Social Media and You (and me!)

a glimpse into my life creating change emotional health friendship Jan 09, 2022

Social Media And You

This isn't a social media bashing. It's more of a why and how-to.

I was teaching in-person elementary school music in Boise last year when just before Thanksgiving 2020, I got quarantined due to COVID exposure.

Instantly, I stopped doing things like going to school, seeing my daughter who was living in the dorms, visiting my parents, having dinner with friends, getting groceries, or even chatting with my neighbors when I saw them outside for fear I’d expose them.

I was looking at days and days where I might not see another person. 

I’m social by nature. I’m capable of being alone but I am purposeful to build a community around me of friends, colleagues, and neighbors so that I am always connecting with people I care about who care about me. 

Quarantine made that impossible. 

Suddenly social media became the main outlet to connect with people. I spent 8 hours a day or more on social media for the first few days. So I truly understand the need for it, the appeal, and the addictive quality. 

 

That's what brings me to today's post.

I've spent the last 4 months talking to people about their time and energy.

Social media has come up. A lot.

I'm hearing the same things over and over. 

I’ve heard you say things like:

  • “I am misusing my time lately” and 
  • “I just scroll along and I look up, and the day is over” and
  • “I don’t know where all my time goes”

 

There is a way to use social media in a way that doesn’t suck all of your time and leave you feeling bad. The key is to tap into the reason you are on social media and then go from there.

Reasons you use social media

In talking with some of you about how you are spending your time, I've learned there are four reasons you use social media. 

  1. Scrolling to avoid feeling or doing something 
  2. Scrolling to connect 
  3. Scrolling to relax because you are tired
  4. Scrolling because you are addicted 

Which reason would you guess is the most common reason you log on to social media? I'll tell you which is the most common reason at the bottom of this post.

Here are some ideas for solutions

 

  1. Do one thing that brings you joy every day that you do JUST FOR YOU

    1. Action step - create a list of things that bring you joy and then pick one you to do each day. When you make a point to add joy to your life, the negative emotions you are trying to avoid lessen. If you’ve forgotten what joy feels like, think about things where time disappears for you: coloring, photography, cooking, sewing, baking, playing with your fur babies, laughing with your friends, bubble baths, singing, hiking or walking, etc. 
    2. Need a little help? My new free course might help. You can check that out here.
  2. Text or call a friend - seek real connection

    1. Action step - Call or text a friend as soon as you finish reading this. You can keep it simple: "Thinking of you" or "Miss you" or "how was your day?". Notice how you feel and what thoughts you have. If you get ideas to reach out to other people, do that. And if you haven't connected with me on social yet, let's connect!! I'm on Facebook at Brenda Winkle Empowerment and on Instagram at Brenda Winkle 

      Not on social? I still would love to connect with you. Email me at [email protected]

  3. If scrolling helps you relax - it’s your choice to keep doing it - but if it doesn’t relax you...

    1. Action Step - brainstorm what DOES make you relax and put a list on your phone or somewhere you can see it. For most people, their joy list and relaxation list have some overlap. That's ok! Schedule one of those things every day. Some things to get you started might be reading, bubble baths, dancing it out, journaling, coloring, meditating, closing your eyes for a few minutes, writing a thank you note, etc.
  4. Turn off notifications on your phone

    1. Why? There is a mountain of data that suggests this is something many of us *need* to do. By design, social media apps keep us addicted by giving us feel-good hormones when we get a notification. If you want to check out some information on this I recommend you take a peek at here or check out one of the films on social media you can find on Netflix.   That dopamine hit (the feel-good hormone) doesn't last and pretty soon, you are looking for another hit... that's why you keep hitting refresh on your feed.
    2. Multi-tasking is a myth. Your brain doesn’t multi-task. It’s more like the browser with multiple tabs open. You can ONLY work on one thing at a time even if you have lots of tabs open. You aren’t multi-tasking, you are switching between tasks. It’s exhausting.
      1. If you *want* to scroll, turn off your notifications, and when you log in, you can check your notifications on the app. Turning off notifications on your phone only stops them from interrupting your day, it won’t turn them off on the app.
    3. Action step: Turn off phone notifications and then continue on to step 5. For helpful ideas check out this post.
  5. Action step: Pick a time to get on to social media and decide in advance how long you’ll be there. Using social media with intention can be fun and lead to real connections. Let's have some fun together. Tag me on social with #brendawinklesocialfun and commit to purposeful social media use.

 

What's next? 

 Remember when I told you I’d tell you the BIGGEST reason people are on social media? My belief is that social media use boils down to one thing: You seek connection and meaning in your life. I want that, too.

You want to find purpose. You want to feel connected to other people. You want to know you aren’t the only one going through what is happening right now. I can assure you - you aren’t alone. It's great to get that from social media but you deserve to feel that way in real life, too!! You matter. You deserve to feel good, to feel loved, to rest, to relax, to feel connected.

The key? Joy. I know, that sounds too easy. But trust me.

When you lean toward joy you become a MAGNET for connections, opportunities, inspiration, and happiness beyond your dreams. 

Ready to feel more joy but not quite sure what to do? You'll love my new free course!! "Get Unstuck: Why you don't have to be afraid to create the life of your dreams". I created it so you can take it with you on the go.

Grab it here.

All my love,

Brenda