Since doing my little social media cleanse, I feel I’ve developed a much healthier relationship with Instagram. Yes, I am a recovering “insta-addict.” I’m not proud of it, but I have learned from my mistakes. That’s the best outcome we can ask for, right, learning from our mistakes?
Right after my cleanse, I realized that some of my habits had been contributing to my screen time crisis, so I made a big effort to make some changes. What I have been doing has really helped in my efforts to stay free and clear, so I thought I would share a few of my tips for healthy social media habits.
1. Clean Up Your Feed
You know, just like we spring clean our houses, it’s a great idea to clean out who you are following on social media. Yes, it is as tedious and time consuming as it sounds and just about as fun as cleaning your house. Unless you like to clean your house, then it’s much less fun. But, it can be a healthy, fresh start to the new you.
We evolve over time, changing and growing into new versions of ourselves and our feeds need to change with us. Who we were following a year ago may not be serving the new us. Go through your feed and delete anyone that is not giving you the inspiration and uplifting you need. Use your intuition, you know what you need. If anything leaves you feeling icky and with negative thoughts after viewing it, get rid of it. The good news is, if you feel you’ve pressed that unfollow button mistakenly, you can always just follow them again! You’ve got nothing to lose and you just might find you like what you see when you start scrolling again.
2. Follow Who Inspires You
Love art? Find some artists whose work you love. Into photography? Look for some photographers whose photos brighten up your feed. Poetry your thing? Search up poets whose words speak to your soul. Just be careful you don’t start going down the road of “I wish I could paint like that”, “I wish I could travel there”, or “I wish I could write beautiful words like those.” Going there is the opposite of what you are trying to accomplish.
Follow people who do service and devote their time to good causes. It can be tremendously uplifting to know there are still good people in this world trying to make it a better place. Follow people who regularly post uplifting quotes. You never know when you’ll read one exactly when you need it. With that being said, it can also be a huge annoyance to continually get pretentious quotes blowing up your feed, so go easy on the quote side of things. The options are pretty endless, and odds are someone out there is into the same things you are.
3. Do Something Else When You Grab Your Phone
There are a lot more things you can do on your phone while you wait to see the doctor than scroll through Instagram. Shocker, right? Here are a few of my favorite things to do.
Download the Kindle app on your phone and read a book. Amazon always has sweet deals on kindle books that can be downloaded for very cheap. They have books written on just about everything you can think of, so you are bound to find something you are interested in reading, even if you aren’t a book lover.
Meditate. Yep, you read that right, I said meditate. You don’t have to be seated on a cushion, eyes closed and chanting om to take a minute to breath and be mindful. Just taking a few deep breaths and sitting in the present moment can make your day a lot better. There are many apps that have short breath meditations, I happen to love the Breathe app on my apple watch for this, but you don’t need an app at all. Just take a deep breath, and then a few more.
Play a game. I know, not exactly the best way to spend time, but when you are faced with a social media crisis, playing Candy Crush instead of scrolling through Instagram just might be your saving grace. Just be careful you don’t switch your Insta addiction for a gaming one! Moderation in all things, and all that…
4. Think Before You Post
While this tip won’t change what you are seeing from others’, it will make sure that your posts are intuitive and authentic. And if we want to see a change in the social media department, we need to start with ourselves, right?
It’s simple. Just think before you post something on your feed. Does it reflect your true self? Is it a true representation of who you are? Will it uplift others? Is it in line with your core beliefs? These are some questions you can ask yourself before you press “post.” We want yes answers here.
Be mindful of when you are posting for external reasons. Like wanting a bunch of “likes” or hoping for validation from others through comments. What is your intention with posting this? And don’t be afraid to be honest with yourself! If your intentions are of the external variety, which happens to ALL of us, you may want to rethink the post.
I hope you feel like you have options when it comes to screen time and that you can use social media in a healthy, intuitive way. Happy screen time!