How Easily Social Media Can Ruin Your Entire Life

Photo credit: MinaLegend (flickr) One of the hardest parts about my "job" is being on social media ALL OF THE TIME. I'm constantly looking at Twitter or Facebook or Instagram. And as I'm helping Holl & Lane and trying to be better about engagement and growing my own following I feel like it's just going to get worse.

There's simply no way to engage without seeing posts from other people. It's impossible. And while I enjoy getting caught up and seeing all of the fun things going on in everyone's lives, I also find that it makes me crazy for two reasons:

  1. It makes me feel bad about myself. My life. My relationship. I feel inferior.
  2. It makes me obsessed with stalking certain people. Celebrities, people from my past, and so on.

It might sound dumb (I even feel dumb saying it) but I realize how easily social media can ruin your entire life.

So in an effort to not let it, I'm taking matters into my own hands and I'm going to work on making social media, as a whole, a far more positive experience.

Here's my plan:

Stop comparing my relationship with every damn thing I see on social media. My Instagram isn't filled with all of these cute little perfectly perfect instagrammable moments. There are some, but I know many people with far more. But that isn't because we don't have them. It’s because a) I don't want to Instagram them all and b) some of them can't be Instagrammed. Like when we’re in bed laughing at King of Queens because we are exactly like Doug and Carrie. Trust me, no one wants to see that.

Realize that sometimes I don't post as often as I should because I'm living in the moment. The honest truth, my friends, is that most of the really great moments in life (the kind that I would love to post about) happen so fast that I'm not able to capture them. And I think that's OK. No, I don't think that's ok, I know that's OK. Sometimes I'm just too busy living life and enjoying it.

Stop over analyzing feeds that I believe make mine inferior. One of the problems of social media is that you have access to everyone. But you only get to see what they choose to let you see. That's not necessarily the reality of their world. And maybe it is, but who cares? I don't know why someone has 994 likes on a picture of a damn door and I probably never will. Some people just do. I might never be overly famous for the things that I do and that's OK. I love doing what I do and I love the people it's brought into my life.

Focus my energy on more positive accounts. Instead of looking at people that have brought negativity into my life or some celebrity that I don't even like, I've started to follow accounts that make me feel happy. Some are just random quotes, some are people who have faced some really incredibly challenging things, some are people that just share love and positivity with the world. By focusing more on the positive and less on the negative, it helps me to do the same.

Limit my time. Just because my job demands my attention on social media, doesn't mean I need to be on it every second of every day. I'm trying to limit my time here and there and, instead, focus my free time on other things. Like reading in the three seasons room. I can't wait to do that, you guys.

Realize I'm human. I will probably still stalk people because I find it fun sometimes. And I will probably feel bad sometimes. So I shouldn't beat myself up about either. I just have to get better at realizing where the line is and not crossing it. I really want to get back to enjoying the fun parts of social media. All of the things that attracted me to it in the first place. There are so many things that I've done and am currently doing that would have never happened without social media.

What about you? Do you find you have similar feelings with social media? Any tips for how to deal with it?