Consuming social media doesn’t have to feel like downing a dirty cheeseburger. Use these healthy habits to get your relationship with social media in shape.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock (or avoiding anything digital), chances are you have a relationship with social media. In such hyperconnected times, it’s easy for this relationship to become toxic – often all it takes is one comment, a few less likes or an internet troll to sour your experience.
But what can you do to develop a healthy relationship to social media (without turning into a monk)? Let’s unpack some helpful habits you can cultivate to turn social media into a friend, not a foe.
This one might sound overly simplistic but being authentic on social media platforms – like Instagram and Facebook – is actually a really good thing.
A recent survey by Havas Mediafound that close to one third of participants regularly exaggerated their social media posts. This behavior can cause friction and damage to offline relationships, as well as paint an unrealistic picture of what’s going on.
Posting a balanced perspective – the good, the bad and the ugly – gives others a chance to connect with you in a more authentic way. The highlights reel is impressive, but it’s not entirely accurate. Aim for honesty, which as the saying goes, is the best policy.
SCHEDULE ‘SOCIAL MEDIA’ TIME
To stave off digital burnout, you might like to set some rules about how you’ll engage with social media.
What this could look like is a 15-minute block of time in your day where you let your fingers scroll to their heart’s content. Set a timer to keep yourself accountable and experiment with what time of day works best.
Limiting your social media time isn’t a punishment – it’s to ensure you get the most out of your day with activities that truly ‘spark joy’ (thanks Marie Kondo!).
FOLLOW ACCOUNTS FOR INSPIRATION
One of the biggest pitfalls of social media is comparison. As you’re exposed to the best bits of other people’s lives, it can be easy to question how you’re living your own.
But it doesn’t have to be like this. Follow accounts that inspire you. Turn to artists, musicians, athletes and even restaurants for encouraging words, interesting thoughts and captivating photos.
If you’re not sure of who to follow, you might like to start with these accounts.
DELETE THE APPS OFF YOUR PHONE
If you’re having trouble keeping your time on social media to a minimum, a quick win is to remove the apps from your phone. It might seem like a drastic measure, but it really is a case of ‘out of sight, out of mind’.
This means you’ll have to check social media on a computer, not when you’re out with your friends. Without the constant bingand buzz of your phone, you might find your IRL (in real life) relationships start heading in a more meaningful direction.
There are a lot of myths surrounding social media and relationships, but one thing rings true: humans are social creatures. We crave the kind of connection that goes beyond ‘likes’. To get this, you’ll need to get off of your phone and out into the world.
A great place to connect with people is at your . Phones are a no-no in all our exercise classes and we’ve even curated the perfect playlist that pumps throughout the club (so you don’t even need your phone to workout).
Regardless of the path you take, remember: social media isn’t a replacement for relationships, but rather an extension of them.