Social media has changed our lives in more ways than one over the last couple of years.
I have found myself mindlessly scrolling through social media on my phone more times than I care to admit. I have recently been thinking about the hours I waste daily scrolling through my phone. This didn’t really hit home until my oldest daughter told me I spent too much time on the phone. My oldest is brutally honest, as most 7 years olds are. However, she can be too honest at times.
That being said, social media is a great tool we can use to connect with other mom friends as well as old friends and family we do not see as often as we’d like. I’ve even made some of my closest friends through social media. But how do we place healthy social media boundaries where it doesn’t consume our everyday life and allows us to be present?
Well, I have some tips for you, Momma!
I’d like to start by stating that everyone’s journey is different. Many people do use social media as a source of income and that’s okay. I’d just like to share some tips for setting social media boundaries that have worked for me.
# 1 Take a break
Are you feeling overwhelmed and find yourself just wasting time on your phone? I recently looked at my phone’s weekly usage report and it confirmed what I was dreading. I was shocked to see the amount of time I spent on social media. I’ve even caught myself picking up my phone for no reason and just automatically going straight into social media apps. This is when I decided a break would be nice. Using that time to meal plan and catch up on some good books.
Taking a break can look different for everyone. I have periodically taken anywhere from two weeks to a month off and I’ve noticed it has made my time devoted to friendships more intentional. I found myself texting my friends about their day as I didn’t have a trusty app to show me how it was going in their stories. A good beginner option is a screen-free day. I’d recommend picking a Saturday or a Sunday, where you can step away from social media and enjoy your time with the family or by yourself without feeling the pressure of posting.
# 2 Set a time
Maybe because of work, a break is not entirely feasible. Therefore set a timer or schedule NO SOCIAL MEDIA time blocks. Just as a normal work day is 8-5, find a time when the kids may be at school and you have the occasional hour or so to just leisurely scroll. Maybe you can break it into 20 min blocks throughout your day. Setting time blocks where you’ll be on social media can also help.
# 3 Keep electronics away from your bed
This means, don’t make your phone the first thing you pick up in the morning or the last thing you put down. This way, you are able to have some downtime with your partner and talk about your day before bed. Maybe use this time to pick up that book you need to catch up on before it’s time to get the kiddos ready for school. Both iPhones and Androids have a “downtime” feature that you can customize to help minimize unnecessary distractions.
#4 App limits
Another trick is you can use app limits on your phone. Just like blocking off time to be on social media leisurely or for work, you can set time limits for each app. This can look like one hour to answer DMs if you own a business or 20 minutes if you just want to catch up and/or post about your day.
# 5 Phoneless dinners
Dinner with family or friends is usually the time when you catch up on your day and talk about what’s going on in your lives outside the home. Making dinners phoneless, especially at home, can help reduce our habit of mindlessly picking up our phones and looking through social media. If you’re at a restaurant, maybe have everyone turn their phones over so you can avoid random social media notifications. This could be a good trick to help everyone engage in conversation.
Now, I don’t want to say social media is bad. Again, it keeps people connected and has made me feel a sense of community. However, there are times I find myself overusing it and it can become somewhat of a distraction. I have used some of these tips and I hope they can help someone else in need of a break. As usual, feel free to like, share and comment below if any of these social media boundaries have worked for you. Or share any additional tips and/or tricks to try!