Social Media came upon us quicker than a strike of lightning.
In what felt like the flash of an instant, the nature of social dynamics shifted.
The shift to social media has been and is, for many people, a challenge.
I am one of those people.
As an introvert who used to be quite shy when it comes to presenting myself to the world, social media was a huge challenge for me.
I used to get so much stress about it.
Should I post that picture? What should I make the caption? Will people like this? Who am I to post something?
Questions like these, and many more, used to plague me. They took away from my happiness.
As I began to pursue a path towards mental freedom 7 years ago, I quickly realized that social media was a growth opportunity for me.
And over those 7 years, I have been gradually working on building a healthier relationship with social media.
Improving my relationship has consisted of many steps, including looking deep into my insecurities and beliefs about myself (which is where most of the pain I was experiencing stemmed from).
I’m still working on these things, but my relationship with social media has improved significantly.
And I’m still working on it. One of my big goals for 2019 is to develop a healthy relationship with social media.
So recently, I’ve been thinking about what that means and how to do it. Here are some thoughts off the top of my head.
How to develop a healthy relationship with social media:
Be Authentic: First, discover who you are and what you’re all about. Once you discover what you are about, then you care less about posting to impress other people. You can be about anything. You can be about your friends. You can be about reading. You can be about a mix of tons of different things. The key is to figure out who you are. You don’t need a perfect definition, you just need to pay attention to what you’re interested in and ask yourself before you’re posting: “Am I really about this”?
Build a tribe: Part of the reason why social media gets annoying is because of how “noisy” it is. There are so many different people shouting so many different things. This can feel overwhelming, so rather than trying to pay attention to what EVERYONE is saying, build a tribe of people/accounts who you genuinely get joy from interacting with.
Unfollow: In order to build a tribe, you need to pay less attention to things that you aren’t interested in. Otherwise, you can’t give your tribes the attention it needs to fulfill you. So do the thing that feels uncomfortable: unfollow things that don’t matter to you. Obviously, keep critical social dynamics in mind. If you don’t like your roommate but don’t want to disturb the peace, maybe it’s best to keep following them while you live together. I think you get the point.
Engage with the community: Just like you, every single person wants to be seen. The most generous gift you can give to someone on social media is to see them. To engage with them when they put themselves out there. Comment on other people’s posts. Ask questions. When you do, you’re supporting someone else and helping to make social media a community space.
I hope you enjoy developing a healthy relationship with social media. If you have any more tips, send them to me on Instagram or post in the comments below!