Social media is a mixed bag. It can be a great way to connect with people and stay informed, but it’s also a time-sink and an easy way to become addicted to the false world it creates. If you find yourself feeling anxious or depressed after using social media, you might have a problem.
Here are five tips for making your social-media use healthier:
- Set a timer. Social media is designed to suck you in and keep you there as long as possible. Set time limits to help keep your usage from getting out of hand.
- Make sure you’re following the right people. Instead of following everyone who follows you or subscribing to every email newsletter, try curating your friend list so that only the people who make you feel good are a part of it.
- Delete the apps from your phone. Having Facebook, Instagram and Twitter on your home screen makes it incredibly tempting to check them constantly. If you want to spend less time on social media, stop putting it in front of yourself all the time.
- Take a break once in a while. It’s not just about how much time you’re spending on social media — it’s about how often you’re checking it throughout the day. Try taking one day off from social media each week to see how much more productive or focused you feel when you don’t have that temptation staring at you all the time.
- Realize that you’re being sold a myth. The myth is that you’ll be happier if you use this particular platform more often. The purpose of social media is to make money for its founders and investors, so the myth it sells is one where you spend all your time on their sites and apps. Rather than buying into this myth, realize that you’re being sold something — an experience designed to alter your behavior as much as possible. Once you understand that social media is designed to encourage unhealthy habits, you can learn how to avoid them.