Is Social Media Making Us Miserable?
For the past few months, I have been struggling. And in all honesty, it often goes back to a single problem, social media. I’ve always had a love hate relationship with social media. Although the balance would be more like 20% like and 80% hate. I was late to jump on the bandwagon and have resisted ever since.
To delete or not delete?
I’m often left wondering if I should just go ahead and delete my social media accounts or at least the biggest offenders like Facebook and Twitter. I know that social media is not always bad and that it can often be used as a tool for good.
For example, each week I help to manage the Zidisha social media accounts. If you didn’t read my earlier post about volunteering with Zidisha, you can check it out here. Zidisha is an incredible microfinance organization that helps entrepreneurs in developing countries. Anyways, I know that each time that I share quotes and stories on Twitter and Facebook I am connecting our borrowers with potential lenders in the US and around the world.
As a result, I know that social media DOES have the power to enact change throughout the world. However, when I’m using social media on my personal accounts, I don’t feel the same sense of joy and knowing that what I’m saying and doing is making a difference. On the contrary, I’m often left feeling depleted and if I’m honest, exhausted and sometimes angry.
There have also been a lot of stories and articles circulating recently from former tech and social media execs surrounding the harm of social media. For someone like myself who is often challenging the use of these tools, this certainly adds to the confusion.
What is the solution?
More importantly, what is the solution? Do we all decide to boycott or all ban social media? Do we set strict guidelines or rules for ourselves? Or, where do we draw the line between healthy and unhealthy use? How do we better monitor who we follow and what we allow in our minds?
These are simply a few of the questions that have been running through my mind.
Is social media making us miserable? While I don’t have clear cut answers, I think it’s important to put more thought and intention into how we use social media in our lives.
For me, I hope this looks like limiting my social media use in the coming year.
Going forward I have 5 suggestions:
1. Don’t use social media when you’re already feeling down or unhappy.
2. Set time limits and boundaries: For example, only checking 1-2 times a day for 5-10 minutes at a time
3. Do something else instead. For example, when you’re tempted to get on Instagram or Facebook, download a Kindle book on your phone and read instead.
4. Unfollow anyone who either makes you feel jealous or is overly negative.
5. Connect more in person or via Facetime or phone. If you like social media because it’s…well, social.. substitute the social channels for the real connection.
Is Social Media Making us Miserable