Creating a Healthy Balance with Social Media
Whether you love it or you hate it, social media is an everyday part of our lives.
But scrolling mindlessly through Instagram or constantly refreshing Snapchat can take its toll. For many of us, social media can be emotionally draining or even just hugely time-consuming. So, it follows that creating a healthier balance with social media involves establishing some boundaries to prevent hours and hours of staring at our screens.
It is becoming increasingly important to create a healthy balance with social media. So, we’re here to give it to you straight, and in a few simple tips.
Schedule time away from it
One of the most harmful elements of social media is how quickly it can eat away your time.
Physically schedule some phone-free time to add some variety to your day. You might decide that your afternoons are going to be social media-free, allowing you to complete any homework, prepare for any assessments and also relax and decompress after a busy day at school or work.
If you are feeling like your relationship with social media is particularly unhealthy, you could always try a social media-free weekend. You might just find that you are spending so much time on those apps out of routine, rather than interest.
Create some social media-free zones
Another important way to create a healthy balance with social media is to establish some social media-free spaces in your house.
If you are finding that you are staying up late at night on your phone, make a rule of not using your phone when you lie on bed. For those who lack the willpower, putting your phone on the other side of your room or, if that’s still too tempting, keeping it out of your bedroom altogether work well too.
If social media is impacting your work, make a rule of keeping it away from your desk or workspace.
Use social media blocking apps
Social media blocking apps are another way you can control your amount of time online. Many new phones have app management controls in the settings, allowing you to set time limits for certain apps. If your phone doesn’t have this built in, there are management apps that you can download that do the same thing. These can also be downloaded onto your computer. Some great apps include ‘Flipd‘ (for iOS and Android) and ‘Freedom‘ (available for iOS, Android, Mac and Windows).
Side note: most new phones also come with a weekly report option that tells you how much time you spend on your phone. It is definitely worth checking out – you might be surprised at how many hours on your phone that you average daily! If your phone doesn’t have this option built-in, try the app ‘Moment‘ (available for iOS and Android).
Delete the apps
Continuing on from our last tip, deleting social media apps from your phone is another great way to take a break. Deleting these apps won’t delete your account, but it will make it more difficult for you to open them up (you will need to download the app again and sign in). It doesn’t seem like the biggest hurdle, but the increased effort required to open the apps will probably limit your usage.
Another good idea to create a healthier balance, is to delete the social media apps from your phone and only use your desktop for checking your social media accounts.
Don’t forget the value of face to face contact
This is a bit of a cliche, but if you are feeling as though a majority of your conversations are taking place through a screen, organise to hang out with your friends in person. As convenient as social media is, nothing can quite make up for face to face interactions with your friends.
Alternatively, you can also pick up your phone and call a friend, rather than texting. It’s a small change, but one that could limit the amount of time you are looking at your screen. Plus, it’s a time-saver! No need to wait, staring at those three dots while your friends types out their response.
Be realistic about social media
Finally, the key to a healthy balance with social media is to remember it comes with pros AND cons. Social media isn’t reality, and the very make up of Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat is to broadcast the best parts of your life.
Social media is a FANTASTIC tool for keeping in contact with friends and showing off the fun things you get up to, but it’s not so great for honestly highlighting what real life looks like.
You might hear this all the time, but it never hurts to hear it again. Having a realistic attitude towards social media is one of the key steps to establishing a healthy balance between it and real life.