A couple of months ago, I felt exhausted by social media. Since most of my clients and customers find me online, I can't really opt out, but I was so tired of chasing algorithms, creating content (vs. sharing my art and heart), arguing about science and politics, comparing myself to others and feeling that, whatever I did, it wasn't enough.
So I sat down and worked out a strategy to not only keep my sanity, but make social media enjoyable again. I came up with five rules that work, and I'm sharing them with you in case any of you are struggling too.
- Decide what you want from each platform.
I evaluated the responses to my posts and decided that Instagram is for art/inspiration/creative comradery, and Facebook is for... whatever else. I've stopped expecting Facebook to be something it isn't, and I'm happier. (FYI, I've found that adjusting your expectations works with people too.)
- No rage engagement.
To my knowledge, I've never changed a mind by arguing on social media (despite my always infallible logic). So I've stopped engaging in other people's nonsense. Bonus, when you stop engaging, the algorithms eventually stop showing the nonsense to you!
- Log off the minute that it's not fun.
It happens to all of us, I think. We find ourselves scrolling through our feeds, and we suddenly realize we're getting sad, or mad, or discouraged. That's when I log off and find something else to do. (And I never try to catch up with what I missed while I was gone. I don't have to know everything.)
- Don't peek at social media when you're with your friends/family.
What can I say? It's wonderful what happens when you focus your attention on the people right in front of you.
- Engage from the heart.
Over the last two months, according to my phone, I've cut my screen time in half, and yet I've never felt more engaged, connected, and inspired by my social media feeds. I've learned the old adage is true: It's quality, not quantity for sure.
I hope this helps whoever needs to read it. And for those of you who already have a healthy relationship with social media, feel free to reply with your own healthy habits!