In Part 1 of this mini social media series, we explored 6 questions to ask yourself if you are overwhelmed by social media. If you haven’t done so already I recommend reading Part 1 first, then coming back to this post.
In Part 2, I’m going to share all the things I do to help me use social media consciously.
But first, if you’re feeling super overwhelmed by social media, I highly recommend taking a break (even a short one) to instantly eliminate the overwhelm.
I’m all for taking hiatuses from social media, but for me I’m more interested in how I can use social media in my life consciously, without abandoning it all together and without it taking over my life.
So here are 14 of my best tips to help you use social media consciously. These tips have helped me create boundaries for my social media use, so I can use it on my terms — with ease — and without overwhelm.
1. Make yourself log in every single time.
Every time I finish using any social media platform, I will log out. This is an awesome way to set up a “gate-keeper” for every time you go to use social media. I use this to help make me stop and think: Do I really want to log in and use social media right now? If the answer is yes then I proceed. This also really helps me consider why I’m wanting to use social media, which leads me to…
2. Be intentional about it.
I don’t use social media without an intention. If I choose to log into a social media account, I get clear on my reason for doing it before I enter my password.
Examples of intentions might be to: Schedule social media updates for the week, get some inspiration from my Instgram feed, to find some articles to read, to connect in with my favourite Facebook groups, etc.
I find that by getting clear on why I want to use social media I spend less time mindlessly scrolling and use it more with purpose. This also helps to make sure what I’m doing on social media is actually serving me.
3. Be conscious of the time.
I feel like time goes so much faster when on social media. The 5 minutes you intended to check Instagram for can slip by very quickly and you can find yourself wasting half an hour very easily.
Most of the time when I go on social media I will set a timer on my phone for how long I think I want to spend doing whatever it is. This helps me be conscious and aware of the time and stops me falling down the rabbit hole, wasting my life-minutes, and only to find I haven’t done what I wanted to do.
If my timer goes off and I haven’t finished what I wanted to do, it doesn’t matter, for me this just helps me be aware of the time that I’m spending on social media.
4. Turn off all notifications.
Notifications overwhelm me super easily. There’s something about the numbers in the red bubble that really make me feel overwhelmed.
Notifications make you check social media whenever they’re there, so I have turned off all the notifications on my devices for absolutely everything, and I just check the notifications when I log into the platform itself.
I also turn notifications off on Facebook for the groups I’m in, and just check in with them whenever I want to.
5. Don’t multi-task.
I have a rule that I don’t go on social media while I’m doing something else. This means that I don’t end up scrolling through Instagram when “watching” (well not really watching) a TV show or movie. I also never use social media while eating or when sitting at the dinner table, whether I’m with other people or not.
This really helps me to use social media consciously and intentionally, because when I’m using it I’m focused completely on what I’m doing.
6. Make it harder for yourself to use social media.
If you want to use social media less, then I recommend making it harder for you to do that.
How? I deleted most of the social media apps off my devices, and try to use them on my computer only. Now I’m in a place where I have them there without constantly using them, so I choose to have Instagram still on my phone and Pinterest on my iPad.
I have found that when the social media apps are convenient to use, it’s so easy to check social media all the time.
By not having the apps there it makes it so much easier to use social media less.
7. Block it completely.
Truth be told, I don’t think I would ever get any work done if I didn’t use this app.
It allows you to block certain sites for a certain amount of time. And you can also do the opposite, block everything on the Internet except the sites you want to be able to use.
This makes it SO much easier to not “just check Facebook quickly” and to actually get your work done.
I have pretty good self-control myself, but I absolutely LOVE this app and I use it everyday (I’m actually using it now while I type this post).
Download this app, use it, and say HELLO to newfound productivity.
8. Create before you consume.
Do your work (whatever that may be for you) before you scroll social media.
I find that my productivity and motivation get sucked away by social media, so I don’t allow myself to go on social media (with the help of the Self-Control app) until I have done my most important tasks for the day.
If I want to post something before that, I allow myself to, I just make sure I post, get out quickly, and then turn the Self-Control app on.
I find that when I go on social media before working, it really makes it so much harder for me to actually get my work done when I attempt to.
So instead, I like to use social media as a bit of a reward after I get my most important things done for the day.
My motto: work first, scroll later.
9. Embrace scheduling.
If you use social media to serve for whatever reason, and want to be posting consistently (or you know kinda regularly) I highly recommend using and embracing scheduling tools.
∞ You can schedule directly via Facebook.
∞ I also upload a lot of my photos to Latergramme, even though it doesn’t automatically post, I find it a huge time-saver and I don’t get distracted by scrolling my feed.
I love scheduling because it means that if I want to, I can deliver content consistently. I can also post at a specific time without actually having to be on social media at that exact time. And I also love that I don’t have to go onto social media platform to post content, and doing it externally helps to prevent getting caught up in mindless scrolling.
10. Know that you don’t have to post in-the-moment.
Some people may disagree with me on this one, however I don’t believe that you have to share the moment you’ve captured right when you’ve captured it.
As I mentioned above, I only have the Instagram app on my phone, but I have turned the Mobile Data off for the app, meaning that to go on Instagram I have to be in wi-fi (so only when I’m at home).
This was one of the best things I did to reduce my social media usage, as it means that when I’m out doing things I’m actually doing them and not being distracted or preoccupied by social media, or filling any gaps with scrolling.
It also means that I get to enjoy and be in the moment more, because I’m not concerned about getting it uploaded to social media.
If I feel called to share a moment in my life, by all means I will definitely capture it, but then I put my phone away and continue to enjoy whatever it is I’m doing, and if I want to post the photo I will do it when I’m back home.
11. Befriend airplane mode.
I use airplane mode on my phone often, so I can’t access social media (or receive text messages or calls).
This eliminates distractions when I’m trying to get stuff done (like right now as I’m writing this post) and it also makes social media inaccessible.
I have a rule where I don’t let social media be the first or last thing I do each day, and airplane mode helps me to this.
Every night at around 8-9pm I will switch my phone to airline mode to help me wind down and get to sleep easier.
And in the morning it helps prevent me from checking social media first thing when I wake up.
Like I mentioned earlier in the post, if you want to spend less time on social media, make it harder for yourself to actually go on social media.
12. Consciously curate your social media feeds.
I have found that being selective about who I follow, what pages I like and what groups I’m in on social media can really help reduce overwhelm.
I want to feel inspired and uplifted by what I see on my feeds, and so I refuse to follow accounts that make me feel bad, or who are constantly pessimistic.
It’s so easy to feel overwhelmed by all the information on our feeds, but it’s important to remember that we chose to friend/follow/like, so that information is there because we have chosen it to be there. Our feeds are our responsibility.
Because of this I regularly “trim” what pages I’ve liked and accounts I’ve followed, and it makes a huge difference in how my social media feeds look and feel.
13. Be aware that social media is a highlight reel.
It’s important to be aware when you’re using social media that you’re only seeing a really small snippet of someone else’s life, a snippet that someone else is choosing to share with you.
Because of this, it’s pointless to compare your messy, behind-the-scenes, unedited life, to someone else’s curated snippet they have decided to share with the world on social media.
No one is perfect and no one has a perfect life (no matter what their social media looks like!)
For me, I want people to leave people feeling better than beforehand, so I honestly do intentionally choose to post mostly positive and uplifting messages.
And I think it’s totally okay to share whatever you want on your own social media.
However I think it’s so important to use social media for inspiration, and not comparison.
14. Remember that social media is awesome!
When I started using social media moderately with the boundaries I’ve outlined in the post, I realised how incredible social media can really be.
I love that social media helps me connect with like-minded people (that I may never of connected with in my real life), gives me a platform to share my message, what I love, my blog and more.
Social media is truly awesome, and by finding boundaries and a balance that works for you, I hope that if you choose to use social media you think it’s awesome too!
So there you go, this is everything I do to help me use social media in a conscious and intentional way without it overwhelming my life.
An important thing to note here is that this is what works best for me.
I highly recommend experimenting with different boundaries to find how you can use social media (if you choose to) in your life, in a way that feels good for you.
If we’re not already pals on social media, I would love to be! If you want some feel-good inspiration in your social media feeds you can find me hanging out on:
Now over to you… I would love to know:
1. What is your best tip for using social media consciously?
2. What new tip are you going to implement in your life to help you use social media in the way you want to?
Looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comments!
Love & Gratitude,
PS. You might also dig: Overwhelmed by social media? Ask yourself these 6 questions.
PPS: If you found this article useful I would love for you to share it with your pals on social media, you can do this super easily by clicking the buttons at the end of this post.
Enter your details below to receive fortnightly newsletter-only updates, insights and inspiration – plus you will also receive a FREE copy of my super inspirational eBook Infinite: Take your life to the next level and beyond!