In the recent times, I’ve found myself grab for my phone more and more. Messages, phone calls, face-time have become part of our daily lives more than ever and thankfully, technology is working wonders to keep us in touch with all of our loved ones during this time. Of course my screen-time tracker shows the minutes that are spent on Face Time, but the social media time keeps creeping up. I’ll be honest, I do love Instagram but sometimes we all need that reminder to just disconnect, even if it’s only for an hour. A bit of social media self-care I guess.
Reassessing the accounts you follow – I guess the real question here is, do you love who you’re following? Do you like seeing their posts? If it’s a no, then this will probably contribute to a negative social media space. In my questions on instagram, 30% said that social media felt negative at the moment and 46% had unfollowed accounts during lockdown for numerous ways; too much content, promotion of using this time to lose weight, misinformation and breaking the lockdown rules. There is also the ‘mute’ function on most social media apps which might prove useful if you normally like someone’s content but at this current point and time, it’s not for you.
Choosing whether you take part in social media challenges – there’s been quite a few floating around at the moment, whether that’s running 5k (a challenge and an NHS donation), sharing your favourite photo with the person who tagged you (quite cute), downing a pint, sharing your favourite travel photo or your top 3 albums (I struggled because I barely listen to one album in particular). They can be fun, in the instagram questions; 62% enjoyed taking part. However, they aren’t for everyone, 38% agreed that they weren’t really that bothered and can depend on the challenge. Although some can be good and meaningful, some can feel pressurising.
Setting a bit of ‘downtime’ on your phone – At the moment, I’ve been using the ‘downtime’ function to remind myself to STOP scrolling. This might sound a bit restricting but you can pick and choose the apps to limit. Need some space from instagram? Want some time away from news notifications? This can be your answer.
Turning off social media notifications – Who picks up their phone as soon as they see a notification? I’ll hold my hands up here, it’s me. Notifications are a reminder that someone’s posted, someone’s liked your post, someone’s commented..it’s endless really. At the moment, 91% of my instagram followers commented that they were using their phone more than normal, so do we need notifications to be constantly reminding us to check our social media accounts? It’s almost like a nudge of encouragement which might not always be positive solution.
I’m not policing your social media usage here, nor am I telling you to unfollow/mute accounts or delete your apps. I’m merely questioning and potentially making some ‘thought-provoking’ points (I can dream, right?).
Let me know what you’d think about social media at the moment, I’d love to keep the conversation going.
Sending a massive thank you to everyone on Instagram who answered the questions & offered their thoughts..it was SO helpful to write this post! You can find me on Instagram here.