Our world has evolved in such a way that it is almost impossible to avoid being involved in social media in some way. Even my 81 year old father is active on Facebook.
Social media has changed the way we get our news, keep up with friends and family, and even how we network in our careers. In a lot of ways, social media has been a positive game changer.
However, social media has its negatives, too. It can eat away at our precious time by distracting us from the work at hand. It can cause feelings of inadequacy, anger, and jealousy.
Also, sometimes it feels like we are not being good “friends” if we are not aware of what they are posting on social media.
I want to let you in on a little secret…you are not responsible to see everything every friend you follow posts on social media.
It’s just not realistic. For one, Facebook does not always show you everything. And even if it did, you wouldn’t be able to keep up with it all without neglecting the rest of your life.
So, how do you take control of social media in such a way that it always benefits you and does not take over your life?
Here are a few ways you can take control of social media and make it work for you:
1. Be selective about who you will follow.
When I first started out on social media I wanted as many friends and followers as I could get. Over time, though, it became obvious that the more people I followed, the harder it was to keep my social media under control.
I’ve also discovered, especially on Facebook, that many of the people I follow are not really people I’m close to in real life. It’s not that I don’t care about people, but I just don’t have time to keep up with everyone I’ve ever met in my entire life.
I have not unfriended anyone on Facebook because I just can’t bring myself to go that far. I have unfollowed people instead. This way I can still connect with some people if I choose to, but I don’t have to see everything everyone shares. It has cut down on what I see in my news feed tremendously.
2. Use privacy settings to control who can see you and your posts.
While it’s important to control what you see on social media, it’s also important to control who can see you and your posts on social media.
It’s way too easy to draw negative people in to your conversations if your privacy settings allow for the world to see what you post. I suggest you review your privacy settings and be very selective about who can see what you post.
3. Set limits on your social media time.
One of the best ways to take control of social media is to limit how much time you spend on it. As a business owner, I am highly interested in staying connected with my readers and potential clients. However, while I check on my business Facebook page, I am always tempted to scroll through my personal news feed.
So that I can stay productive and not get distracted, I have had to set limits on how much time I spend on personal social media accounts.
For me that means limiting my time to 5-10 minutes in the morning only after I’ve had my quiet time and am ready for the day. Then I look at it about 15 minutes around lunch time. If I have time after dinner I will check it. But I try not to look at it right before I go to bed. I like to be done with social media at least 30 minutes to an hour before bed.
Although social media can be overwhelming at times, it is possible to keep it under control. Make a plan, stick with it, and see how much more effective social media can work for you.