Social media is great, and also triggering. I have heard more people say they are trying to stay off Facebook these days…
I have a love / hate relationship with social media at this point. I love staying connected to people around the world and hearing about their successes.
I also will share that if I wasn’t on Facebook, I would not know about friends who are going through major health issues and would not be able to support them.
That said, maybe you (like me) have to use social media for your business. Maybe you even need to be on it professionally and post things for clients.
If you’re wondering if social media professionals also get the blues from social media, I am here to tell you they absolutely do.
My friend Jon-David is an author, screenwriter, artist, hairdresser, and social media expert. In an interview with me, he shares how he eventually achieved some semblance of social media sanity after it triggered a depressive episode.
1. See the spin
Comparison despair is real and most people are only showing their greatest hits and shiny happy life on social media.
Instagram is probably the biggest offender here. Beauty and grace are its highest values and anyone who is not perfect or a celebrity, which is most of us, can get triggered.
2. Acknowledge the algorithm
Your feed will look very different from someone else’s because the algorithm is programmed to serve you what it thinks you want to see. The news and posts you see will be different from someone who shares different views from yours.
3. Decrease the disruption
Social media is designed to disrupt you and to be addictive. Notice when this happens and start to manage against it.
You may need to turn off notifications or delete apps from your phone if you find you can’t step away.
4. Take social interactions offline
The true power of social is when it’s combined with real life – phone conversations, video chats, or in-person meetings. If you want to build a real connection, take social interactions offline ASAP.
5. Watch for the time suck
My friend Barry Moltz has been known to call social media and internet searching the “world-wide waste of time.”
I know that YouTube and Facebook can make hours disappear for me. You know what makes you lose hours of productive time. Watch for being sucked down the rabbit hole of cute animal videos, or whatever you enjoy.
6. Establish boundaries
Social media works for you, you don’t work for it. Establish boundaries for when you will and will not engage. Schedule time on your calendar for it if you need to and then don’t go on when it’s not scheduled.
7. Know your news limits
How much news do we really need to read or watch? This will vary person to person. We need to be informed, but do we need 24 hours of news every single day?
Know your limits. Figure out the best way for you to stay current, but also out of anger or despair.
8. Prioritize business interactions
If you are using social media for business, try limiting yourself to interacting with people who are engaging with you in a business context.
Then, have scheduled time for being social and catching up with friends and family. During these times, you can just let yourself go with the flow.
9. Counterbalance negativity
Jon-David stresses the importance of meditation, exercise, and going out with friends. Please know that if you are down or feeling depressed, these may be the last things you feel like doing, but you should try to do them anyway. There’s a really good chance that you’ll feel better if you do.
10. Share your struggles
One of the ways to counteract feeling crappy about your struggles is to share them with others. Find other entrepreneurs or small business owners and talk about lumpy revenue streams, cash flow issues, uncertainty, and all the things we all struggle with.
You may be overwhelmed by the solidarity and support you receive when you share. Others may have been dying to share as well, and didn’t have a safe place or the courage to go first.