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Better relationships with social media - is it possible?

If you are here it is likely that you use some form of social media and if you do you probably have some struggles or issues with how you are using it and how it can make you feel at times.

Well read on babes because I am hoping that by the end of this you will feel a bit better about it and have a few tips to take away that might help you with some of those struggles.

We all struggle with it

I did a live in my free Facebook group recently on better boundaries with social media. When I asked people what they struggled with there was a range of different things that came up but also lots of similarities.

Similarities are always important for me because I think there is support and strength in shared experiences. Similarities and shared experiences can bring about solidarity and hope, even in the small everyday things.

'It's not you babes, its them'

If we are experiencing similar things it can also help us to understand where the issue, challenge, struggle whatever it is maybe bigger than us. It can help us to see maybe this isn't about me and there be something wrong with me. 'It's not you babes, its them'.

It comes back to this subject I have spoken about before on collective responsibility. We can take responsibility with how we use social media, this is important for our wellbeing, time, mental health but it's important to know and understand that there are bigger things at play that should be taking responsibility as well.

Why can't I stop scrolling!

In the case of social media it is important to remember that we all struggle with scrolling, 'wasting time', comparison, FOMO, information overwhelm and overload.

And so it's also important to remember that social media is designed this way, it's designed to keep you scrolling, it's designed to give you FOMO and compare (you are more likely to spend money when you are experiencing these).

It's no coincidence that we are struggling with the same things on social media.

As with everything there people really benefiting from our struggles.

If you haven't watched the Netflix documentary 'The Social dilemma', it's worth checking out to understand how apps and platforms are designed and made to keep us there and why. It looks at the ethics of social media in the way they are developed and designed.

What can I do though?

However whilst calling out social media for their ethics is helpful and important it doesn't necessarily help you here and now if there are specific things you are struggling with and wanting to change with how you use and navigate social media.

And as I mentioned above it is important for our own time, wellbeing and mental health that there are things we can do that helps. Things we can do to manage our relationship with social media and ensure there are boundaries in place. I have set out some hopefully helpful and realistic tips that you can try to help you manage your time on social media. They may not all be for you or work for you. The point is there a few to try from, give things a try and work out what works for you (and what doesn't).

The important thing to remember is it's normal, we all struggle with these things. It's not about there being something wrong with you or you not being good enough. It's not a struggle you are having alone and I don't think the responsibility should all be on us, there are much bigger things working against us here.

Top tips then

Top tips for you to try out, they may not all be with you, play around with them see what works;

Scrolling Scrolling is OK, its ok if you use it sometimes to switch off, it does not make you a bad person, it makes you human! some things to help with the scroll;

  • Accept you want to do some scrolling and dont beat yourself up about it.

  • Ask yourself is it serving a purpose right now? If it is crack on? If it isn't, what could you do instead?

  • Set yourself a timer or a limit for some scroll time and just enjoy the scroll for the time you have set and then move on

Screen time

Screen free time, keep it realistic to what feels good for you or when you think you might need it - i.e 15 mins during the school pick up.

  • Put your phone on flight mode or away in another room to help you stick to your screen free time

  • picking up our phones is habitual for so many of us. Out of sight out of mind will help!

Limiting apps Phones have app limits in the settings as well as down time modes that you can set.

  • Play around with them see what works for you. If you set limits and it doesn't work, up or reduce the limit - its ok! Make it work for you.

Notifications Silence notifications or some of your notifications.

  • Or keep notifications on but choose not to have them pop up as a banner.

  • Play around with what works for you. You may find you check your phone more without notifications so just be mindful of this and what works best for you.

FOMO and comparison! We all get it you are not alone. Remember what you see most of the time is a snapshot, a moment, it is not the whole picture of someones life.

  • Do an audit of the people you are engaging with or seeing a lot of in your feeds. Are they ok babes? Do they make you feel ok?

  • Do not feel bad or be afraid to silence, unfollow or delete people who may be triggering FOMO or comparison for you. It's ok to do this.

  • You can silence people from your feed for 30 days rather than forever if say you dont want to see their holiday photos for the next 4 weeks!

A few things to remember:

  • there are different things you can try, they wont all work for you , that's ok, try something different, experiment.

  • Try to have awareness and be intentional when you can. Think about what you are wanting to use it for in that moment and how it may be serving you or not/making you feel

  • You are not alone. We all struggle with social media, boundaries, screen time, scrolling, comparison and FOMO - you are normal!

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