Now, of course, social media isn’t the be and end all of… well, anything. In fact, there are plenty of things in the world which deserve a lot more attention! However, if you’re relying on social media (at least in part) to run your business, and it’s key to securing sponsors, then it’s still something you still have to manage and develop. That’s not to mention that social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram are often the cornerstone bloggers use to create a community. And along with all this comes learning how to manage social media stress. Or, a life constantly connected, if you like…
Recently, I was on the phone to a friend and they were asking what the weather in Paris was like. To be honest, I had no idea… because I wasn’t in Paris at the time. Just to clarify, this was one of my closest friends. Now, at this point, the conversation turned kind of awkward because I actually live in London, England. And they didn’t know.
Although we speak fairly often, we never really discuss location specifics, preferring to debate the ins-and-outs of Harry Potter or reminisce on school days. I don’t really blame them for having no idea where I live. My Instagram posts these days are literally all over the place (but that’s all in part due to how I’ve learned to manage social media stress).
How I manage Social Media Stress:
A couple of months ago, I was on the brink of social media burnout. I was posting multiple times a day and felt that I always had to come up with something interesting to post. In truth, this was exhausting; both because creating content that often is tiring, and because I’m kind of really boring in real life (ha!). Posting this often also killed my creativity.
I’m in my final year of university and live in London. This means a lot of caffeine fuelled days, struggling to decide what to write about for my dissertation, and not all that much time to go out taking photographs. Instead, I’ve started posting older photos, that I’ve never posted before or ones I’ve re-edited.
This way, I can relive travel moments from the library and still produce engaging content. With algorithm changes and the like, platforms have kind of lost their ‘instant’ quality anyway. I’d rather post a pretty photo from three months ago, than a sub-par one I took today because I was in a rush to ‘find something interesting’.
Post Less Often
Instead of creating posts on social media that would have a lifespan of 24-48 hours, I started dedicating that time to creating content for my blog. The things I post here have the lifespan of however my website or the internet last (depending which one dies first. I’m putting bets on the blog going first, but you never know!) As such, I’ve been able to build up content on this platform. A platform where I have complete control and I don’t have to worry about algorithm changes of getting my account blocked or
As such, I’ve been able to build up content on this platform. Instead of posting multiple times a day across social media accounts, I’ll post a higher quality photo every few days. Plus, I’ve come to realize that my blog is the only platform where I have complete control and I don’t have to worry about algorithm changes. Nor do I have to worry about getting my account blocked or suspended, because I own it! Hacking, unfortunately, is another issue…
Take Regular Breaks from the Online World
Nowadays, I try and take at least a couple of hours offline each day. I find it easier to concentrate on what I’m doing if I turn my phone or internet connection off. If you find this hard to do, then I highly recommend the StayFocusd chrome extension. You can add this extension to your Chrome internet browser and block yourself from using certain websites for as long as you like.
For example, if you wanted to stop yourself from using Facebook between 9 am and 9 pm, you could add Facebook to the list of block sites. If you were to try and use Facebook during these times, you would instead get a message saying something along the lines of ‘I don’t think so’.
I also try and avoid using my laptop and phone for a few hours before bed. Studies have shown that using the bright screen light of electronics can trick your body into thinking that it’s still daytime, meaning you feel more awake. As such, I’ve also downloaded f.lux onto my computer. It adds a ‘yellow/orange’ filter onto my screen. I’ve definitely noticed a difference in being able to sleep better since I started using it!
Oh, you can also tell F.lux when you’re waking up. For around eight hours before you wake up, if you’re on your computer, a little popup will appear, reminding that you’re meant to be waking up soon. It’s a handy tool for reminding you that you should probably be asleep!
Hang out with people who don’t care about social media
I have a lot of friends who I’ve met through blogging, and I love them to pieces. However, I also like having people around who will tell me off for using my phone too much! Even my dog will get annoyed if I’m staring at the screen instead of taking him for a walk or throwing him a ball (haha).
If I’m out for a meal, I’ll put my phone away during a meal (what happened to basic manners, anyway?). If I want to review a place, then I’ll take a few photos before the meal (yes, I’m that person) and then switch my phone to silent for the duration of the meal.
Delete Facebook app from phone
Of all the ways I manage social media stress, the best thing I ever did [social media wise] was to delete the Facebook app from my phone. My phone is constantly running on the brink of being full (taking dozens of photos a day in RAW will do that for you). As such, a few weeks ago when the warning storage full message popped up, I didn’t think twice about deleting my Facebook app!
It’s only now that I realise that mindlessly scrolling through my feed multiple times a day was wasting so much time and causing me unnecessary stress. Oh, yet another of my classmates from school has a fancy new graduate job? Someone else has gotten engaged? In the moment, it’s hard to remember that social media is a highlights reel of your life.
Constantly swiping through the feed made me question my own decisions and it was hard not to compare myself to all these amazing moments and opportunities. Deleting the app from my phone removed all of these doubts at the touch of a button. If only other doubts could be that easily removed, right? It also freed up some space for new photos!
Stop reading the news multiple times a day!
Okay, this is kind of social media related, but also to life in general. To be honest, learning how to manage social media stress isn’t so much about learning social media, but more about learning how to deal with a constantly connected world. As part of the ‘millennial’ generation, I’ve been brought up, learning a lot of things from Facebook first, only going to check the news later. When I deleted Facebook from my phone, I also deleted all news apps from my phone.
Instead, a couple of morning a week, I’ll wake up earlier and tackle a few of my favourite newspapers to keep up with current affairs around the world. Our brains weren’t built to process millions of pieces of information in a day. Yes, I need to know what’s going on in the world. But no, I don’t need to know what’s changed every five minutes…