Being consumed by social media in a negative fashion can literally be detrimental to your health. A message I received today on Instagram from @hunterdefrenchy inspired me to start this new section on my website I’m going to call “Down in the DM”! I get a lot of direct messages asking me a lot of the same questions. I’d like to answer them ALL, but I also have to be practical with how much time in the day I have to do this. SO – I hope to add value and blog about it and post them up here.
So hunter asked “Hey! Question for you, how do you manage your time in a way which prevents social media from negatively impacting your productivity? I see you base parts of your business/marketing around social media hence why I think you would be a great person to ask about finding the balance between productivity and social media consumption.”
The reply I sent him I’ll post below. But I’d like to elaborate since I think this is important. It took a couple of things for me to stop being consumed by social media. One: a slap in the face that this shit isn’t important. The only thing that could be important and of true value, is documenting your life so that 50 years down the road you can show your great great grandchildren that memory with your favorite dog growing up. Once you get it into your head that social media doesn’t mean shit, you won’t feel pressured to be on it, post on it, feel the need to be gratified by it, brainlessly scroll on it, catch up on it, etc.
The second part to this is finding a way to use social media to your benefit so that you are being productive (whatever that may be: business or personal use) without letting it consume you. Some of you may be able to spend 2 hours every night on social media engaging with others with a purpose to grow a following for your business page and feel good and accomplished when you go to bed.
Some of you may sit down and start scrolling on social media, watching all kinds of cute dog videos, muppet memes, and reading Mike’s rant about how he hates his boss, blah blah blah…. then you’ve wasted 2 hours of your life mindlessly scrolling on social media and are going to be feel like shit because you got nothing accomplished and literally wasted 2 hours of your life consuming garbage instead of bettering your life or circumstances.
For me I needed to find a balance in my life with social media so I didn’t have this negative effect. I would scroll and scroll, watching all these “perfect” accomplished people, getting entranced for hours, then realizing how much time had gone by that I wasted. In the end I always felt like shit. It’s a vicious and cruel cycle. But as soon as I got slapped in the face (Thanks Uncle G!) and realized that social media doesn’t matter, the pressure, negativity, and anxiety about where I am in my own life went away.
Social media could literally disappear tomorrow and nothing in my life would change except for the fact that I can’t brag to my friends about how awesome my vacation was in Hawaii. Seriously. Let that sink in. If Instagram or Twitter disappeared tomorrow, what would happen to your life and everyone around you? Literally nothing… except you would go back to texting and having face to face interactions with your friends again to catch up. Everyones ratio of how much time to spend on social media is different. And what you use social media for is going to be different for everyone. So the balance between the two is what you need to find for yourself so that you don’t get sucked down the rabbit hole of “the scroll!”.
For me this looks like a couple hours a day on social media. Usually I add some Instagram Stories throughout my day if I’m doing something fun or interesting. I respond to all comments on new posts for the first 30 minutes pretty diligently, then go back to my day. At night I try and catch up on about 30-50 new DM’s in my message requests that I haven’t seen yet. No more scrolling, no more comparing. Now my social media has a purpose – for documentation and hopefully inspiration. So now I spend my time engaging with followers and anyone asking me for help. Purposeful interaction with social media. Not mindless short term gratification or disappearance.
Leave a comment on if you were able to do this for yourself and what it looked like for you! I’d love to hear other perspectives. And don’t forget… find your balance! Everyone’s is different.