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Your Guide to a Better Social Media Relationship

By Sara Butler

Social Media Doomscrolling

I’ve added a new word to my vocabulary recently: Doomscrolling.

You know what I mean. You find yourself scrolling or surfing through your social media pages even though you find it depressing, sad, and even disheartening. Basically, it’s continuing to scroll your pages even though they suck your will to live.

Understanding a tendency to doomscroll is one step in trying to figure out how to have a better relationship with social media. After all, it’s not all bad -- it’s a great way to stay connected with people you care about, get important information, and seek out people with similar interests. But you’ll only be able to embrace the good if you learn how to temper the bad. Here are a few tips that can help you start to have a better relationship with social media.

Regulate Yourself

Your smartphone (or iPad or other devices) is, well, smart. It allows you to set limits on notifications and it’s a feature you should totally embrace. Give yourself a break between certain hours of the day you deem appropriate and turn off all the notifications for social media apps you have, such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. That way, you won’t be tempted to check when you get a notification and you can limit your screen time. Bonus: There’s a good chance your productivity during these times will increase, too.

Block Your Feed

You can download extensions for your web browser that allows you to only go to your homepage instead of your social media news feeds. That way, you can check your messages and notifications without getting sucked into random posts. It’s a good tool to put to use, especially if you need to have access to social media for work.

Follow the Ratio

For your mental health, follow a ratio of 10:1 for social media. For every 10 things you do in real life, do one thing connected to social media. Basically, instead of checking your accounts, you should grab a healthy snack, take a walk, have a conversation with someone, or clean your bathroom. After you’ve logged in 10 things, then go ahead and scratch your social media itch by checking one thing. This can help to restore balance in your life if you find yourself on social media more than you know you should be.

Take Off the Apps

If all else fails and you find yourself doomscrolling to the point it’s impacting your mental health, then it might be time to take the apps off your phone. If you can restrict the ease of access to them, then you’ll definitely reduce the time you spend on them.

While everyone uses social media differently, you have to make sure the way you use it isn’t interfering with your health, wellness, and happiness. If it is, then it’s time to take action and just say no to doomscrolling!

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