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5 Ways to Maximize Social Media

It’s all too easy to get sucked into the vortex of social media.  You start by checking your page, only to look a friend’s, then you’re looking at someone’s amazing recipe for muffins, and then…

Here are 5 Ways to Maximize Social Media for yourself:

Allot a certain amount of time for social media.  Do you use social media for personal reasons?  15 minutes a day may be plenty.  Need to use social media to promote your business?  Maybe 1 hour a day will do the trick.  Determine how much time per day you’ll spend on social media and stick with it.  Track your time for one week if you’re having a hard time getting off.

Eliminate social media during mealtimes.  Not even FaceTime can replace real human interaction.  Dinner is not the time to scroll through your social media posts, even when your party is waiting for a table at a restaurant.  In a Stanford University study, girls who spend much of their waking hours on social media are more likely to develop social problems.  One antidote?  Plenty of time interacting face-to-face with people.

Don’t look at social media first thing in the morning or at bedtime.  If you greet the day with notifications and FB, you feel behind before breakfast.  Instead spend first minutes in prayer and reading God’s Word which is a much better way to frame your day.  Likewise, drift off to sleep by counting blessings instead of counting all the emails you have to respond to the next day.

Participate in social media fasts.  If you would be anxious about missing out on social media for one week, you are a good candidate for a fast.  Researchers are finding chemical changes in certain pleasure areas of the brain when we get that “social media hit.”  If it’s becoming addictive and disruptive to the rest of your life, a time of detox can be very healthy.  You can also take one day a week off or have social media free weeknights.

Use it to stay connected with a handful of friends.  My parents use WhatsApp to send photos to family members overseas.  When you use social media to stay in touch with just a few people, it can enhance relationships versus scrolling through news feeds to check in on the masses.

For more tips on managing technology so it doesn’t take over your personal life, read Calm, Cool, and Connected: 5 Digital Habits for a More Balanced Life.