As a hardcore introvert, I’ve had my reservations about social media before.
I was the last of my friends to hop on the Snapchat bandwagon.
I used to update my personal Instagram once a month…or less.
I cringe every time I log onto Facebook and see another college acquaintance trying to reconnect.
At times, social media has felt awkward, uninteresting, time-consuming, exhausting, and a whole bunch of other bad adjectives all rolled into one.
But then I started blogging, and my views on social media have slowly started to shift.
Suddenly, I’m connecting more with people who share my same interests.
I’m learning more daily about my closest blogging friends and having virtual coffee chats with them.
I can feel the sense of community and belonging growing behind me, supporting me, encouraging me, and pushing me closer to my goals every day.
And while I now have a newly developed appreciation for social media, this introvert’s gotta take an Internet chill pill every now and again. You know, to focus on more important things like family, friends, and face masks. And so I don’t lose my mind. #priorities
4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Help You Unplug from Social Media
But it can be hard to disengage, right? Because social media is quite literally always right at our fingertips. A tap or a swipe away.4 Questions to Ask Yourself to Start Being Intentional OnlineClick To Tweet
I mean, how many times have you unlocked your smartphone to Google something real quick or to grab the number of your favorite restaurant to make reservations…and instead you find yourself scrolling through Instagram before you even realize you have the app open?
Instead of being intentional with our precious time, our social media interactions have become instantaneous, monotonous, and constant. We don’t even realize we’re on social media and mindlessly thumbing through text and images before that’s exactly what we’re doing.
It’s time to check ourselves before we wreck ourselves, amiright? If you already feel completely wrecked, don’t worry, boo. There’s still hope for you.
If you’re feeling the persistent pull to engage on social, take a few quick moments to ask yourself the following questions before you open Twitter for the fifteenth time today.
1 | Is there something else I should be doing?
If the answer is “yes”, then why are you still reading this blog post? Stop procrastinating and get your booty in gear.
If the answer is “no”, it still might be time for a breather. Have you been refreshing Facebook for the past 20 minutes? Close the app and take a short walk outside, or fix yourself a snack, or cuddle your puppy. Switch focus and pick up a book or call your mom. I’m sure she’d like to hear from you.
Do something different to take a few moments to relax and unwind.
Tip: Decide to check social media only a few times a day. Maybe you hit Twitter or Facebook after you check your emails in the morning and then a quick scroll through Instagram on your lunch break. Watch your productivity increase and your mood improve!
2 | Am I comparing myself?
I’ll be the first to admit that I’ve compared, criticized, or cried my way through my Instagram feed on more than one occasion.
Does that seem dramatic to you? It’s not. You know why? Because certain social media platforms have a tendency to become a festering pile of envy, contention, comparison, and fakeness—and we let that happen.
Over and over and over again.
We compare ourselves to little squares…snapshots…of others’ lives and start to believe that makes up the whole picture when it really doesn’t even account for 1/16 of that other person’s life. And yet the comparison and feelings of unworthiness keep creeping up until logging on to Instagram everyday becomes an act of self-punishment.
Some people aren’t really all that they “post” to be.
If you’re guilty of subjecting yourself to this treatment (hello, we all are), STOP. Right now. Put your phone down.
…I said, put the phone down. F’real. Unless you’re reading this post on your phone…then, I guess keep reading. 😛
If you’ve fallen into the trap of feeling inadequate based on what you see on social media, unplug for a few days. Live your life. Make memories and take fewer photos. Start conversations and engage in less drama.
Do you and don’t worry about anyone else. Your brain will be forever grateful. And so will your thumbs.
Tip: Unfollow people whose accounts get you down on yourself, whether through comparison, jealousy, or some other negative feeling. You have to worry about your own mental state and not how other people will react. You’re not responsible for them. If someone gets offended because you unfollow them, so what? We’re all grown ups here (or at least we pretend to be). They’ll live. Move on.
Read this next: 5 Mindset Shifts to Stop Comparison-itis
3 | Are my relationships IRL (in real life) suffering?
Listen, I get it. Some people (myself included) have fostered amazing friendships through online platforms, and that’s really cool. For all its flaws, social media does have a way of opening doors that would otherwise remain firmly shut.
But it’s not the end all be all.Don't miss out on the life in front of you in favor of curated feeds.Click To Tweet
We can’t be pouring so much into our online connections that we neglect the ones we have outside of a computer screen. That’s a whole bunch of nope.
When you’re out to lunch with your best friend or significant other, is your nose a mere 5 centimeters from your smartphone as you scroll 48 weeks back through someone’s Insta feed? Not saying I’ve done that…
Have you started canceling plans with family members to make sure you don’t miss a Twitter chat or a blogger friend’s live broadcast?
I won’t make any apologies for this: that’s insane.
It’s fine to tune in to things like that once in awhile, but constantly missing out on the life you have in front of you in favor of the curated feeds you’ve built in the cyber world is rarely healthy.
And I’m saying this (or typing it, rather) as a committed blogger who loves what she does. But sometimes I have to take a step back and reevaluate my priorities. I don’t ever want my best friends to feel like I’m neglecting them or for my family to feel like they don’t matter or that I don’t want to spend quality time together.
We all have choices to make daily on where and with whom we spend our time. I’ve made some mistakes here in the past, and now my choices are a lot more clear.
Tip: Schedule plans on social media like you would with a close friend. Set aside time in your schedule to engage online so you’re less likely to spend hours and hours staring at your screen. Once that time is up, log out, close your browser, or shut your phone off.
4 | How do I feel?
Finally, how do you feel in this moment? What is your mind telling you? What does your soul want?
Are you happy? Content? Joyful?
Social media can influence both of these opposite types of feelings; they’re two sides of the same coin. But while social media can influence these feelings, only you are responsible for allowing yourself to feel a certain kind of way.
Will you allow the online world to negatively impact you or will you choose to react differently? If you wouldn’t allow a person in your life to interact with you in a detrimental way, why let social media do it?
After all, social media only has the power that we give it.Social media only has the power that we give it.Click To Tweet
You control your social media. Not the other way around. If you feel as though you’re losing your authority in this relationship, it’s time to take a step back. There’s no other way to look at it.
Tip: Start a social media journal and write down the different ways you experience social media and how it makes you feel on a regular basis. You’re more likely to change a negative pattern if you can see it written out in front of you. You may even decide to quit social media for good!
As an introvert, my relational energy is so, so precious to me. I’m protective over it, just like I’m protective + downright territorial with my fries. Don’t mess with me about my energy or my food or I will take my earrings out and fight you.
Even though social media has led to some awesome opportunities and connections for me and my blog, boundaries and unplugging often are important aspects in the way I engage with others online.Forming boundaries is an important aspect in the way I engage with others online.Click To Tweet
Boundaries make me happy, sane, and productive. Who doesn’t want more of that?
Do you struggle to unplug as an introvert? How do you cope with the demands of social media? How do you set boundaries? Hit me up in the comments below.
…still addicted to social media? That’s okay. We all have our moments.
Find me on: