What is Social Media Doing to You?

We curate everything in our lives. From who we talk with to what we view on social media platforms, we create the world we want to see around topics that interest us. Social media plays a big role in what we view and listen to each day. It’s evolved over the years and with those changes, we experience both the positive and negative outcomes of our social media habits.

Social media provided many positive results over the years. People connected and reconnected. Nonprofit groups reached people far and wide. Movements for change occurred through social media. Fundraising reached remarkable highs and new businesses thrived through social media.

In my own world, I created and promoted a new blog via social media. It resulted in meeting working moms from around the world. I connected with new people and groups when we moved to a new town. I started my inclusive playground advocacy work with Facebook posts and interactions. I recently joined a Facebook recipe group to learn more about diet options since I have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux  (LPR). The possibilities to connect are endless.

We also see the negative side of social media with predators, bots, bullies, and trolls. In recent years, the trolls and predatory users have become so bad that you don’t have to be on any platform very long without reading a negative comment or witnessing a heated exchange.

The economy, political discord, and a global pandemic created a cesspool of posts, reactions, and debates. It’s become so bad that you can find studies about the effect social media has on your state of mind. While it has many positive aspects, the negative can have a detrimental impact on how you view the world. We have so much stress and worry today it might be time to put down the phone and log off the laptop to take a break from social media.

I limited my social media use a lot in the last few months and adjusted how I curate the content that I think is healthy for me to view. I’m not suggesting to bury your head in the sand over the events of today, but you can adjust your viewing habits so you don’t bury yourself with doom and gloom.

What is social media doing to you? Evaluate your own habits by asking these questions.

  1. How many social media channels am I on? Write down each and the positive/negative aspects of your experience on each platform.
  2. How much time per day, per platform do I spend scrolling, posting, and commenting?
  3. Why is this platform important to me?
  4. Does it have a positive or negative influence on my life?
  5. Do I fight, debate, and argue with people on any of the platforms?
  6. What kind of mood am I in before and after looking at each platform?
  7. What other things can I be doing instead of looking at social media? Write them down. Hint: There are a lot of other things to do!

Take inventory. Evaluate. Make a Change.

If any of the platforms are making you feel anxious and angry, then take action by limiting time spent on social or removing an app from your phone. I’ve removed Twitter a few times from my over the last few years because it was fueling my worry and anxiousness.

Some people choose to move on from social media and others will choose to get involved to make change for a particular cause. Either way, it’s time we take control of aimless scrolling. Be purposeful with what you view, how you view, and when you view. You’re in control of your own content curation and social media experience.

Between the pandemic, economy, and political craziness, I get to a point where I can’t stand reading and seeing the chaos in the world anymore. It’s not serving me. Are your social media habits serving you?

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