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Shelley Bassett

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Working in social media without the negative side effects


April 5, 2019

Using social media without the negative side effects is almost impossible, but these hacks could help reduce the stress and FOMO

I’m on social media every day. I use it for marketing my art and products, I manage it at the company I work for and I set up accounts with branding as a freelancer. But it’s become increasingly hard to use social media without the negative side effects. So what to do when you can’t simply delete everything?

Using social media excessively often brings noticeable changes within a person, including depression, anxiety and FOMO (fear of missing out). So how can you work in social media without the negative side effects?

Social media without the negative side effects

If you have the option, delete as many accounts as possible. Do you really need Twitter, Facebook and Instagram? Generally, the answer is no. Even business don’t always have every account. Choose the ones you like the most, or that your audience uses and limit the amount of secondary accounts you have.

The next basic step is limit your time. Only allow 30 minutes or an hour to checking messages and scrolling through feeds. Then, get up and go do something different. You’ll see an increase in productivity and a massive drop in stress. I’m still working on this, but even with the internet being most of my job, I only spend 3 hours a day on my phone.

These days most phones and computers have screen time tracking. Go through your settings to see what your usage looks like, then work on reducing it. Imagine what you could achieve if you put all that time into a hobby!

Schedule your posts

The easiest way I’ve found to reduce my social media time without jeopardising my job is to have everything scheduled. Either on paper, in my head, or with an app like Tailwind. This lets me pre-plan my social posts, then have them auto-posted to the account. No need to accidentally waste an hour scrolling through Instagram after a share!

Scheduling my posts also lets me stay consistent and relevant without needing to log in and share 20 times a day. I use Tailwind for my Pinterest account, and just by letting it auto-post regularly, I now reach 1 million people each month. That’s crazy!

I’ve also started using it to manage my Instagram account. Because they’re a registered partner, all my posts are auto-posted, meaning I don’t even have to open the app for them to go live. For 100 free pins or 30 free posts you can sign up using my Tailwind link.

Schedule posts to avoid fixating at posting times
Schedule posts to avoid fixating at posting times

Limit personal use

All the talk so far has been about business management, what what about personal accounts? This is where using social media without negative side effects can be really tricky. And this biggest thing I’ve learnt here is to just… limit it.

I still have personal accounts for most of the major social media sites. But I rarely post to them. Trying not to overshare my life online is totally different from how I was 5 or 6 years ago, where every event was documented and posted online. But stepping back and enjoying the experience rather than posing for likes is so much more fulfilling and can really help change your perspective on social media.

For me now, social media is a business tool rather than a personal journal. I’ve learnt to keep private the things that are for me, and share those that I think will help others. My social platforms probably paint me as a workaholic as this is all I post about. But the reality is that I’m more balanced, because I only post for work.

Turn off notifications

If having all the apps installed is a must, and you still haven’t found a scheduler that works for you, try just turning off the notifications. One thing I noticed was how much I was staring at the lock screen after posting, waiting for the likes to come in. That’s a total waste of my time!

Reviewing how each post is performing is an important part of managing social media platforms. But anxiously refreshing the notifications, waiting for likes, is unhealthy and counter productive. Just go into settings and disable the messages. Then, you can intentionally set aside some time each week to look that how each post is trending.

Disable social media notifications
Disable social media notifications

I tend to set my notification preferences by app. I like to know when I have a comment or message that I should reply to, but I no longer look at the like count every time I post.

Clean out your dead social accounts. Delete as many platforms as you can, turn off the notifications and fight the negative effects of social media in your life head on.

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