For every business owner, social media plays a huge role. It’s a great tool to market our business and grow our tribe. But this comes with a negative side effect. We often feel like missing opportunities if we’re not constantly posting and engaging. It’s hard to disconnect. If you don’t want social media to take over your life you have to be mindful of how you use it.
As much fun as social media can be it also has a dark side. Our everyday kryptonite. It’s hard to draw a line between what’s good for our business and what’s good for us. Balancing social media can be difficult to almost impossible if it’s part of your work. So I wanted to share some tips on how I implement mindful social media practices.
Negative effects of social media
FOMO kicks in if we don’t spend every minute of our day online. And when we’re online we start to compare ourselves to others. It can seem like everyone else is always ahead of us. That we should do more. It can have a negative impact on your mental health and wellbeing. More and more people are observing issues like stress, overwhelm, depression, anxiety, and even addiction. It’s time to spend our time on social more mindful.
How to establish mindful social media practices
Which brings us straight to the topic. How can we create mindful social media practices? And it comes down to two points. First of all, we have to be more conscious of how we consume and what we consume on each platform. Being aware of which content causes you to feel bad and avoiding it. The second point is to set up boundaries. Because it’s not only about what you consume but also how much you consume. The following tips can help you to set up boundaries for yourself.
Related post: A slow living approach to productivity
Don’t check your phone first thing in the morning
How often do we immediately reach for our phone when we wake up? From there it’s only one more tap and we get sucked into Instagram. It’s not a good idea to start off your day like this. I am all for a calm morning. Honestly, I don’t even want to interact with anybody or anything before I had my first coffee. So I set up a rule for myself to not use my phone before I haven’t done anything for myself which is, in my case, journaling.
Related post: How journaling improves your mindset
Extra tip: The same goes for the evenings. The light from your phone has a negative impact on your sleep. Turn your phone off an hour before you go to bed and you’ll have less trouble to fall asleep.
Set specific times
But also during the day, Instagram and Co. can distract us. We all know this. You should be writing a blog post but you quickly want to check Facebook. All of a sudden one hour has passed and you haven’t written a word.
Setting specific times during the day to engage on social media will limit the time you spend there. It’ll also help you to focus on your work without distractions. I am not keeping strictly to my set times each day. But when I find myself spending too much time on social I’ll even set a timer now and then to signal me when it’s enough.
Apply common courtesy rules
This is important, not only for yourself, but also for the people surrounding you. We know how to interact with people online but we don’t know how to have a real conversation anymore. Which I find quite shocking. If I am talking to somebody I want to look this person in the eye. So whenever I have a real life conversation I put away my phone. When I eat dinner with my husband I put away my phone. It’s common courtesy.
Take a vacation from social media
If you often feel drained. If you feel social media is taking up too much space in your life, it might be time to take a break. While it seems like a drastic approach, sometimes it’s necessary to disconnect completely. This can be a day or a full week. Whatever you feel would be good for you. I regularly take Sundays off. No social media and no emails. Instagram will still be there when you come back, believe me.
What are your mindful social media practices? Feel free to chip in with some of your tips in the comments below.