Find more tips on using social media at Terumah.ca.
Some people actually love social media and sharing their lives online. If it’s a positive experience, and they are still physically, mentally, and emotionally healthy after heavy app use, kudos to them. Everyone has a different relationship with social media, and what can bring out the good in some is detrimental to others.
This post is really for the people who are driven crazy by all the app use or feel forced to post stuff in order to promote their work. After several conversations with bloggers and friends, I realized how beaten down some are when it comes to social media use, Instagram in particular. There’s the constant comparison to others’ carefully curated profiles, the addiction to the dopamine of receiving likes and followers, or getting depressed when not getting enough likes and followers. It’s not just teens feeling this way but also middle-aged adults.
Some are so sick of social media, they’re deleting their accounts. I hear about celebrities switching to dumb phones. I won’t be surprised if people start living off the grid when all the screen use pushes them to their breaking point. I read about popular Youtubers who have meltdowns and disappear. When the creators of these apps are warning others to cut back on social media use, you know it’s a serious problem.
I think there can be a balance where you can reap the benefits of modern technology without letting it control you. I wouldn’t give up my smartphone because it does make my life easier. I like using Google Maps for directions and transit information. Apps like KnowRoaming, Uber and Yelp are invaluable, especially during my travels. While I’m tempted by the idea of a dumb phone, no way I’m texting on a numeric keypad.
I still enjoy using social media because I have strict boundaries. This is not a foolproof system, but techno addiction is very real and can be very destructive. If these tips can help you curb your dependence on apps just a little, it’s progress.
I don’t post about my personal life online. This is the most important thing for me in keeping sane. As I grow my readership on this blog, I’m getting more and more strict on what I’m posting to separate my online self from my real self. I think it’s a different story if you’re blogging about your personal life, you feel cathartic doing so, and you’re comfortable being an open book. I don’t need to because my site is in more of a magazine format, and the content doesn’t depend on it.
The small things would start warping my reality. I don’t want to be living my life and looking for photo ops for Instagram or funny anecdotes for Twitter. It would mess with my head. Would I really be enjoying this party if I don’t post about it? Am I into this ice cream because it’s photogenic or do I actually enjoy eating it? Do I genuinely enjoy the company of the people I’m photographed with? If I remove the option of posting about my social life, it’s not a problem. Certain posts, such as my travel diaries, do sometimes require a personal touch, but I strive to be honest. If I’m not enjoying something, I’ll say so if it’s informative to readers
I feel that private moments and life milestones are sacred. So many people are giving away these moments to strangers for free. My stance is that in order to actually know me and what I’m up to, you actually need to spend time with me. I also don’t find it interesting to learn everything about a person online immediately after meeting them. Where’s the mystery?
However, I do think what’s “personal” is relative. Maybe what I’m writing about, others wouldn’t in a million years. Who knows? The important thing is to know what personal means for you, keeping safety in mind.
Yes, keep safe. The film Ingrid Goes West freaked out a lot of influencers. Check what you’re posting and to whom to avoid creeps and robbers. Learn from the celebrities who have been robbed after bragging about their valuables online. Even if you keep your profile private, you’re not safe. What if someone in your group of “friends” uses your personal photos to Catfish other people on the Internet? (That happens on Catfish, the show.) I’m not saying to trust no one, but post stuff on the internet as if you trust no one.
Okay, so if you’re not posting about your personal life on social media, then what will you do there? I like to focus on creativity and interests. This is why I actually enjoy social media. I use it for curated news, to discover new designers/bands/photography/etc, and to be inspired by other creative people.
I mostly post on social media to promote content from this blog, although the posts are automated now, except on Instagram, where I go in to post photos on ethical style, travel, and other interests, which all require my creativity (styling, photography, writing, sharing facts). I see Instagram as more of a portfolio, where people can drop in and see what your content is about and where you can connect with others who share the similar interests. So many bloggers worry about followers and numbers. It’s not my focus. Instagram is not even the best platform to get your work seen—I hear Pinterest is—so it’s better to direct my energy in creating useful, quality content.
I used to have a personal Instagram, where I shared mostly travel photos, but I didn’t have the energy for two accounts. I also shut down my personal Twitter account for the same reason. Keeping all my social media accounts work related makes posting and interacting with people more purposeful.
I was tempted to delete my personal Facebook account, but I need it to manage my Facebook page. It’s not so bad because I use FB the “hipster way”: unfollow everyone and just use it for the news. Okay, maybe I don’t unfollow everyone because some friends are fun to follow, but my feed is mostly articles from The Onion. What do I post on FB? Articles from The Onion.
Find more tips on social media at Terumah.ca.
How do you stay sane while using social media?
Get more like this—Subscribe to our daily inspirational newsletter for exclusive content!