Managing Social Media Usage

woman sitting at a desk on a computer

It can be super easy to get lost in the world of social media today. While it has rapidly become a huge part of our society, it has its ups and downs. Social media is great for keeping up with friends or family you don’t see frequently, being able to freely express yourself, and even to access news outlets. On the other hand, however, we all know the toxicity it can come with. Comparison issues, over analyzing, time wasting, and fake news. It seems to be with each positive it brings, there’s a negative to counter it. Nonetheless, it’s almost unavoidable today if you have a smartphone. Here are some tips on how to manage your social media, in order to take it in doses that will be helpful rather than harmful! 

1.) Monitor your screen time. 

With a relatively new Apple iPhone update, you will receive a weekly notification of your average screen time daily, along with a percentage to tell you if it is up or down from the previous week. This has been a great tool to stay aware and conscious. When you think about your day, we are typically awake for about 12-14 hours. If your screen time is reporting you average seven hours a day, that’s a strong indicator for how you’re spending your time. Now, obviously, this won’t all be from social media. However, it usually ends up being most of it. Furthermore, if you click on the notification it will pull up a page in your settings with a breakdown of how and where each minute went while your screen was on. Additionally, you can set time limits on apps and schedule downtime away from your phone. Take advantage of these features and resources to stay alert of how much time you spend on social media.

2.) If you don’t have an iPhone,

While iPhone accounts for a large portion of cell phone users, it’s not something that everyone has. Look into your specific phone settings and see if there are any similar features or resources. If not, that’s okay! If you find yourself needing to keep track of your social media usage, grab a notebook or piece of paper and jot down the times you log in to the time you log off, and analyze the times at the end of the week and set a new goal. You can also set alarms on your phone to start and stop social media usage. 

3.) Frequently check how often you post.

Most social media platforms will keep track of how often you post. Instagram keeps track of posts on your profile, Twitter also does this with the number of tweets you have. Snapchat also has a “score” that increases with the more snaps you send and receive. Don’t feel like you need to obsess over these numbers, but don’t be afraid to look at them from time to time. This can also be a good indicator of how much time you are dedicating to these apps. 

4.) Understand not everything is as it seems.

We know that our eyes can deceive us on social media, but that concept strays away sometimes. As much as it can be hard to identify, yes, FaceTune exists. And YES, people use it! Don’t let unrealistic physical features allow you to feel self-conscious, because a lot of Instagram influencers with thousands of followers are using an app to edit their appearance! The same goes for other content as well. We have to remind ourselves someone’s whole life isn’t reflected on their Instagram. Even more so, it’s only exactly what they want us to think their life is. Additionally, don’t believe everything you read. Twitter specifically, has been known for having fake news go viral. If you see a piece of news that catches your interest on social media, Google the topic to find credible sources to see if it holds true or not. 

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