Sometimes I waste a lot of time on social media. Honestly, it’s scary that these companies know so much about me and regularly use algorithms in order to steal and keep my attention. I know a few people who have deleted social media accounts, and I strongly support people doing that if they are only using social media to consume.
But social media can be a positive force in your life. Here’s how:
Before you log on to social media, create something to share. It’s okay to just share a little bit about your life and what you are thinking. You can share a photo of your life or something you’ve seen that is beautiful. You can ask a question or do a short status update. You can also use Canva to make a social media post. I like to share quotes from books and articles I’ve read, my own blog posts, projects I’ve completed, and insight from my life.
You might think this takes a lot of time–but so does scrolling through social media! If you don’t have time to create a post, you probably don’t have time to be on social media in the first place.
And don’t worry if your posts are good or not. Just make them. Try things out and experiment. Your friends want to hear from you, not just from influencers and commercial creators.
Again, let me stress that you do this before you go on to social media. If you go onto social media first, you will be too distracted to create something.
After you post something, spend time connecting with other people. This is not just looking at posts. It means interacting with posts: Share them (and say why you are sharing). Comment on them. Answer questions. You won’t want to interact with every post you see, but try to find something that resonates with you and then respond to it. If nothing is inspiring you in your feed, than change your feed–unfollow people who don’t bring you joy. And send personal messages to people you know and love.
Set limits to resist consuming.
I don’t have social media on my phone. Sometimes I will install Instagram to make a post or a story, but then I often uninstall it. And I use two apps with time limits on them: Digital Wellbeing (which is standard on Android) and YourHour. On my computer, I use FocusMe. But there are lots of other apps and programs to use. You don’t have enough willpower to not waste time on social media. Social media is designed to suck away your time, so you need backup to tell you when you need to look up and do something else.
Create and connect instead of consume. Social media can be a good force in your life–and if it isn’t, get rid of it.