During the summer months, there is an urge to change things up. Spend more time outside. Go on vacation. Experience longer conversations with loved ones. Catch up on reading. But then there is a nagging feeling that you should be working or doing something else. So you pick up your phone to “just check on things.” And instead of checking one thing, you lose time to social media.
How many times have you picked up your phone to “just check” something and lost 20 minutes? Probably more than you’d prefer to admit. I completely understand! I lost at least an hour every day when I first started building business online. That was almost four years ago, since then I have spent time analyzing how to leverage our time in a strategic way.
Social media is not inherently bad; however, when I think about how I want to spend my life, losing hours to social media is not the way. I’m sure it’s not yours either.
So, how can we practically utilize a medium designed to steal our time? By never giving up. And picking one of these tools and trying it out, adapting it to your life.
Unplug Every Week:
Analyze when your audience is less active online and unplug for 24 hours. Don’t make a big announcement, make a promise to yourself (get a friend to help keep you accountable) and choose to not spend 24 hours on social media. If you get the shakes just thinking about unplugging, then I encourage you to sit with that for a minute. FOMO is real and can rule our lives if we allow it.
Use Messenger as a Texting Tool:
When I first worried about unplugging connection was a big part of it. There are people I have met in the online space I really care about, what if I miss something happening in their lives? Send a FB message through the messenger app. While I delete social media apps from my phone when I unplug, I keep messenger on there. That way, *when* I get lonely or FOMO starts to kick in I can send a note to someone and connect. Usually we have great conversations and I walk away renewed and filled up.
Clean up who you follow:
I rarely unfriend people, but I do unfollow regularly. We have a lot of information and noise coming our way, it’s important to take note of who is in our life and clean it up. Unapologetically. There are people I don’t follow anymore because their voice becomes louder than mine in my head, which is a deal breaker. I’ve worked hard for my mental health and I want my voice to be the loudest.
My social media follows are for my well being, education, encouragement and entertainment. That changes, and that’s okay.
Track Screen Time:
Have you seen Apple’s new feature to track your screen time? I was nervous about seeing the truth of how I spent my time but sometimes you need a “Come to Jesus” conversation with yourself. Track it, look at it, set times you want. When I’m writing, researching, and connecting, my parameters are very flexible. I will spend 3 or 4 hours on social media a day, for a week or two. I’m aware of the time and have decided how to use it. So there’s no guilt or wondering, “Where’d the time go?”
Chat with a Friend:
If you want to adjust your social media time, talk to someone who models a social media life you admire. Most of the people in my life locally do not spend a lot of time on social media. I watched them for several years, wondering how to deal with the loneliness when my husband is training, what did they do for encouragement, and asked them how they used social media. When I come back from my social media sabbatical, I will be on social media more than them. It was an interesting practice to step back, think outside the box, and see how other people are doing life and apply what resonated with me.
Social media is an excellent resource for connecting, building, and growing. I’m quite thankful for the tool! However, at the end of each day I want to make sure I have not lost hours unknowingly. We have but one life to live, let’s be proactive about how we spend it.
Want support or a place to chat? Join We are Women Rising, a group of women committed to having open-hearted conversations about YOUR concerns and hopes.