We all recognize that social media is the worst, but we all still seem to devote way too many hours a day to perfecting our posts and mindlessly scrolling through our feeds. These are not tips for how to improve your followers to following ratio or the best time of the day to post to get the most likes, but here are some ways to make social media a little less demanding, time-consuming, and stressful.
1Limit your platforms
Constant notifications, follow requests, and reminders that you have not posted in a long time from 12 different apps can definitely be stressful. If you are not a celebrity or a brand, it isn’t actually that important for you to have a profile on every social media site that exists. Pick a few that cause minimal stress (i.e. Snapchat) and delete the Twitter account that you never use anyway.
2Delete the apps from your phone
One of the easiest ways to resist the compulsion to constantly check and update social media is to delete the apps from your phone. Checking social media is like a reflex: you often mindlessly scroll through Facebook on your phone without even realizing you are doing it. You can still access your accounts when you want to update them, but by making it a little bit harder for you to access them, you can limit the time you spend on them.
3Post for yourself, not for other people
Obviously, you should still be somewhat judicious with what you post online (think future employers), but Instagram becomes a lot less stressful when you think of it as a way to document memorable moments in your life for you to look back on instead of as a way to share these moments with a bunch of people you barely know. Even if your picture isn’t perfect, post it if it will make you smile when you look back on it.
4Pick your favorite few pictures and upload them
You don’t need to waste hours editing and posting hundreds of pictures of your trip to Italy. No one is going to look through them all anyway. If you want to post them all, then go for it, but don’t let the overwhelming number of pictures you took keep you from posting anything. Sticking to only your favorite pictures will keep social media from taking over your life, and your grandma will appreciate not having to scroll through 34839284 pictures of buildings to find some pictures of you.
5Unfollow people who cause you stress
Maybe it’s an ex whom you obsessively stalk, an oversharer who is constantly bragging about her latest accomplishments, or a once best friend who has become a stranger. Stop putting yourself through the misery and hit unfollow. They probably won’t even notice and you will feel a lot less stressed when scrolling through your feed.
6Remind yourself that everyone else is filtering their lives too
Numerous studies have linked social media to loneliness and anxiety. It is no surprise, given that social media gives you a tangible way to quantify how much people like you, to compare yourself with everyone else, to see what your friends are doing when you’re not around. What you share on social media does not accurately reflect how you spend 99% of your time, and the same can be said for your 2,000+ Facebook friends. So try to remember that when you’re scrolling through the seemingly endless stream of travel pictures on Instagram and wondering why your life isn’t a little more glamorous.
Social media sites are designed to be addictive, to demand our time and attention. While it is not always feasible to delete your presence on these apps altogether, there are ways we can reduce the power they have over our lives.