinterest, twitter, linked in and youtube – pick 2 and delete the rest. sounds extreme yes, but if you are suffering at the moment with trying to get your phone addiction under control, is it really that extreme? If you were suffering with food addiction or drinking addiction and we tried to cut back on the food or alcohol is that extreme? No. So pick your 2 to 3 favourite platforms and delete the rest- temporarily. you don’t need to disable your accounts but lets be honest, there are our favourite platforms and we should just stick to those. My focus has been on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest and I have loved it.
  5. if you have an iPhone it tracks your use. it tracks your screen time and which apps take the most of your time, BE AWARE OF THIS. Watch these numbers every week. Instagram tracks it too. If you are happy with the number you see, cool. If you think those hours could be better used elsewhere, time to get moving on changes. We track our spending, we track our meals, we track our hours in a day for work, tracking our social media use is just another way we can keep ourselves in check and keep these things under control.
  6. Instagram in particular is an engagement app. The more you engage the more the algorithm favours you. If you are planning on only using instagram 45 minutes a day, split up those minutes and make this minutes count especially if you are trying to grow your following – go on instagram and use it for what its for- INTERACTING with other people, comment on pictures, like them, reply to peoples stories, if you go on there with a purpose you will see that you will accomplish so much more in so little time, it will benefit your account. Set your timer and go nuts for 5 to 10 minutes I promise you you will be shocked with how much you can do in 5 minutes knowing that you are there for a purpose.
  7. Do a Facebook and Instagram clean. You don’t owe anyone an explanation you can unfollow anyone you want at any given time and they can unfollow you and don’t take it personally. Just follow accounts that you enjoy following. Its a simple rule that almost nobody follows because we feel obligated to follow certain people and it is BS – follow who you want- at the very least, mute the ones you need to. 

Be conscious. Be aware. It’s all in your hands!

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I’m Andrea

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