We've all had that moment when we look at the clock on our phone with shock - have I really wasted that much time scrolling through social media!?
It started innocently enough when you picked up your phone to check the time. Then you notice you've got a text. You send off your reply and without skipping a beat, you head over to your favourite social media app. You start scrolling, commenting, and liking. When you're done with that app, you head to the next. You get sucked into a wormhole of cute animal videos or start drooling over indulgent food pics.
Maybe you're starting to feel stirrings of inadequacy as you scroll past your friends or even total strangers who seem to have perfect lives/bodies/relationships/children/homes. You start beating yourself up for not being as good as these people.
This is why we need to be in control of our social media use - because when we don't use it CONSCIOUSLY, social media can leave us feeling crappy.
Social media has become a 'gap filler' in our lives. Spare second waiting in line? Quick, check Instagram! Add break on TV? Time to catch up on your Snapchat stories! Walking the dog? Send some emails while you're at it! Lull in conversation at dinner with friends? Better check Facebook. Taking a crap? Perfect time for a witty tweet!
Using social media in this way isn't doing us any favours. In fact, it's robbing us of our ability to be mindful. It's stopping us from taking a second to take a deep breath and connect with the present moment. It's stopping us from making space in our minds for inspiration and creativity to flow. It's disconnecting us from real human connection.
I'm not going to tell you to delete your social media apps because I'm all about realistic, do-able solutions. I also think that wehn we use it consciously, social media is awesome!
Today's video is all about creating boundaries for yourself around how you use social media so that it doesn't sneakily steal big chunks of your precious time or give your self worth a kick in the guts...
Here's some tips on creating great boundaries and use social media in a conscious way:
:: Dedicate certain times of the day to social media use, for example 10 minutes in the morning, lunchtime, and evening. Put these in your calendar. Set the timer on your phone and when it goes off, put your phone away!
:: Put all your social media apps into one folder with a name that reminds you to be present and conscious while you look at your feeds - something like 'Breathe', Present', or 'Pause'. This gives you a reminder to check yourself- are you just scrolling to fill time? Or are you in a space where you can consciously enjoy social media.
:: Put this folder on the last screen of your phone so you're not accidentally prompted to mindlessly scroll just by seeing the icons on your home page.
:: Keep your phone out of your bedroom (this goes for any other screens as well!). Invest in an alarm clock! At very least, keep your phone on airplane mode when it's in your bedroom. Better sleep, more lovin', and more peaceful mornings are your rewards. If you're not sure to do when you jump out of bed sans phone, try a gratitude practice, meditation, or journaling first thing.
Plus a couple of bonus tips:
:: Turn off ALL your notifications so you don't get enticed to use social media every time you look at your phone. I only receive pop up notification when someone is calling me or when I get a text.
:: Switch off your wifi when you're ready to stop using social media for the day - try for an hour or so before bedtime. No wifi means you'll chew through your data allowance if you scroll before you go to sleep or as soon as you wake up so it's an extra incentive to leave social media alone at these times. Turn the wifi back on only when you need it in the morning - after you've done something nice for yourself like exercise, meditation, or journaling.
:: Get a watch so you don't accidentally fall into a social media black hole when you grab your phone to check the time.
:: Leave your phone at home (or at least in your bag!). When Trav and I head out for a meal we always leave phone at home - no distractions means lovely quality time. I also leave my phone behind when I walk the dog or go to yoga. Try to avoid having your phone handy when you're socialising - put in in your bag instead of leaving it on the table next to you.
:: Unfollow accounts that trigger you into comparison mode. Remember, social media is usually the best 5% of someone's life - just like you, they're a real person with real struggles and real shit going on! They're just not posting about it on social media.
If you have any tips for conscious social media use, share away in the comments!