I deleted Snapchat about 2 years ago, after using it for about 2 years. Why? Because one morning, straight after waking up, I went on to check everyone’s updates (as was my habit back then) and I saw that a group of my friends had gone out without inviting me the night before.
How do you think that made me feel?
Like shit, obviously.
At the time, I had also just started meditating, and I am pretty sure it was through that that I was able to reflect and acknowledge that feeling and how I had ended up in that place.
I confronted my friend about it, and she said that it was totally spontaneous and she just hadn’t thought of me at the time. She felt bad, and said she would try to remember next time. Fair enough right? She didn’t actually owe me anything and it was nice of her to accept that that was how I was feeling!
It was NOT her fault I was feeling that way – that was do to with my insecurities at the time, and the fact that this app was in some way triggering those insecurities.
So I deleted it. And do you know what? Not a day has gone by where I have missed out on anything or wanted to use it at all. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the most useless social media apps out there. Yep, I said it!
Since that day I have also reflected upon my use of social media and the benefit in the apps I use.
At time of writing this, I actively use Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and YouTube (which is technically a social media but up to you if you count it). So, how do I use them mindfully, so they don’t affect me the way that Snapchat once did?
Facebook: I don’t have the app for Facebook on my phone as I find it very tailored to keep you there once you’re on it. I only use it on Safari which means the videos don’t autoplay or autoscroll (I was once stuck there for two hours?!).
Instagram: I have a reminder set to 30 mins/day on Instagram to tell me to get off the app. When I am looking at my friend’s stories, I make sure to keep it social by asking them questions about what they did and how they enjoyed it – letting them know when I am impressed or surprised by something they did. I am sure to be mindful with stories as it is a similar thing to Snapchat and if I find myself feeling worse, I am sure to get off the app straightaway!!
LinkedIn adds the most value into my life at the moment so it sits there and I use it daily! The interface is smooth but I don’t find it entrancing/addictive like the others.
When I tell people my thoughts on social media or that I don’t have the app they laugh at the irony of me being a social media coach! But don’t get me wrong, I love social media, the possibilities, the uses.. It is an incredible tool!! However, what I find fascinating is that when I meet people who are working in the digital/tech space, they end up being the most conscious of the time they spend online or on their phones. Why would the founders of Facebook have a tech free home for their children? It’s because they see it as a tool, NOT a way of life. Something that can affect you positively or negatively depending on how you use it. As with anything really!
When I work with clients I know how time consuming social media can be which is why I work with them to make sure they are not wasting their time online, and using social media most effectively for their business! I don’t want my clients to spend heaps of time on their social media! I want them to know how to use it so they can spend less time on it!
So, how about you? Are you being as mindful as you could be online? If you want any tips or advice about how to practice mindfulness online just ask, I’d love to talk to you about it.