I could count on one hand how many of my friends and family are NOT connected in some way to at least one Social Media platform. As far back as I can remember I have used these forms of online connection in one way or another, right back to before the inception of Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Snapchat (the applications I currently use in day to day life).
While I see benefits to being active on these platforms I have over the last few years noticed some unhealthy habits forming. I’m quite sure if we all stopped and did a little analysing we might pick up on a few negative issues that are a direct result of our practices whilst engaged in these digital societies. Removing the human element from communications, I believe, will ultimately hinder our real-life relational skills. While we put much importance on our social standing on these platforms it is easy to let key facets of our real personalities fade away.
At the end of the day, Social Media should be a fun way to interact with our inner-circle (and more often than not relative strangers) and keep up to date with happenings, events and what our peers around the globe are up to. I am personally very aware that I spent too much time scrolling newsfeeds, so I propose the following ways to change that. I want to become a healthy user of Social Media, perhaps you do too.
Give it a miss whilst at work.
As I spend my day in front of a computer screen it is all too easy to get sidetracked and caught up in whats happening on Facebook or one of the other platforms. The first change I will make is scheduling the time that I allow myself to browse these feeds. This will be limited to my lunch break and for some time in the evening. I am now of the opinion that starting your day looking at other peoples lives is unhealthy and unproductive.
Call rather than instant message.
I have become very aware that the majority of my conversations I have are through Facebook Messenger, while I could argue this is the easiest form of contact I believe it could be beneficial to revert to picking up the telephone where possible or leaving the instant messaging until after leaving the office for the day. I also have a strong opinion that instant messaging and even text messaging can somewhat degrade the communication in a friendship/relationship. Call him, or her, and let them hear your tone and mood, both these important facets are lost in digital messaging as far as I am concerned.
Save that post for later.
All too often I have found myself in a moment, something great is happening, and I am fumbling to get the perfect image, apply the perfect filter and send it out to the masses. In doing this I have discovered I am drawn out of the moment, my focus leaves the present and delves once again into the world of whatever medium I am posting on. I think we can all relate to this and I’m not saying don’t snap the picture, I think moments should be shared, but perhaps save that sharing until a later time when you are not neglecting something happening right in front of you.
Finally, something to keep in mind.
When things go wrong in life, we are unlikely to take to Social Media to advertise it. We wouldn’t post a sad selfie or publically have a falling out with a friend or family member (I have seen exceptions to this, unfortunately). In general, the content posted to these channels is a highlight reel. The best parts of our lives and all the great things that are happening. One thing I learned from the beginning was not to compare myself, my self-worth or my life to others carefully constructed digital realities. Keep this in mind next time you are scrolling your feed feeling envious of others.
Tim is the Founder and Creative Director at Fuel Media Limited, and the passionate lifestyle writer here at To Whom It May Concern. He resides on the beautiful North Shore in Auckland, New Zealand.