We’ve written about how to remove yourself off social media and the draining effects of constant social media use, but that doesn’t mean social media as a whole lacks value.
This guide is aimed at those who still wish to keep social media in their lives while managing their time and energy better. From apps that help direct your time to following healthier social media content, we have a few tricks to keep you positive and ready for every day.
1. Take a Day Off From Social Media
While other ideas on this list will be about finding specific means to limit social media use, the best tip is often to take a day off of social media. Whether once a week or once a month, putting aside time where you don’t even check social media helps keep you from becoming dependent.
Few strategies work as well as time off, as your need for constant interaction and gratification will wane. And if you’re feeling a bit daring, even try daily downtime after a certain hour. It turns out, the more time you have before bed away from a bright screen, the easier it is to sleep!
2. Develop Alternative Hobbies
If you find your eyes are glued to your phone for hours on end, perhaps add a few hobbies to your daily routine.
From books to more social outings, each activity that you add to your metaphorical plate is time away from your phone. There is nothing more exciting than finding a new passion, such as bowling or fishing!
And if this wasn’t already obvious, try to keep your attention on your friends instead of your phone when hanging out. Not only will your time be better rewarded, but your friends will respect the time set aside for them.
3. Track Your Social Media App Time
One of the best recent features in iOS 12 is Screen Time. Found under the Settings app, Screen Time touts two major social media usages: Tracking and Limiting.
Each day (or week), you can get notifications that give you an average on the amount of time you’ve spent on your screen. This is great for those who aren’t looking for total social media limitations but instead want to see how much time they are spending as a whole.
On the other side, the App Limits feature is a blessing for those who aren’t able to put down social media. Each day you allot how much time you want to spend on social media or other apps. After that time is reached, it’s game over.
4. Follow Lighter-Hearted Social Media Content
Tired of seeing everyone around you living a life you wanted? Well, it turns out that most people only show their best selves on social media and it’s making our society divided. A healthy alternative is to find content that is both enjoyable and uplifting. We see enough chaos in the world around us, wouldn’t a few more lighthearted accounts be a better follow?
Great examples of enjoyable content would be funny and cute images, such as the cutest animals on Instagram. Sometimes the best medicine is a smile that gets you away from the stress of how “perfect” everyone looks on social media. Content that fulfills is more beneficial than content that teaches us to envy.
5. Follow Honest Social Media Content
Following enjoyable and honest content is much healthier for your brain. If your off time is spent doing something you find yourself coming back to, why not make it a positive experience?
The second type of positive content to follow is that of honest content. Are you following workout professionals? Find ones that show you realistic bodies—how they look after eating, not flexing, etc. Following millionaires? Start to follow a few humble people who talk about their struggles and hopes equally.
If we idolize those with millions of follows, we really are only seeing a small piece of their lives and saying: “Yes this is a perfect life.” By allowing our social media feed to be lightened and full of honest individuals who enjoy life, you allow yourself to be part of an honest experience.
6. Ignore Likes and Follows
It is ridiculously easy to get trapped into wanting the most activity on your social media. From Instagram to Facebook, getting someone to like or comment on your photo releases endorphins through your brain. We get excited at the thought of someone else liking or following us. It becomes a drug.
A solution to that is to either turn off notifications or better yet, stop caring about the numbers. The number of friends or followers on your account should never be more important than your actual life—once you realize this and run away from the instant gratification, you’re a step towards better social media usage.
In fact, there is nothing wrong with wanting to make your Instagram stories more popular—as long as you don’t become obsessed. Enjoying the beauty and fun of social media without worrying about your “rank” is a relief.
7. Gamify Your Social Media Access
Setting up a prize system might make you feel like a pet, but it actually works. A great method to use is that of rewarding positive behaviors: complete items on your to-do list that have been pushed off, and then you can browse social media. It becomes a game. Do the dishes, add 3 minutes to your social media time. Each opportunity and social media craving will link back to productive work ethics. Once you’ve hit your stride, lessen the amount of time each task rewards.
Constant consumption of social media is unhealthy, regardless of the person. Whether you try one or all of our tricks, make sure to stay positive and keep a strong mental image of yourself.
Still on the line as to whether social media needs to be cut out of your life? Then check out our article on the positive effects of social media.