The holiday season is here! That means lots of sunshine, barbies, down time… oh, and social media scrolling, right?
There is no denying that social media platforms are excellent business tools. You can connect with customers, build your brand, and even sell your products and services to a huge audience.
But it’s not just your business that is utilising the platforms. It’s you – the person. And sometimes, social media can have adverse effects on its users.
Especially when you are already spending more time with your phone, than your family.
If you feel like those presents are in danger of staying wrapped up under the tree as you are too distracted with your newsfeed, or that your helping of Aunt Susan’s famous trifle will go untouched as you are lost in the Gram, now is time to take action.
To stop the feed taking over your family Christmas or to prevent feelings of anxiety or overwhelm, it’s time to set some healthy boundaries with social media platforms.
Let’s look at how to do just that.
How to Set Healthy Boundaries With Social Media Platforms This Festive Season
The Downsides Of Social Media Platforms
There’s no denying that the rise of social media has changed the world in a heap of positive ways, but there are downsides.
Some people live their lives with their eyes firmly fixed on their phones and miss out on real-life moments and connections as a result.
Social media has also been linked to increased rates of anxiety and depression, particularly among younger users.
Online trolling and bullying is very real, and constantly comparing yourself to other people via their social media accounts can take a toll on your mental health.
Social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram are designed to keep you coming back for more.
They have been proven to be addictive.
When you get a like, a comment, or a share, your brain releases the feel-good chemical dopamine. It gives you that little rush of pleasure. So of course, you keep chasing this feeling by checking and rechecking your feeds for more dopamine boosts.
So, how do we reap all the positive benefits of social media for your business without succumbing to the negative side effects?
By being purposeful and mindful of how we use social media platforms and setting some healthy boundaries.
Tips For Setting Boundaries With Social Media Platforms
Limit Your Time
Calculate how much time every day you need to actively use your social media accounts for your business.
Think about it in a practical sense of how long you need to get everything done.
Then, consciously use the time on there for business purposes only.
Post your content, respond to comments, and interact with other profiles to boost your brand.
Once you have decided on your allotted time, stick to it!
Time yourself, or use an app to restrict your minutes on specific platforms.
There are plenty of apps available in the app stores for both Apple and Android.
Turn Off Notifications
To reduce the temptation to “quickly” open one of your social media apps (and accidentally spend half an hour scrolling), turn your notifications off during the day.
That way, you won’t feel the pressure to check who has said what and what you might have been tagged in every 5 minutes.
Remove The Temptation
If you are bored and your social media app icons are beckoning you from your phone’s screen, it can be hard to resist their siren’s call!
Try moving all your social networking apps into a separate group or folder and tuck them away on page three or four of your screen.
This means you have to be more intentional and work harder to log in, giving you the chance to choose not to.
Leave The Phone At Home
A shocking thought, I know.
But if you are heading out for some relax time or to do some chores, consider leaving the phone behind for some time out.
If that’s not possible because of your family or business needs, you could always turn the data off but still allow phone calls or texts to come through.
If you are at home, try leaving the phone in a different room (but turn up the volume if you need to be available for calls).
You can also download apps that completely block out the aspects of your phone that you don’t need for a set period of time - ie. the social media apps!
Take time to clarify why you are on social media.
For businesses, it might be to connect with customers and clients, build your brand, and network with other professionals. For personal use, it might be to keep in touch with faraway friends or stay up to date with the latest gossip.
Jot down a few of the key reasons, and be intentional about using the platforms for those reasons alone.
Before you pick up your phone or log in on your computer, ask yourself why you are about to do that. If it fits with your goals, great – if not, consider doing something else.
Create Your Ideal Online Environment
Sadly, the online world is littered with trolls, bullies, and negativity. But your little corner of it doesn’t have to be.
The beauty of social media is that you can curate your own content and control what you see.
If there’s a page or person spreading negativity or any account that makes you feel unwanted emotions, unfollow, hide, or block them!