I love being on social media, most of the time.
I love having a platform to share from and I love seeing the kinds of things that my friends are interested in. I love the ability to connect with people all around the world, so I don’t lose touch with those I care about just because we live far apart. I love finding articles about things I never would have heard about otherwise. And sometimes I even get a belly laugh out of funny stuff that’s been shared.
There are so many positives to it.
And yet we know that it’s not all positive. In fact, it may be blocking your abundance.
Social media can become like an echo chamber, where we only choose to listen to the views of people who think the same way we do, and unfriend those who don’t. We can become a slave to that limited way of thinking, with our minds slowly narrowing and closing down without us even noticing.
When our thinking becomes narrow, we don’t see as many opportunities. And that can block our abundance.
Social media can also become an addiction, where we know that we’re frittering away time that could be spent far more productively but somehow we can’t help ourselves. Being unproductive can block our abundance too.
And, at its most damaging, it can become a medium that slowly eats away at our confidence and self-esteem. And protecting our confidence is the number one thing we MUST do if we want to boost our abundance.
Personally, one of the things that I notice as a result of spending too much time on social media, is a tendency to compare myself with others. And not in a good way!
I’ve written before about how social media can have that effect, in this post: Don’t Compare Your Back Stage to Someone Else’s Front Stage
The idea that there is a detrimental impact from heavy social media usage is backed up by some solid research data too. Which is to say, if you’ve experienced some negative effects from social media then you’re not alone.
A comprehensive Harvard study by researchers Holly Shakya and Nicholas Christakis (check it out here) has shown that increased Facebook usage is associated with lower physical health, mental health and life satisfaction.
“Overall, our results showed that, while real-world social networks were positively associated with overall well-being, the use of Facebook was negatively associated with overall well-being. These results were particularly strong for mental health; most measures of Facebook use in one year predicted a decrease in mental health in a later year. We found consistently that both liking others’ content and clicking links significantly predicted a subsequent reduction in self-reported physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.”
As with most things, I think awareness is key. Becoming aware of how your social media use is affecting you. And then making a plan to change things up if it’s having an effect that you don’t like.
I feel like I’m at the point where I have to implement some controls on my social media usage. I don’t want to quit it entirely, but I do recognise that it’s something I need to take steps to manage.
Fortunately I only really have to deal with a Facebook addiction… probably because it was my first social media love, and yet I quickly realised it was having a powerful effect on me, so I purposely never really got into any other platforms as a means of self-protection. But Facebook has me in its grip. And my 13 year old daughter is a user of Instagram and Snapchat.
So, what to do?
A couple of my friends have deleted Facebook from their mobile device and cell phone, so they have to go to their computer to check it.
For my daughter, I’ve implemented a rule where she has to put down her devices as soon as she gets home from school, practice her flute and do her homework before she can have her devices back again for a little while. Then, she has to bring her devices downstairs and plug them in to recharge overnight, by 8pm.
It seems to be helping her have greater focus and be less irritable.
Now, I think Mommy needs to do the same!
Let me know in the comments if you have struggled with social media usage, if the tendency to compare yourself to others on social media has ever affected your mindset, and what’s working for you to keep your social media experience positive and under control?
To YOUR Abundance,
Julie Ann Cairns