Social Media Self-Care: Setting Boundaries is so Important
“Am I addicted to social media?”
I joke that I am, in fact, addicted – I am a millennial after all! After recently watching The Social Dilemma, a new docudrama on Netflix, I was left with a greater understanding of why social media addiction isn’t “an unintended consequence, but rather a well-thought-out objective.”
While tech-savvy real estate agents and content creators probably weren’t left with this feeling of shock after watching the docudrama, it must have you at least wondering about adjustments or boundaries you can set for yourself to break the addiction.
Even when the intent of a social media platform is positive, excessive use can have a negative impact. Below are some ways to set boundaries.
1. Set “No Social Media” Times Throughout the Day
As The Social Dilemma points out, only the illegal drug industry and software industry call their customers “users.” Let that sink in a moment. To overcome an addiction to social media, start small with a half-hour drop in usage time. As long as you are clearly making space in your day when social media (or media in general) is not allowed, your brain will benefit from the break. For those who have teenagers and young children, think about the impact social media is having on their mental well-being and have a conversation around usage. What’s appropriate? What’s too much or not enough?
“I watched [the documentary]. I wasn’t super shocked. The way they portrayed [the docudrama] is ‘good TV’ and not a huge surprise, or shouldn’t be, to anyone who is paying attention. I will continue to deny access to my 13-year-old and will likely modify my social media intake to ‘business only’ as much as possible.”
2. Balance the Negative with the Positive
No one can argue that consuming negative posts and information all the time is healthy. It’s also important to note that social platforms, regardless of the algorithms, do not create genuine connections with people for you – that’s up to you! If you find that your feeds are filled with negative posts and information, then you need to question the people and accounts you are following. Focus on following or connecting with people and brands who are deliberately putting out a positive vibe. Taking control of your feed can have a dramatic impact on how social media impacts you.
“For me, it’s getting to the point where I’m utterly shocked at what some people are saying on my feed at times. People who were never overly opinionated are now to the point where they spew hate from the keyboard.”
3. Fact Check. I Repeat, Fact Check
Check before you share! Take the extra few seconds to look over the source or go read the article in full to make sure the headline accurately reflects the content – and that the site is reputable. Sometimes we get caught up in a title or social media post that we forget the context of the article. If “fake news” spreads six times faster on Twitter than true news, we need to do our part in fact checking things we see on the internet to ensure it’s true.
“I loved the documentary. Some might say they were sensationalizing the messaging with the inclusion of the scripted family, but it was just an attempt at putting a face to the issue that the average consumer could relate with.”
4. Turn Off Notifications on Your Devices and Apps
If you don’t see a little red bubble, you don’t get the urge to check what it’s trying to tell you. Notifications have become a tool to increase activity and keep you unnecessarily engaged. Turning off your notifications should be the first thing you do, but why not take it a step further? Set your phone on “Do Not Disturb” after work hours every day – think from 7 p.m. – 7 a.m. – to allow you to get a better night’s sleep, which is especially important for preventing burnout and letting your brain get the rest it needs to make smart decisions throughout the day.
Maybe we can’t change the algorithms or “big tech.” But we can protect ourselves and make choices regarding our social media intake and engagement to be better agents – and better humans. So, start small. Fight the social dilemma battles you need to and carry on.
By Kayla Roofe, Sr. Social Media Manager RE/MAX, LLC
Original Source: RE/MAX