Do you have a habit of overconsuming social media, and feeling a lack of confidence afterwards (because of a feed full of perfect bikini bodies and #lifegoals)? Here’s a survival guide to social media – how to prevent it from taking over your life and confidence.
All people have been talking about for the last two days has been Instagram-star, Essena O’Neill, who has spread her profoundly anti-social media message “Social Media Is Not Real” online. Her action of quitting social media, editing her Instagram captions (exposing the truth behind each post) and ditching her 700.000+ followers quickly went viral online, with a positive response for being one of the few real and authentic people online.
This current news fits perfectly with this month’s theme of confidence, as social media can truly be the killer of self-esteem and confidence without us even realizing it.
It’s admirable what Essena decided to do, but is she a role model for ditching social media, or did she take her social media use to an extreme before quitting?
Before you decide to ditch social media and delete all evidence that you ever existed online, here are 5 ways to prevent social media from totally taking over your life and ruining your confidence.
1. Find the positive in social media, and be aware of the fake moments
Essena’s YouTube BFF, Bonny Rebecca, commented on Essena’s decision in a recent video with the opinion that “social media is what you make of it“, and that response it very true.
Envyness is the devil of social media, and what we can do it to see the positive in social media platforms, yet be aware that most of it is not real life.
Social media is powerful, in so many ways, for all young people out there.
As of now, it seems as if the powerful tool of social media is moving in the wrong direction of narcissistic selfies, thigh gaps and detox teas, but Essena’s viral stunt is proof that just in a few days, trends can be changed for the better.
Be aware of the fake moments in between, and know that everyone want to put out their best version of themselves online.
2. Follow inspiring and empowering accounts
The beauty of social media is that we choose who to follow and who to like. Social media should be a way of inspiring each other and expressing your personality.
Follow those you find inspiring and empowering in your life, and unfollow the rest. Note, that this is all about how you choose to respond to each post.
If you see a girl doing a yoga pose on Instagram, choose to be inspired by doing yoga and choose not to refer to her bikini body, hair and clothes as #lifegoals.
You have to be aware your own limits and know what makes you feel inspired or depressed when you go online. In that way, you won’t totally lose yourself and your confidence each time you scroll through your feed.
3. If you catch yourself overconsuming, go on a social media detox
If you do hit a pre-Essena O’Neill depressing point, where you feel like you’re going on social media for validation, take a break.
If you find yourself scrolling for hours a day and feeling less confident when you do so, re-think your purpose and what you actually get out of it.
Moderation is key when it comes to social media.
Everyone should try to a social media detox, at least once, to find inspiration in the real world around you and talk to real people offline. A social media detox is said to improve productivity, attention, and overall happiness while preventing anxiety and FOMO.
4. Put a daily time limit
If you’re afraid of overusing social media, and if you feel like productivity is at its low, try setting a daily time limit for your social media use.
A scary fact is, that kids that spend more than 3 hours on social media a day are twice as likely to suffer from mental health issues.
A recent article state, that we might spend more time on social media than we might think. The study showed that small actions of checking Snapchat or Instagram for a couple of minutes every few hour can easily add up to over 2 hours a day.
Give yourself a maximum of 20 minutes in the morning and at lunch time to check your social media platforms, and use the rest of the time to do something meaningful and loving with your life. In this way, you’ll become more productive, creative, confident and happy.
And finally quit checking social media before bed, because that is simply just bad for your health and night routine.
5. Enjoy the people and moments around you
There are discussions whether social media is to blame for the so-called “epidemic of loneliness” of our young generation, but regardless of that, I think we can all agree that social media does not quite make us happy all the time.
It’s important for us as a generation, to look around, talk to people around us, and avoid getting sucked into our smartphones and purely living a digital life.
Enjoying the people and things around us is crucial to all of us, but it’s something that we can all easily forget.
Join a club, go for a walk or read a book – your future self will thank you for that. Limit your time on social media, but do not feel pressured to abandon it forever.