Marlene Dietrich famously said, “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”
We couldn’t agree more.
Now that social media has been in most of our lives for over a decade, longer than some of our close “real-life” friendships, a whole lot of people are wondering why they’re still connected to people (and reading their daily posts) who quite frankly aren’t in their real lives for a reason.
Like that girl in your high school gym class who didn’t exactly make you feel good about yourself, or that random guy you were seated next to on a flight from New York to London who was nice, but you had no interest in dating.
While there are definite benefits to social media, like staying in touch with far-away friends and family and helping our businesses grow, social media can suck us in, take us off purpose, and wildly affect our moods more than we’d like to admit.
Hopping on for even a few seconds can make us feel disconnected (the FOMO is real!) and also cause us to fall into the trap of comparing ourselves to others.
Like Ben and Jerry’s cookie dough ice cream, binging Homeland or cold margaritas on a hot summer night, too much of a good thing can easily turn into a bad thing.
There’s a point when we have to say “that’s enough” and take back control of our time and happiness by …
1. Taking an hour every month to clean out your “friends.” You go through your closets and give up clothes you no longer wear that take up space, so do the same for your social list. Start unfriending or unfollowing people you don’t know anymore, or worse, you don’t know how you know.
Unlike co-workers, in-laws and neighbors, we get to choose who we spend time with in our social media lives.
2. Delete apps off your phone. Stat! This is so important to keep you PRESENT when you’re in the presence of in-person, real-life friends, family and partners. Not to mention, keep you from hopping on when you first wake up, before heading to bed or when you have a few minutes to spare on your lunch.
3. Schedule actual time in your calendar for social media. Blocking off 20 minutes a day is far better for your brain and emotions than hopping on four times a day for five minutes (which of course turns into way more than that).
4. Prepare yourself for the emotional roller coaster. When you do go on social media, know to expect highs and lows like: “Yay, my childhood friend just got a new job!” and “Oh sad, my old college roommate’s dog is in the hospital. Hope he’s OK.”
5. Take note of your happiness. Pay attention to how social media impacts your mood and if the people you’re connected with are really good for you. After you go on, ask yourself, “Am I happier now than I was five minutes ago?”
Change and cutting ties isn’t always easy, even when it’s in our best interest. Uncomfortable thoughts are bound to pop up (like, “I wonder if that person I don’t even care to know had her baby?”). It’s all part of the detachment process.
But keep in mind the benefits – to protect your time and energy. Oh, sanity too!
If you end up feeling like you have more time, are more emotionally stable, present and you’re getting more done — you might just cut your social media ties completely.
We wouldn’t blame you. 🙂
Quote du jour
“Daring to set boundaries is about having the courage to love ourselves, even when we risk disappointing others.” ― Brene Brown
Savvy book pick
With all that extra time you have thanks to your digital detox, why not use it to spread a little kindness? You’ll get plenty of feel-good perks, and help someone else in the process. If you need some ideas, check out When Action Follows Heart: 365 Ways to Spread Kindness ($18; Hay House).
This book is filled with creative ways to bring loved ones — and strangers — some extra joy in their day (like taking a box of doughnuts to a fire station, yielding a parking space to the other person vying for it or even sharing a smile). Happy kindness-spreading, Savvies!
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