5 Ways To Limit Your Social Media Usage
In December 2016, I decided to take Love & LaRock on with full steam. I post to Instagram at least six days per week, put a blog post up twice per week, and shoot content every Friday. I have noticed that while Insta-Blogging brings so much joy and has connected me to many wonderful people and brands from all over the world, it’s also had some negative ramifications on my mental state.
I often wonder if I would be happier walking away from it all? I ask myself on a weekly basis if the stress of working full-time; being a wife, a friend and a mom; trying to stay on top of taking care of myself so that my depression doesn’t come back, all while running a side business, is work it? When I look deep down, I know that I am doing this all for the long haul. The truth is, we do want another baby. But the fear of getting PPD again and being a working mom is just too much for me to handle. After many long discussions, Perry and I decided that if baby number two is a reality for us, that I would take more time off from work than what my 12 week (unpaid) maternity leave allows. To do this, I have to be able to bring in some income. We don’t have the luxury of being on one income alone so this blog is the best shot I have at staying home for a bit.
So I continue to write, to create, and to connect because I really do enjoy it, even if the stress is sometimes overwhelming. But in order to keep up this momentum, I have had to make some major changes. I am becoming so focused on likes and numbers and what everyone else in the cyber world is doing, it’s interfering with my ability to be present.
Below are five things I have changed to make sure social media isn’t the main focus of my day:
1). No cell phone allowed in the bedroom: There have been countless days and nights when I have woken up to roll over to check my emails, Instagram account and more. It was sick really. Why on earth would I want that to be the first thing I view when I have a beautiful husband laying right next me? To curb the temptation, I now charge my phone outside my bedroom and use an old school alarm if I have to be somewhere in the morning. When I wake up now, I always set an intention and thank the lucky stars for having another day to live.
2). Limiting my usage after posting: I am guilty of pushing the refresh button over and over again to view likes and comments after I post to Instagram. This can, at times, go on for almost an hour. Like, what? That’s so gross! I decided enough was enough. I now allow myself 15 minutes to refresh and respond to comments before hiding the phone from myself. I realize that it has decreased the amount of comments that I can respond to right away, but I have noticed that I am so much more productive and happy when I am not concerning myself with how “well” a photo is performing or not.
3). Stop assigning emotional attachment to my content: Before, I would post a photo that meant the world to me. I would then get quickly discouraged when it wasn’t getting the likes or comments that I thought it would. I would think really unhealthy thoughts and attach my worth to the photo’s performance. I have had to work really hard at viewing my account as a creative outlet and business. If there is a photo that I am really attached to and know that my feelings will get hurt if it “flops” on social media, then I don’t post it. I print it out, stick it on my nightstand and find joy that way. I also decided that there is so much that Instagram does with the stupid new algorithm that it is out of my control. I find it so frustrating that one photo will get 2,000 likes white the next will get 600 because it didn’t reach many feeds that actually follow me.
4). No screen time after 10 PM: The last thing before I go to bed should be a book, a painting or my garden, not the phone. I now have a curfew, so to speak, and I turn my phone off or put in another room at 10 PM, no exceptions.
5). Stopped looking at bigger accounts numbers: I am totally guilty of looking at bigger accounts to analyze what photos of theirs performed well in terms of likes and comments and how much they grew overnight. The comparison game has robbed me from feeling good about myself or my accomplishments. There are some bloggers that grow over 100 followers a day, get out four blog posts a week or get thousands of likes, no matter what they post. I think that is amazing for them, but their success doesn’t mean that I am doing something wrong or that I am less than. I truly believe that there is enough space in the cyber world for everyone. I just keep staying true to who I am and what I want to share and that’s all I can do.