The media can be incredibly overwhelming.
Since the global pandemic my family now refers to as “Rona”, I’ve learned how impactful the media – specifically social media – can be on your mental health.
I live and breathe social media, marketing and all things online. Being online and in the media is my job. Literally. So how then, do you not let it impact your life in a negative way when the world is on fire?
Social media wasn’t created to solve your problems! It was made to connect us. I found a few ways to dial down the noise of the media and still feel informed (and positive)! It wasn’t easy. #socialmediaTweet
A bit about why I’m writing this post…
Since my career is built around social media and marketing, I spend 8 hours a day hearing from people all over the world – the good the bad and the ugly. I am an empathetic, sensitive person who absorbs feelings. I find myself wanting to help or “fix” situations that are helpless. I’m assuming most people feel this way when they read about the woes of the world online.
Even before the pandemic hit, there were wars going on in the world that I could do nothing about. I continued to let it creep into my subconscious and affect my daily life. I couldn’t help but let it in!
Quickly it started to dissolve my positivity, my physical strength and my immune system. Have you ever felt physical body pain from reading an article online? I have. I realized how impactful the content that I consumed on a daily basis was to my mental health, my relationships and my physical health. That’s when I knew it was time for a change.
If you’re like me, you check your notifications when they come up. You obsessively and compulsively check your comments and feel the pull of the response. That can be draining!
Hence, this article. Let’s find out ways to dial down the social media noise and still stay informed (and positive!).
Social Media Audit
One of the biggest things you realize when you’re in the middle of a “social media trend fest” is what kind of content comes through from whom you follow.
For years you may be following someone you thought you knew (newsflash – you don’t know these people online behind their profiles) and then something dramatic happens in the world and they all of a sudden pipe up. They say things that you had NO idea they felt. They turn into an expert on things you know they might not be. Everyone has an opinion all of a sudden and it is SO imperative to get it out to the world that there is a battle. It’s not your battle!
Here are a few ways you can begin the journey of filtering the noise of social media:
- Review (and trim!) who you’re following. You do not need to follow 3 million people that have a negative impact on your mental health. Review their feeds, their engagement and their comments. Trim out the people that don’t have a positive affect on your life, your future or your mindset. It’s okay to cut those people out of your life, trust me.
- Review (and purge!) your own content! You have evolved and changed over the years and your social profiles should reflect that. I wasn’t the same person that I was two years ago. If you’re actively engaged on deep matters online, be sure you still feel the same way you did when you posted (in the throws of emotion) at that time.
- Assess which platforms are needed (and throw away the rest!). If you are no longer a fan of a certain a social media platform, pitch it! If Instagram brings you joy and Facebook brings you sorrow – listen to those signs. You don’t need to be everywhere all the time. Pick a platform or two that will help you (or your business) and run with it.
Please dedicate some time to also understanding yourself, your opinions and your stance on things. Having an online identity is a reflection of who you are as a person.
You need to ask yourself, are you spreading love or hate online?
Filtering the Notifications
How many bleep blarp bubble dings did you receive today?
Your notifications can be your best friends or your worst enemies. The good thing is, they are adjustable according to the priority. And again, you have evolved from the same person you were when you set them up…maybe. If you’re not, and you feel good with all the notifications, skip this section.
Here is what I did when I felt so overwhelmed by the social media notifications across the board:
- Phone: I moved the apps that went off constantly to the second page of my phone screen – still open. I then adjusted the notifications of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat to be only when I am mentioned. I turned off “news, discovery or friends comments”. I turned off all lock screen notifications that didn’t mention me. Alternate idea: create a Social Media folder on your home screen and put all social apps in there, still minifying the notification settings.
- Desktop computer: Turn off ALL social media notifications! You do not need your social networks bothering you during your work day. You have a phone for that noise. Turn off desktop notifications and watch your “trending news” emails from those as well. You do not need a summary of news in your inbox, it should be your choice to read it, when you open it.
- Timeboxing: this concept is ideal for those that need to get things done in blocks of time (like everyone). Time boxing is literally blocking your calendar, email and notifications during a certain period of time to stay focused on the task at time. Here is an amazing color-coded (FTW) timeboxing example from Clockify. I dig the colors.
Shine a Positive Light
Understand that you have a voice. Your voice is important.
This means that you have an online voice and a presence that is contributing to the noise. Time for a social sense check up!
Ask yourself these questions when it come to your social presence online:
- How often do you post?
- What type of content do you post?
- Where do you comment?
- How do you comment and why?
- What do you re-share and why?
If the answer to any of these is based in a place of anger, hatred or judgment – take note! Your voice matters whether it’s good or bad. If you can provide insightful, educated and positive contributions – go for it! Post away. If you are online to simply debate, debunk, shoot down or spread evil – check yourself.
Also, proofread your posts! Just sayin’.
Please take a look at my social platforms….
Do you notice a theme?
Check out the profile information, the smiles and the positive vibe? Yeah, that’s online CBCInked. There is no hate, no judgement and zero drama. I’m not saying I’m the perfect online gal, however, this is one statement I am making by simply posting photos and content.
Your online life should be who you are in your real life!
If you have a negative feeling, ask yourself if it is worth it to post online? Is it going to hurt someone? Is it going to cause more anger to more people? And do you want that associated with you?
Staying positive online is NOT easy! You will need to fight three times harder to be positive over negative every time. But someone will reach out to you and say how much you’ve helped them and it will make everything worthwhile.
That’s also the reason I partnered with so many amazing people on this journey. You surround yourself with people that either lift you up and tear you down. Choose wisely!
You can be light or darkness. You choose.
CBCInked Wrap Up: Dial Down the Noise and Tune in to Yourself
The point of all of this is that you tend to lose yourself in the mix of social media when there is no need to.
You are unique! You are enough! You have a voice! All the things!
So when you begin your online presence on social media – it MATTERS.
Your mental health depends on the amount of content you consume on a daily basis. Know your sources, adjust your settings, tone down the notifications and take more time on yourself.
Peace. Love. And Artfirmations.