4 Ways to Approach Social Media More Mindfully
Updated: Dec 19, 2019
A few weeks ago, I posted on Instagram about my love/hate feelings towards the app. From the response I received back, it is safe to say that I'm not the only one who would describe their relationship with social media as 'complicated.'
I received several comments and messages from people who could completely relate to the negative effect social media can have, including its addictive nature, the thoughts it influences related to comparison and the way it can ironically create a disconnect from real life. The same people also said they enjoyed the many positive aspects of it, such as the connection, inspiration, and creative outlet social media provides.
The reality is, social media is an integral part of building a brand and business, so if that's part of what you're trying to do, you can't walk away from it altogether.
Here's how you can take a more mindful approach when managing social, to enjoy more of the benefits and learn from its drawbacks:
1. Focus on quality over quantity. Social media is 'always on,' and it's easy to feel like you're not sharing or engaging often enough. No one knows exactly how the algorithms of social platforms work, but they're intended to keep people using the apps as often as possible. Take the pressure off of yourself to do more and focus on the quality of what and how you're contributing. The more you're coming from a place of authenticity, the more impactful you will be.
2. Be mindful of comparative thoughts. Comparative thoughts often start innocently enough, but they can quickly escalate and are never productive. Comparing yourself to what others are doing can make you feel like you're missing something. Recognize that there is not one way to 'succeed' at social media. There are lots of strategies that can help, but success will come in what is unique to you. Not to mention, you can't compare the behind the scenes of your hustle to someone else's highlight reel. Stay in your lane, focus all of your energy towards what you're creating, and you can't go wrong.
3. Take pride in curating your community. Treat your social media accounts like your little corners of the internet - because they are. Let go of attachment to your 'follower' or 'friend' number, which is bound to fluctuate, and can and instead make sure they are the people you are trying to reach. Those are the people who are going to be loyal to your brand, engage most with your content, and define the wonderful community you're in the process of building. Letting anything else distract you from this is only going to slow you down and make you feel bad for no reason.
4. When negative feelings towards social media do come up - use them as a learning experience. Even in being intentional, negative emotions are bound to pop up when you're creating and consuming social media content. Be more conscious of this when it happens and start digging into why. In doing so, you may find patterns that are associated with underlying challenges or limiting beliefs you need to break through, to grow. You can even use the addictive tendency many of us have with reaching for social media as a distraction, to help you identify resistance that's holding you back.
Always remember that social media is a tool and the minute it's not serving you - it's time to reevaluate how you're using it.