I think it is safe to say that social media can feel overbearing at times. Personally, I don’t think I was aware of how often I was on it and how addicted to it I was becoming. After learning from others, who are much smarter than me, the effects of social media and how to minimize it in our lives, I began to implement a few of these rhythms into my own life. I have found them to allow my mind to rest, give me peace, and overall I just feel refreshed.
So, I hope this blog helps give you a bit more insight and a few fresh ideas for ways to simplify your life by putting boundaries on social media.
How Social Media was Designed and Is it Bad to Use It?
I think it is important to understand the business behind social media. Social Media platforms were designed intentionally to have a never-ending scroll. That means you can scroll past your friends post for hours at a time and you will never find the bottom to the scroll.
They have it this way because the more time you spend on the app, the more ads they can show you and the more money they make.
Social media in and of itself isn’t bad at all.
Personally, I love to be on it! I love sharing about my photo sessions, the behind the scenes, and letting you peak into what my life is like! It’s fun seeing the people I follow post, connecting with others, and finding new inspiration!
I like the comparison of a brick as an example. A brick in and of itself isn’t bad. It’s how it is used by the person holding the brick, that determines whether it is good or bad. So, for example, you could use a brick to build a hospital or a home for someone in need. Or you could throw a brick through a window and instead of using it to help and heal, use it for destruction.
It is the same for social media. You can use it to encourage, uplift, and for fun or you can use it for hate and destruction.
Why Do I Put Boundaries on Social Media?
In today’s world, we have to be really intentional and fight to have a life that is peaceful, beautiful, restful, close to God, and connected with friends and family “in person.”
Personally, I have found that although social media connects people, it can just as easily disconnect me from the people I want to spend the most time with.
I think it is safe to say that we have all found that social media, although fun to use, has quite a few downsides. More often than not I find myself mentally exhausted from spending too much time on social media. I can too easily become addicted to it and I find myself constantly refreshing it to see if someone has posted something new. I find it creates anxiety and disrupts my peace (you can read about how I combat anxiety and fear here). And I too easily find myself comparing my real life with someone else’s highlight reel (*you might also like to read: My Thoughts on Comparison).
I know I am not alone in dealing with these problems, so I thought I would share a few ways that I have begun to simplify my relationship with social media.
Practical Ways to Put Boundaries on Social Media
These are just a few tips that I have collected along the way from other people. I have begun to implement most of them regularly. I find it brings me so much peace and is so refreshing.
Stop Posting in Live Time
Take pictures and videos while you are there, but posting in live time just pulls you away from the moment. I also like to sit with the picture or video for a while before deciding if I actually want to share it or just keep it special. It is freeing to know that you don’t need to share everything and it is good to be fully present in the moment.
Take Time Off Every Day
You can set limits on your social media through the settings on your phone. Just decide how long you are okay being on it and intentionally choose to put your phone away while you are off social media. Give your mind a little rest from it each day.
Delete the App for a Day or Two
Recently, I’ve have been deleting social media for the weekends. This could be one of my favorite boundaries. It gives me a few days off and the days feel truly restful.
Don’t Open the App Until a Certain Point in the Day
I am not as great at incorporating this one yet, but I thought I would still share it in case you like it. I know people who choose to not open social media every day until a certain time such as after lunch (12pm) and work hard until then. I’ll work up to this goal.
Take A Week Off
Nancy Ray says she likes to take 1 hour a day off, 1 day a week, and 1 week a month. I think this is great. Recently, I just took a week off when I went on a family trip to Newport Beach and I loved it! I definitely will be doing this more often!
Get Your Hands Dirty
These last few tips are probably my favorite.
When I first started deleting social media for a few days, I found myself constantly picking up my phone and realizing there wasn’t even anything to scroll. It is crazy how I was just in the habit of checking social media. I remember listening to a podcast and someone suggested that you need to do something that physically gets your hands dirty so that you can’t keep picking up your phone. For instance, start cooking, baking, gardening, take up pottery or painting. Not only does this give your mind a rest from technology and the constant scroll, but it lets your mind think creatively and it is just overall so refreshing.
Spend Time with Family or Friends
Put the phones away for a bit. Start connecting in real life. Whether one-on-one for a coffee date or a nice family dinner and game night, being with each other without any phones is so enjoyable.
Although it takes work and being super intentional, it is worthwhile to put up boundaries on your social media and technology. Simplify your life and start enjoying the moments as they happen rather than out of habit checking what others are up to. I hope you found these few tips to be helpful and that they gave you fresh ideas for slowing down life a bit.