Hey Glammies!! Today I want to share with you my four easy tips to manage your social media. I can still remember a time before cell phones and then once we got cell phones we only talked on them! No one knew what texting meant and frankly I NEVER thought I would EVER text a soul!! I literally remember telling my husband that texting was so lame....I mean why wouldn't I just call or email someone....boy was I wrong and the rest is history! Fast forward a few years and nowadays we all have a smartphone in our pocket or purse and it's just a way of life for how we communicate, look up information, pay for things, etc and if I had a choice I probably wouldn't want it any other way. I mean let's be real...if I'm in a situation where I have 10 minutes with nothing to do I love a good scroll through Instagram or checking out Amazon for some eye candy. It allows my brain to "relax" from the day to day going on around me and just "turn the world off." Over time though, I noticed that I was becoming glued to my phone more and more and I decided to make some changes. I wanted to feel more "in control" of my phone and social media alerts/notifications because I was constantly being distracted by the pinging and I also wanted to feel more present in my real life. Have y'all ever felt that way??
So about mid way through last year I decided that instead of every time the phone "dinged" and I stopped what I was doing to look at the screen, I was going to flip it all and control technology and social media instead of IT controlling ME.
Studies are showing that our brains have a certain chemical reaction when we look at our phones and see a notification/text/etc. It causes a spike in a chemical called dopamine which taps into feelings of pleasure/motivation/lust/etc and triggers a dopamine high similar to when people do things like eat sweets or drugs or engage in retail therapy, etc...This dopamine high wears off and then whenever we get another notification the dopamine spikes again and then a dopamine feedback loop starts and becomes addictive because our brains want to experience that high and so on and so forth.
Here's what I did to take control and I have been LOVING ever since.
I moved all my social media apps to the second page of my home screen
I did this because anytime I would look at my phone I would be draws to the apps either with notification alerts or just because they were there on the front page. First thing in the morning I did not want to be thinking about Instagram so I moved all of them to the second page - out of sight out of mind. Now when I go to my phone first thing in the morning I go to my meditation app and am not tempted to click on a social app to scroll or post.
I turned off ALL notifications except calls and texts
So I had my phone set up that anytime someone "liked, followed, messaged me" etc my phone would pop up a notification of the activity. It wasn't a conscious setting that I had it on that's just what it was set to. I felt like it was becoming very distracting when I was working or even just trying to relax to have my phone ding or even light up if it was on silent anytime I was being notified. I went into my Settings page and for each app I have on my phone I turned off all notifications...NOTE: If you FB Messenger me that's why it may take days for me to get back to you..." My thought process was that I wanted to check social media and engage when it was the right time for me - not the other way around. I want it to be more like email where I choose to sit down and look at it not where it gets to come into my life whenever it wants to and distracts me from being present in the moment. This has made a HUGE difference in my focus because I'm not constantly being pulled in that direction. With calls and texts it's enough and the social notifications were just too much for me to be getting at any time of the day.
I leave my phone at home or in my purse when I'm out with my husband, family or friends
A lot of times when Leeroy and I grab dinner I honestly leave my phone at home and just make sure he has his in case of an emergency and I'm phone-less for awhile. I've found that we are way more present in our conversation when we don't have our phones. It's always really sad when we are at restaurants and literally will see everyone at a table and they are looking down at their phones. I get it - sometimes we do that if we're looking something up in conversation but I'm talking about they are literally on the phone instead of conversing with the people sitting right in front of them. If I do take it with me, it goes in my bag or turned over on the table when we sit down.
I Leave my phone in the closet at night
So I've been doing this for about a year now and I really enjoy having my phone in a different room at night. I used to have it on my nightside stand but since I switched it to the closet I find that I'm not on it late at night which is way better for me mentally and I get better sleep. I try not to be on electronic devices much before bed but I am known to inhale Youtube videos on the couch while we are snuggling with the babies but I don't take my phone or tablet to bed. If I do it's to use my meditation app and then it goes in the closet. If I read at night before bed it's an actual book versus reading it on my tablet and I find again, I sleep better when I'm not on my tablet late at night.
So that's a wrap! 4 easy tips to manage your social media - nothing too crazy but honestly I was operating in a default reactive state and until I realized I could edit things to how I wanted them I felt like they were controlling me instead of me controlling them. At first I was nervous because I think I was worried "what am I going to miss out on" or would I offend someone if they sent me a message and I didn't respond right away but I've quickly gotten over that and honestly my friends all have my cell number so if they need something and I don't respond on social media they can reach out directly which frankly isn't so bad of an idea. 🙂
I hope this helps if you are looking for some tips on how to manage social media and if you have any more feel free to comment below!! I do love social media when used the right way but I also believe it's one of those things that can get out of hand very quickly without us realizing it and then we wonder why we are depressed, discontent, and stressed out!