Social media had barely taken off when I was growing up. Instagram had a terribly old and blue interface, Facebook was filled with picture-less status updates and no ads in sight, and I don’t think I’d even heard of Twitter or Snapchat until much later.
Nowadays, adolescents are bombarded with information from social media on everyone’s whereabouts, bodies, thoughts and opinions, and futures.
I’m going to make a bold statement here, but…
Social media is the catalyst for your quarter life crisis!!!
When you think about the thoughts and feelings involved with a quarter life crisis, these have occurred because you’re comparing your life to someone else’s and wondering why you’re “falling behind”. Without making that comparison, you’d be blissfully unaware of such “societal norms” and more focused on paving your own path, rather than being influenced by what everyone else has and where everyone else is going.
Social media kicks your comparison-itis into high gear!
Without social media you wouldn’t feel lonely looking at everyone’s proposal and wedding photos; you wouldn’t feel like a failure seeing everyone’s careers take off; criticising your body when you see others reach their fitness goal wouldn’t affect you; without social media you wouldn’t feel hopeless when you notice how happy everyone seems to be; and you wouldn’t feel so behind in life when watching everyone else’s.
It’s easy to be happy for the friends and family you love when they reach these life milestones, but we’ve often got strangers or people we used to know from high school in our social feeds, which makes a healthy use of social media that much harder.
And with that, for a healthier use of social media throughout your QLC, I suggest the following…
Using a Social Media Blocker
I downloaded the app ‘Block‘ and set times for when I want the app to block Instagram and Facebook. I generally set them for the first hour of my day and a few hours before bed. That way I’m not accidentally negatively influenced before my day has even begun, and I’m not laying awake at night angrily thinking about something I saw.
*Warning: The app will show you how often you use every other app on your phone, so you WILL be horrified by the hours you wasted!
Improving Your Feed
It sounds so simple, but I know I was guilty of following people who would just annoy me or trigger me whenever I saw their content, but I still wanted to keep up to date with what they were doing. Completely dumb! I’ve since filled my feed with inspiring people, motivating quotes, accounts that validate my feelings and people who share similar beliefs, values and morals.
*Note: I use Instagram MUCH more than Facebook so I don’t really feel the need to adjust my Facebook feed. Figure out which app you use the most and adjust that first.
Having a Regular Social Media Detox
I’ve spent some time off social media in the past and it was incredibly strange how less alone I felt, how connected I felt to others, and how much more connected I felt to myself.
Detoxing from social media gives you a chance to figure yourself out without being influenced by other people’s thoughts, beliefs, opinions and dreams. I’ve said it before but we’re all on our own paths and you’re not falling behind, but exactly where you’re supposed to be.
It’s been a while since my last detox session! So from tonight (Monday the 26th) I’ll be deleting my Instagram and Facebook apps until Saturday morning. JOIN ME! Then let me know how you go and what came up for you in that time.
*TOP TIP: Incorporate a detoxing routine once a month (even if it’s only for a day or two over the weekend)!
Don’t forget that a healthy mindset discourages comparison-itis. If you look at what others have or are doing and you know that you want those things too, be happy for them. Get excited looking at what you’ll have someday too. If you’re being triggered by every engagement, new job or first home, dig deep as to why. This won’t come easily, but self-development work will help.
Happy (and healthy) social media-ing!
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I love you 3000!