Social media can be stressful especially web2 that only focuses on feeding you dopamine & making you feel insecure. Between the pressure to post perfect pictures, maintain an active feed, and keep up with family and friends, it's no wonder we feel overwhelmed! But there are ways to reduce your stress level and increase your productivity by simplifying your social media experience.
As an aspiring minimalist, I've found that spending less time online allows me to reclaim my time for other passions. For example, I used to spend hours each day scrolling through social media instead of writing or reading books—and now those activities are much more fulfilling because they don't require interruptions from notifications or friends' stories about their weekends in Bali (or Whatever) 😂
Remove Toxic People From Your Feeds
It can be tempting to befriend everyone you meet, but you need to remember that not everyone is your friend. If someone makes you feel bad, unfollow them. It’s as simple as that. If they post things that make you feel bad, remove them from your feed. If they post things that make you feel the need to reply, remove them from your feed. If they post things that are in any way controversial or political, especially if they don’t align with your views or opinions on those subjects (and sometimes even if they do), remove them from your feeds. You don’t need negativity in your life — especially when it comes from people who aren't even worth giving one of the most precious resources we have: our time and attention!
Follow People Who Inspire
- You should only follow people whose lives you admire and wish to emulate in a positive way. Not those who make you feel jealous
- You should only follow people whose passions and values are in line with your own
- You should only follow people who will make you feel good about yourself or inspire you to be better than the best version of yourself.
You can always unfollow them if they don't live up to these standards, but you won't have to worry about wasting time on accounts that aren't going anywhere for your life goals.
Look At Your Phone Less
We know that social media can be a great way to connect with people, but it can also become an addiction. Studies show that the more time you spend on your phone, the more likely you are to develop anxiety and depression. If you're constantly checking your notifications or receiving push notifications from apps like Facebook Messenger, it's possible that these behaviors have taken over your life and made it difficult for you to focus on other things.
To combat this problem and regain control of your time and attention span (not to mention battery life), try implementing these simple changes:
Set aside specific times each day when you're going to be using social media. For example, if you have an hour-long commute during which all of the other passengers are sleeping or reading their books. While staring out the window at the scenery passing by them in silence—and therefore aren't engaging with each other—that's a perfect opportunity for catching up on Instagram stories!
Or maybe after dinner is another prime moment for scrolling through Facebook news feeds? Whatever works best for your lifestyle will help ensure that social media doesn't creep into every moment of every day.
Take A Deep Breath Before Publishing
If you're like most people, social media makes you anxious. Maybe your anxiety comes from the pressure of having to always be posting something interesting or entertaining. Maybe it's because everyone seems to have a better time than you, especially when they post pictures from their vacations and parties. Whatever the reason for your anxiety—and there is no shame in admitting that social media makes you feel bad about yourself—I want to offer some advice: take a deep breath before tweeting or posting anything new.
You shouldn't overthink this; just take ten seconds before hitting "send" or "post," close your eyes, and focus on taking deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth until all of that anxiety has been released from your body. I promise it works!
Turn Off Notifications
Next, turn off all notifications for apps you don't need to be notified about. This includes social media apps, but also any other app you might use daily—your email client, perhaps, or your calendar. Notifications distract you from the main task at hand. Whenever I am writing, I keep my phone on silent mode and at a distance. Only my wife and my mother can call me in those moments if there's anything urgent. Rest everything can wait!
Don't Click On Clickbaits
An effective way to ensure that your social media use is beneficial is to avoid clickbait. Clickbait—a form of online media in which a publisher posts an enticing link with a headline that encourages readers to click—can be used for good, such as when it's used to draw attention to other content, but it's also been criticized for its use of exaggeration and sensationalism.
When you see a post on social media with a title like “You'll Never Believe What Happened Next!” or “This Is The Scariest Thing I Have Ever Seen!,” check the post itself before you click on it. Often these types of headlines will lead you into reading something entirely unrelated or uninteresting than what was advertised in the title. This is called "click-baiting" because it lures people into reading something they normally wouldn't read just by using an eye-catching headline that misleads them into thinking they're going to get one thing but instead give them another (I know; this sounds like a scam).
The key takeaway here is that if you want to practice social media minimalism, it’s something you can do without much effort. All it takes is a little bit of self-awareness and some discipline to follow through on your goals. It's not hard to see how the constant checking of your phone can stress you out. You are constantly aware of what's going on in the lives of others, and it might make you feel like you aren't keeping up with them.
But by setting simple limits on your social media usage and focusing more on what is important, you'll be able to relax and concentrate more on yourself while still being present in the online world. Once you start seeing results (and trust me, they will come), the only thing holding you back from becoming an even more productive human being is yourself!