As I’m questioning my use of social media, I’m writing this article about the different networks I have tested and how to use them well.
It started with Facebook a few years ago. Then I tried Pinterest, Bloglovin, Twitter and Instagram. I met interesting people, I read interesting articles thanks to those social media but I also wasted a lot of time. At the moment, Snapchat is the thing. A few months ago, it was Instagram. When reading bloggers asking their readers to follow them on Snapchat, I realised that it’s an endless cycle. Every year, there will be a new trendy social network that will eclipse the others… until the next one.
I don’t intend to subscribe to 50 social media, especially as I realise that some of them didn’t bring me anything. When you have a blog, it’s normal to be active on the main social networks. But my aim is to be more selective from now. You don’t have to subscribe to all social media. I think it’s good to chose them depending on your interests. For example I don’t do videos so there is no use for me to subscribe to Youtube. On the contrary, Instagram is interesting to share my drawings and pictures. And logically I won’t subscribe to Snapchat because I don’t see what it could bring to me.
Besides social media have a major drawback for me: they generate a huge waste of time. Social media are the worst ennemies of the procrastinator. Especially as their conceptors do everything they can to make us addicted (this article explains how). When you look at people having their nose in their phone, it seems they have succeeded.
So how to stop wasting your time on those addictive and time-consuming websites?
* Putting things into perspective
Social media are very useful tools but they can have negative effects: envy when people display their wealth, frustration when people show their seemingly perfect life, cult of thinness concealed behind the ‘healthy’ trend, hidden marketing, judging people by their number of followers… It’s worth reviewing the positive and the negative that social media bring to you. And why not sorting out and unfollowing some accounts that don’t make you feel good.
Total disconnection was the choice of instagramer Essena O’Neill. In 2015, her tell-all video created buzz online. She denounced the fact that social media are fake, people are defined by numbers and social media have become a business. Then she deleted all her social media accounts. This is a radical but efficient way to save time.
Temporarily disconnecting, during a weekend or a month, can get you to realize how much time you save when you’re not connected. If it’s too difficult, you can also define a maximum number of hours per day to spend online.
* Setting limits
You can set some rules regarding the use of social media. For example:
– no smartphone in your bedroom
– no social media at certain times of the day (during the meals, one hour before bedtime…)
– turning off notifications on your smartphone
The best is to write your ‘rules’ on a paper that will stay right in front of your eyes.
As for me, I have reduced my social media consumption but I deserve no special credit: I have taken advantage of my soul-searching, some social media boredom and the current decline of traditional social media to connect less often and I’m happy to save some precious time smoothly.