Yeah, yeah, yeah. We all know that social media is the end of the world and a waste of time, blah blah blah, etc. But, we need to let those privileged white dudes know how wrong they are. Or, we have to troll those social justice warriors. We must spam the comments section of a local news story with our off-topic thoughts on abortion.
We ignore our friends and families so we can spend hours rubbing on a phone. In the meantime, we get jealous, angry, depressed, and feel just plain crappy. Yet, you can’t step away because what if our president tweets a nonsense word?
If you ever get sick of the negative emotions and time suck of social media, please check out the following tips for using social media wisely.
1. Get in, Do What You Need to Do, and Get out
When SEAL Team Six went in to kill Osama Bin Laden, did they stick around for a little while afterward to see if there was anything else fun to do in the compound? Heck no! They got out of there! When you are using social media, go in with a purpose, and get out of there before a time-waste sniper picks you off and steals your evening and positive emotions.
2. Set Time Limits
Set limits on when and where you use social media. For instance, I try to leave my phone in the car when I attend events. I leave my phone in my office in the evenings when I’m spending time with my family. I don’t want to divert my attention from them. On my PC, I use Website Blocker to block sites at certain times of the day. And, Web Blocker Plus limits how long I spend on specific sites.
3. Don’t Follow Negative Nellies
There are a lot of angry people out there. I don’t dislike these negative Nellies. I just get worked up too easily and can’t be around them too much. So, if someone is constantly negative, I stop following them. You might criticize me for not paying attention to and getting worked up about the latest social issues, but I ask you: Has your anger caused any positive changes? I know mine has not. I prefer compassion.
4. Write Blogs Instead of Social Media Posts
It’s easy to rattle off an angry 100-word rant about this or that. However, I’ve found that it requires more thought and effort to create a quality blog post. And, it requires a degree of consent (people have to click) before social media users are exposed to your opinions. I know you want everyone to see your heat-of-the-moment views immediately, but taking a step back and crafting a more well-thought-out article will be much more helpful for everyone. Blogger is a good place to start.
5. Don’t Press Enter
Write your posts, and delete them without letting anyone see them. I probably only publish about 10 percent of the comments, posts, Tweets, etc. that I write. The rest are deleted. I’m just saying that I deserve a Noble Peace Prize for all of the negativity I deleted rather than unleashing it on the world.
6. Be Careful of the Access You Give Apps
You have to agree to some interesting terms and conditions when using quizzes, frames, apps, and other software on social networks. For example, you might unintentionally allow them to use your likeness for syphilis ads. You could be letting some company use a picture of your child to promote their dating site. You don’t know what you are allowing because you don’t read the terms and conditions. Companies know this and try to get away with whatever they can.
7. Log Off
I love this recent post from Seth Godin. You can log off at any time. You can leave for months, years, forever. Or, you can just leave for a few hours. Call up a friend. See real people. Put your smartphones in a box and forget about them for the night. Trust me: you won’t miss anything. This is becoming an increasingly popular option as more of us wake up and realize what our media addictions are doing to us.
How do you use social media without going insane? Please share!