As I mentioned in my Benefits of Social Media blog post the other week I wanted to share with you some tips for creating a healthier and happier balance with your social media channels, and making them work for you whether you use them personally, as a blogger or at work.
It turns out there is a lot to discuss so I’ve split this blog post into two; today’s post focusing on creating a healthier social media relationship personally, including relevant tips for bloggers too. Keep an eye out for a follow-up post with tips for the workplace where a digital detox isn’t an option.
Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (Alu-Dibond material) c/o Posterlounge
1| Take a break. One thing that has always helped me when I’ve felt overwhelmed with my social media channels is by taking a temporary break. It’s very simple. Let your followers know you’ll be offline for a while and delete the apps on your phone entirely. The more of us that take an offline break every few months, the more normal it will become, and perhaps it will encourage others to do the same. Every single time I’ve done this, I’ve come back feeling inspired, and ready to use my channels again. Give it a go.
2| If you’re feeling overwhelmed and jaded with the whole social media thang remind yourself what is great about it. Here’s a handy blog post listing 10 benefits of social media.
3| If you compare yourself to others, and are looking at their status updates or photographs and coming away feeling sad, then unfollow them. Just like real friendship, surround yourself with those that inspire you. Make the channels you visit daily a positive space. Think about your present lifestyle but also your goals for the future and follow the accounts that reflect that.
4| Concentrate on social accounts that are relevant to you and your lifestyle. You don’t need them all. For example, I use Facebook for work but hardly use it personally, except for Roller Derby and checking in on family/photos. I prefer Instagram (like-minded community and beautiful photography) and Twitter for timely/topical information. At work, I always say concentrate on two platforms and I think this works personally too.
5| Schedule posts (for bloggers). I’m being a big hypocrite whilst writing this tip as I’m behind on scheduling posts (still playing catch up after being ill last week). But by scheduling content you’ll find your posts will have more purpose and focus. You can still drop in when you like to post random content but if you have days when you just don’t have time to be ‘social’ then you’re scheduling tool (I use Hootsuite and Buffer) will have you covered. You can engage with and respond to your followers later in the day when you do have time.
6| Be purposeful with your time on it. It’s the same with TV. I used to switch from one TV channel to the next searching for a decent programme to watch, and most of the time settling for a mediocre show or soap. It was a complete waste of my time. The same applies to your social accounts. Before you log in, decide whether you want to merely browse, reply to comments, or follow new accounts. If you do just want to browse try setting yourself a time limit of 10 minutes.
7| Do good. Until better practices are put in place to combat trolls by the Facebook, Twitter and Instagram (and others), take the reins and support your followers to combat online abuse. An online positivity army is needed for sure!
8| Realise that time spent on social media is time not spent elsewhere. This was my biggest revelation. If you find yourself complaining that you don’t have time to read a book or time to catch up with friends, have a think about the time you spend on social media. It’s rare we come away from an hour online feeling it was worthwhile. Remember that all the moments you check-in on-line, all those shares, likes and RT’s add up.
9| Silent your phone. If I’m working from home my phone will be on loud but other wise it’s on silent all of the time, so I can concentrate on other things and not be distracted. My phone is always by my side but I check it when I want to check it, and not when a notification tells me to.
10| I’m not going to leave my phone in another room or turn it off completely. But there are times when I don’t go near it because I don’t want to, and that’s during meal times, when watching a film, having a coffee with friends etc. Be respectful of your surroundings and look up.
Let me know if these tips are helpful!