November 13, 2022
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Breaking the cycle of comparison: When is it time to turn off your social media notifications?
Social media offers all of us the chance to connect. The people of today are much more mobile than in generations past, which means that you may not see your family more than once a year in person, but you can still connect on social media.
There are many who choose to post or share each day, even on days when nothing all that exciting is going on. There are others who only post when positive things happen, and still others who focus on
If you’re looking at the posts of others and only seeing big positives, such as a new car or a dream vacation, you may find that your perfectly enjoyable life is no longer even adequate. The burden of comparison when scrolling along on social media is that you only see one side of the story.
Your old college friend may indeed be on their dream vacation, but they won’t post the credit card bills when they get home, or mention that they’ve worked every Saturday for months to cover the cost of the trip. That cousin who lost all the weight may show off the new bathing suit video but not share images of each plate of lettuce or post how lousy she felt getting into ketosis. Social media never shows much beyond the face value of an event or experience.
The pandemic of 2020 taught us that we need connection. Whether you’ve been stuck at home on your own or trapped in a house with some members of your family, the ability to check in with other loved ones became even more important in 2020.
However, you may want to set some phone-free zones and use your phone timer to limit social media. For example, if you live alone, using your social media apps during mealtime can mean companionship; just try to avoid the folks who aren’t good for digestion. If you live with others, try not to allow phones at the table.
Do your best to keep phones away from your bedroom. The light from your phone screen can do serious damage to your ability to fall into deep sleep. This light exposure, paired with a political rant from a family member or co-worker, may make you angry enough that you can’t fall asleep because your brain won’t settle down. Deep sleep cleanses the brain and protects you against harm as you age.
If you used to spend a lot of time on social media, set new habits or pick up a new activity to reduce the risk of boredom. For those who’ve been following influencers, consider why this person appeals to you. Do you love to watch minimalists? Go through your closet and build a pod wardrobe, then download Mercari or Poshmark and start selling things you don’t need. You could set yourself up to be an influencer and make a little cash while building a life closer to what you admire.
Try to turn your unused social media time as a way to learn new skills. One of the nice things about social media is that you can build yourself a cocoon. In just a few clicks, you can see just the opinions and attitudes that make you feel comfortable. However, like resistance builds muscle, new input helps you learn new concepts. Install Kindle on your device and read instead of scrolling on social media.
Putting too much of yourself out on social media can be exhausting. Judging your ordinary days by the very best days posted on social media will make your lovely life feel poor, boring and unfulfilling. If social media time is leaving you feeling dissatisfied, limit or dump it for a time until you can find simple satisfaction in life off-screen.