Getting the Good out of Social Media

Social media is an incredible tool but can also be the downfall for many of us as we are constantly exposed to the ‘best bits’ of other peoples lives.

By only seeing the good parts of our friends and loved one lives, it can be easy to feel disappointed in our own achievements and can make a bad day feel worse when we wonder why we haven’t made the same triumphs.

That’s not to say we should bin off all social media, it helps us to keep in touch with loved ones living further afield or around the world. Not to mention it opens a world of networking and community opportunities to meet people in your local area or who work in the same industry. But there are better ways to handle our social media without getting bogged down and making us feel unaccomplished.

Here are some ways for you to get the good out of social media and avoid the bad;

Reduce Notifications

Is your phone always buzzing with notifications or can you hear the distant ping echo from your desktop announcing new notices? This constant stream of notifications can cause us anxiety and lead us to fall into a loop of constantly checking our phones or devices. To avoid falling into this anxious loop, turn off your notifications or set your notifications to only go off around certain topics or when a certain person has posted. This way you can stay on top of the people that matter to you while easing out the noisy clutter that overwhelms your feed and senses.

If you can’t bare to not be in the loop but are feeling the strain from a constant stream of notifications. Consider setting a ‘do-not-disturb’ time period on your phone that allows your brain to switch off and relax for an hour or two.

Support Good Causes

In addition to keeping connected and providing a network of opportunities, social media can allow us to see world crises as they happen and provide us a platform to support good causes and assist those less fortunate in need of support. Charities and non-profits can make use of free social media accounts to talk about the causes they are supporting and where donations are being spent. This helps donors understand how their contributions are distributed and help them feel confident in their choice to offer support. Charities can also use social media accounts to share their tools such as zakat calculators for estimating donations and fun gamified fundraising tools.

Move Your Apps Around

When you set up your phone, you’ll often organise your apps on the home screen in a way that makes it easy to quickly get where you want to be. To help reduce your social media usage without completely getting rid of it, move your social media icons around, either onto a different screen or swap it with another app you use regularly. People who swap their social media icons with an e-book reader saw their reading time increase dramatically. You’ll soon get into the habit of tapping on the new location when you want to use social media and you can easily repeat the process by moving your icons around again.

Make Use of the Mute Button

We’ve all got those old follows that have almost ‘grandfathered’ themselves into our feeds from simply being one of the first accounts we followed – due to them being old colleagues, past school friends or simply in the excitement of opening a new social media account. Sometimes it’s not possible to subtlety unfollow someone without potentially creating unrequired drama but luckily, the mute button is here to rescue you. While you remain connected to an individual, they no longer appear in your feed.

This can be great for someone that tends to whine a lot on social media but is also helpful for someone that only portrays a highlight reel of their life and causes irrational feelings of jealousy or leads to anxiety and low moods. Make use of the mute button, avoid unnecessary kick-back and tailor your feed to things that make you smile.

Social media has made the world feel like a smaller place but provided an unending list of opportunities and connections. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by social media and keeping up with Jones’ but don’t forget, you only need to put down your phone or step away from your computer to take a break and enjoy the world outside your device.

(contributed content)

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