We live in a world of constant notifications and updates. Your friend is posting pictures of her glamorous holiday and you're sitting on the couch downing your second glass of wine, wondering why you can't afford to go on vacation or do anything fun.
The truth is we live in a FOMO world, and social media is making it harder for us to live in the moment and actually enjoy our lives. Instead, we obsess over what other people are doing and how many likes our last Instagram photo received. Did we lose you at FOMO? FOMO means "fear of missing out." Which is easy to feel when you constantly see your friends and family updates on social media.
The problem with social media is that it's just that, the highlights. That same friend might have had an anxiety attack last night or a fight with her significant other, but no one shares that on social media, do they? No. They share the filtered photo that hides the fact that they've gained a few pounds or a photo of the super fun time they had at last night's party. Was it really that fun if you felt the need to post it and not actually enjoy the party?
Sure, #BellLetsTalk has been successful on shining a light on the stigma of mental illness and encouraging others to be open about their struggles, but that's just one day. We need to focus on living in the now and quit comparing ourselves to other people and the false realities they portray.
You're probably thinking, well this is weird coming from a company that specializes in social media. Maybe it is, but mental health is so important and social media can play a critical role in anxiety, depression and more.
Here's how to create boundaries with social media in your life...
1. Set a Daily Time Limit For Yourself
Seriously. Do it. Allow yourself a certain time frame to scroll your heart out and check your accounts, but after that, leave it alone. The more you do this, the less often you will feel the need to check social media. If you're still struggling, delete the apps on your phone. Still want to check Facebook after you have to waste data and wait 5 minutes for it to re-download? The urge will probably seem a little less pressing after that.
If you're interested in learning more about how much time you're really spending on social, download the In Moment app (yes, this is a real thing) and you're in for a rude awakening when you see how much time you've actually wasted.
2. Unfollow What Makes You Unhappy
Fun fact: you literally do not have to be friends with anyone that you don't like or that makes you feel shitty. Sometimes it's best to just cut the cord and detox your timeline. Whether it's co-workers, old friends, politically opinionated family members, you name it.
3. Determine "The Why" of Your Social Media Usage
Scrolling aimlessly and comparing yourself to others on a regular basis is a really great way to feel horrible about yourself. Set an objective of why you feel the need to be attached to social media. Whether it's connecting with family, creeping on your high school friends or seeing what your kids have been up to, it's important to think about this the next time you log on.