As a “social media influencer,” my life revolves around the online world of social media, and I enjoy it, but many people also find themselves enveloped in the charm of social media. Walk through any shopping outlet and you’ll see kids transfixed by their devices, bimbling along like zombies as they refresh media feeds for the latest trend. Drive down any freeway and you’ll find fellow humans aimlessly scrolling timelines on mobile mind-entrapment devices—many people “scroll” right into car wrecks, yikes!
Social media is a recent concept for humanity, historically speaking, and we are still learning to properly manage this beast. I’ve been engaged with social media for the past decade, and then more actively six years ago when I began streaming. Before that, I had dormant social media accounts used for engaging with friends. Ironically, a few months before streaming professionally, I deleted all my social media accounts because I wanted a social media free life! Then my life was encapsulated by social media.
During my years as a social media influencer, I’ve learned to properly manage my mental health and use social media in a way that it doesn’t consume my life. I don’t want to end up like the zombies featured in my latest comic book. It took some time and work to reach these personal conclusions.
I have learned a few things:
- I don’t need to scroll every social media timeline aimlessly, consume every new trend, know about every event in my streaming realm, or read every news headline.
- My time is better spent focusing on myself and my current goals.
These realizations apply to anyone who actively uses social media and can’t stop scrolling social media pages. I genuinely didn’t feel my best self constantly scrolling through Twitter to keep up. I finally realized: IT DOESN’T MATTER! Not to me, at least. Sometimes I’d get dizzy staring at my phone for so long, and maybe some of you can relate, so let me share my top 5 tips on how to curb a social media addiction and disconnect from its distorted reality:
1) Start disconnecting and managing your time
Time is everything; we have a limited amount before we die, so why the heck spend it glued to a phone? I understand that some people truly enjoy scrolling Pinterest to find new hobbies, but I don’t bend my brain anymore by staring at my phone all day. Start your social media cleanse slow, and learn to disconnect from your phone. I used to feel severe anxiety when separated from my phone; it was ALWAYS beside me—this wasn’t healthy. I disconnected slowly by leaving my phone on my nightstand for longer periods in the morning after waking up. Instead, I started the day by getting ready and eating breakfast; THEN I’d interact with my phone. Starting with no exterior voices was fabulous and helped me appreciate time away from social media. By regularly practicing this, I disconnected gradually from my phone and was better able to manage the time I spent on it.
2) Don’t mindlessly scroll
Scrolling through various social media feeds can be addicting! You find yourself consuming all the new content, and at the bottom, you refresh and start over. My suggestion is to quit scrolling mindlessly. I used to scroll Twitter, filling my mind with useless garble. I felt required to know what everyone in my realm was up to and what they were discussing. After abandoning all but basic posts related to streaming, I realized that 99% of social media content is useless, so why have it in my head? Lol. My mind feels much lighter without reading a 20-IQ Tweet. I use Twitter to engage with my audience, and that’s about it! I love sharing with my community, but I don’t love reading all the other gunk social media offers. Keep it simple!
3) Don’t follow or engage content that doesn’t “build you up”
If you know me, you know I take actions to make me feel good or build me up! Who the heck wants to sit around feeling bad? I don’t. Sometimes the content we consume makes us feel icky and we don’t understand why. If you feel bad after engaging certain content, ask yourself “Why?” Honestly answer that question. I suggest immediately disengaging from content that makes you feel bad for any reason. Feel better!
4) Focus on the NOW
This phrase is so cliché, but so true. I recently camped in an area without cell phone service and no access to social media accounts out in the boonies. The next day entering cell phone service, I didn’t even want to check my acounts because the disconnect felt so nice! While camping, I was forced to engage with my surroundings, family, and puppy instead of scrolling through my phone. This is not difficult for me anymore, but a few years ago it would have been. I’m glad to connect with my immediate surroundings more easily now and truly live in the moment. You can survive if you don’t refresh your feeds for a day—or even a week! I promise!
5) Skip the headlines
I used to ritually scroll through the world’s breaking-news headlines daily. Some of the articles were so shocking that I’d be left feeling disturbed, but doing so made me knowledgeable on current world events—I was being a responsible human. What a waste of time! Nowadays, I keep up with news that directly affects me, but I don’t care to read the other 99% of filler crap that damages my mind. For an example, visit the Twitter trending page; it’s 99% filler. Determine those issues that matter to you, research safe sources for information pertaining to the subject, and periodically check in to see what’s going on.
I hope these tips help you disengage from your phone and reengage the beautiful world we live in! I’ve traversed the valleys and peaks of social media, and none of the highs or lows compare to the real-world mountain adventures I embark on with my puppy, Kintla.