The time has come to set your resolutions for the New Year. Given the amount of reports confirming the negative effects social media can have on our wellbeing, it’s a good place to start. And it’s easier than overhauling your whole diet and exercise regime, or committing to reading a book a week, because everything is controlled with your fingertips.
That said, it’s easier said than done, but it’s worth a try. Here are some things to consider as we head into 2017.
Unfollow accounts that don’t bring you joy. No time like the beginning of a new year to apply Marie Kondo’s seemingly brutal KonMari approach of decluttering to your social media feeds. Whether they’re accounts you hate-follow or follow out of obligation, do a cull so you’re only being presented with things you enjoy.
And try to stop (or at least limit) your Instagram deep dives. You know the ones we mean – the ones that start innocently enough, until you realise two hours have passed and you haven’t physically moved, and you have no idea how you got onto the photo you’re currently looking at. We all know that meme.
Don’t post the same thing on every social media channel. We get it – you have different friends (or ‘audiences’) on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat. But does your brunch photo need to go on both Instagram and Facebook all the time? Do you have to share the same thing on Snapchat and your Instagram Story? Give your friends a reason to be following you on different channels. And of course there are key moments you want to share with everyone, but other things that aren’t as momentous? Scale it back.
Don’t feel the need to document everything. Snapchat, and then Instagram Stories, made it easy to share everything in ‘moments’ that disappear after 24 hours. But think about it: will dinner with your friends be any less enjoyable if you’re able to resist temptation to upload every meal that hits the table?
Don’t read so much into social media. Some of us are guilty of taking social media a little too seriously. Like what does it mean if my friend hasn’t ‘liked’ any of my past five photos? Or why does my Instagram follower count keep fluctuating? Why isn’t my latest post getting much love? Yes, social media represents life moments, but it’s not everything. I had a friend once tell me (when we caught up in person) that she was frustrated that there was an expectation that she had to know something just because it had been posted on Facebook. You’d be surprised how many people aren’t connected to their phones 24/7.
Stop getting all your news from social media. Many of us treat our social media feeds as our news feeds these days, and in many ways they are. But as the fake news trend of 2016 proved, not everything that’s shared is real. Best way to avoid this? Go directly to news sources, or set up a Feedly or reader account so you can personally curate your news.
The main point? If social media isn’t making you feel good, do something about it, whether it’s one of the suggestions above or by doing a detox. Life is too short to worry about your Instagram follower count.
Via Harper's Bazaar AU