In deciding how you will use social media, it has to be for you. I went over my usage yesterday, not because that's how everyone should do it, but because tracing the journey might give you ideas for your own.
But yes, there is programming being done to increase the amount of time that you spend on social media. (My issues with The Social Dilemma can wait until next week.)
For example, lately on Facebook I am seeing notification about things like a friend updating a status, or one friend commenting on another friend's photo. They must not have enough notifications about things that relate directly to me. Okay.
Initially I checked on those things, assuming that the notification meant it was pertinent to me in some way. Now I have started ignoring them. I don't have a problem with knowing that Becky commented on Shannon's photo, but I don't need to know. I have also un-followed a lot of pages, because I was seeing more from them than from friends.
Ages ago I wrote about not letting Facebook stress you out. At the time, a lot of that was gaming requests, and my solution was blocking all of the apps. I sometimes blocked invitations from people who played every game, but usually blocking the applications as they came in was enough. There was a time when I played those games and sent invitations too; four of my friends came about through Hatchlings. Now I don't even know if it's a thing.
The first part of this post is really to decide how you want to use social media, and then how to do that.
Good questions to ask yourself might include...
- Am I neglecting things that are important to me because of my time spent on social media?
- Am I surprised when I see how much time has passed after I have been viewing social media?
- Is my mood worse after seeing posts? Does it make me scared, angry, or sad?
- Am I getting misinformed through social media?
Not all potential answers are going to be about social media use. Some people have issues with comparing to others, and then feeling worse. That may indicate more of a need to deal with personal insecurities, which can be harder than limiting social media but also more beneficial.
I know someone who has felt hurt multiple times because she expresses herself on Facebook and then it feels like everyone is attacking her. Yes, one possible conclusion is that she has horrible friends and should block them, but in this specific case the issue is that she has horrible opinions and people are largely being really gentle with her. That requires a different solution (and more self-awareness than is likely, because she is unfriending and blocking).
The analysis can be tricky, but ultimately you are checking for a gap between how you are interacting with social media, and how you want to. That may require multiple decisions.
I don't know much about business use; I have discovered that I cannot sell myself, so while I do occasionally link to my books, that's the extent of it for me. You can use Facebook for friends and Instagram for customers, or have separate profiles for personal and business, or link everything so that when you post on Instagram in automatically tweets and posts on Facebook.
(However, if you do want to have some social media use for your business, you should take note of whether your target market prefers one platform to another, and how they use it.)
For personal use, then it becomes a lot more emotional. Especially now, during a pandemic, does it help with connection and support? Does it add to stress? That doesn't have to be how you get support, but if you feel yourself more stressed or depressed as you use it, that is a good reason to change.
As I wrote yesterday, my priority is relationships. That is why I do things like #RememberSeptember where I want to reach out to people and remind them that I care and that we have had good times. It has been very rewarding, and I am going to keep it going into October for a while.
Maintaining relationships is also why I have put a 30-day snooze on a lot of people. Sure, that's great for now, but at some point next month when things are really heating up they are all going to expire and I may start feeling like I hate everyone. However, I know that. I will recognize when it is happening. That's the benefit of thinking these things through.
Being more mindful may help on its own. Scheduling specific times to check your feeds might work. Deleting the apps from your phone - and only viewing social media on a PC - might work. There are apps that will time your usage.
One of the movie subjects talked about deciding to leave his phone in his car, or to not look at his phone, and then not being able to resist the temptation. If that's you, you may need to enlist help.
I never post on Instagram, because you have to do it through the app, and you can't install the app on a PC. Years of cheap phones have gotten me used to not doing social media on my phone. The technology has advanced enough that my $15-on-Ebay phone can handle social media, but I like that it is not always with me. When I am away from the keyboard, I have no idea if my posts are being liked or argued with, and I like that.
If I were an artist, and Instagram seemed like the best way to market my work, I would have to find a way to deal with that. Maybe it would be having Instagram on my phone, but still leaving Facebook and Twitter for the computer only.
As long as you are not doing harm, I don't think
there is any wrong way. However, doing harm can include spreading misinformation, stressing out other people, and it can include harm to yourself, so please take that caveat seriously.
These are just ways of thinking about it, and I hope they can be helpful. Now I want to address that second part of post (and the movie), for which I am completely unqualified.
I do not know how to help your kids on social media.
I do know, with that guy who said his teenagers don't use any social media at all... I think he is fooling himself. Or more accurately, I suspect his kids are fooling him.
To have forces that are working on altering on the brain working on the still-developing brains of young people is a scary thing. That's not just the psychology. One theory on why children are starting puberty sooner is that the screen light fools the brain into thinking they have been alive for longer, seeing more days. It's not the only theory, but it gives me pause.
Without having the answers for that (but believing in the importance of respect and open communication), I want to say that I got really irritated watching the phone-less teen flopping around on his bed, bored. Pick up a book! Draw something! Listen to some tunes!
And I thought that, but then I remembered that a lot of the educational materials for reading now turn kids off of reading, and that music, art and PE have been cut from schools.
With the reading thing (that is from The Book Whisperer in my education reading), I am not saying that those companies specifically don't want kids to read, but they want to make money and so they may not have the best interests of the kids at heart. Also, maybe teaching to the test isn't the best idea.
Regardless, a lot of those things being cut come from people (and especially companies) trying to get away with paying as little as possible, though education is a valuable investment. Furthermore, even a lot of people trying to revolutionize education are trying to make students into good future workers, instead of people who understand their world and how to navigate it and live satisfying lives within it.
I believe if we aim for the latter, we will have people who are then perfectly capable of being good workers, unless you're just against critical thinking skills.
I'm just saying, there's a bigger picture.