Mindful Social Media Consumption: The Lifestyle Change You Didn’t Know You Needed

December 4, 2018

Mindful Social Media Consumption
Guide:

Actionable Tips + Checklist

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    “I’m good*, just really busy”

    *insert whatever similar line you like to say

    I’m almost certain you’ve said it before, and I know I have. What do we really mean by “busy”?

    We’re going to dive into that word a little, what it has to do with mindful social media consumption, and how to get started changing your social media habits for the better.

    I was on the Secret Sauce Podcast a while back talking about the subject of creating healthy scrolling habits and setting boundaries when it comes to social media, this blog goes along with those sentiments.

    If you’re anything like me, sometimes you prefer a little bit more detail in a form that can be read and used as a resource. So here we are.

    planner, hello day planner, social media

    Jodie Brim Photography

    Prior to owning a business, I had no idea what a hashtag was, and my online presence (other than occasionally silently lurking and accidentally liking someones’ cousin-in-law’s wedding photos on Facebook from 2007. That’s what the internet is really for-right?😬) was extremely limited.

    If you know anything about the brand that I’ve created, you know that I’ve put a lot of love and energy into learning about the benefits of a strong visual brand and social media presence for my business and putting it into practice, which has re-kindled my love of photography.

    Now, I run an Instagram and Facebook for the wellness side of things, a new more personal page for my photography and travels, and even a page for Mr. Clarence.

    If I had no boundaries in place surrounding social media, this would be pretty bananas. 

    By bananas I mean unsustainable.

    Let’s talk about how mindful social media consumption or a lack of can impact our lives.

    on your phone, airbnb, phone addiction, travel

    Social media can be really, really good.

    I’ve met excellent new friends on social media, it can give a sense of community, and allow for an opportunity to connect with groups of people that you identify with but may not have access to locally.

    Like vegans, people who read the same books you love, or people who also have rubenesque rescue dogs.

    It can also be pretty bad. By bad I mean:
    * it’s addictive
    * it can trigger sadness
    * it can lead to social isolation via comparison
    * virtual friends don’t = real friends

    After thinking about the state of social media affairs, I did a little survey on my Instagram (oh, the irony) and 70% of viewers said that they don’t feel like they have a healthy consumption of social media.

    social media, social media consumption, marybeth wells, social media manager

    yikes.

    So, how do we combat the ugly side of social media?

    I have a few suggestions to start out with to send us all in the direction of Mindful Social Media Consumption.

    1. Curate what you intake

    You know those accounts that make you cringe when you look at their content?

    Maybe it’s a brand, someone doing something similar to you, someone who’s been nasty to you in some way, a family member, or an old friend.

    This is a friendly reminder that you don’t have to intake content that doesn’t bring you joy. I repeat: You have no obligation to intake content that doesn’t bring you joy.

    Let that sink in, then get to muting and unfollowing.

    Even if you are going to have some scroll and interaction time, you should do it in a way that doesn’t trigger anxiety, stress, and comparison for you.

    2. Set boundaries and time limits for yourself

    I’ll probably never stop talking about the importance of prioritizing a mindful morning and nighttime routine, so don’t mind me while I bring it up again.

    If you struggle with setting boundaries with your electronics (if you own a TV, smart phone, or computer this is probably you, it’s fine), I would suggest utilizing features and apps that limit your screen time for you, like the new update for Apple users.

    Think of this as a similar tool to the way you would set yourself up to succeed with any other lifestyle change, such as eating a more balanced diet or starting an exercise routine. If you have a house containing only junk food, and no running shoes, nothing is likely to change, just like if you don’t set solid boundaries for yourself you’re far more likely to be sucked back into staring at your phone right before bed.

    3. Make time for actual in-person connection

    Last but not least, make time for nurturing friendships and connection in person.

    It’s impossible for us to be friends and form legitimate human connections with thousands of people at once. There is no substitution for face-to-face connection with our people, even if we feel like we’re being “social” all the time online.

    I’ll leave you with a challenge: this week, take some of the time you would usually spend scrolling on Facebook or Instagram, reach out to a friend or someone you want to be friends with and set a date to get coffee and actually get to know one another. At the very least, FaceTime someone you haven’t talked to in a while. See how things are going for them outside of the highlight reel that is their social media.

    Come over to my Instagram and tell me about your biggest takeaway and  your coffee date 🙂

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