We probably know people who are happy because they dance or sing, who finally met up with their friends, who finally perfected a recipe after many trial and errors, or who figured out a mathematical equation after days of pondering. But do we know anyone who is happy because they use social media?
The aim of this post is not to say, ‘social media makes us unhappy, let’s delete our accounts.’ Because it’s impossible for me to know the results of the idiosyncratic relationship each person has with their social media accounts. But you probably know yourself well. Which experiences make you the happiest? Which activities that you make time for make you feel lucky? Receiving news from which people makes you happy?
If the deep chasm between your answers to these questions and the time you spend on social media shocks you, then we can come to the aim of this post. For those who want to acquire a new skill, produce new ideas, develop oneself, be more beneficial to their surroundings, or ignite the love for those hobbies that have been collecting dust due to abandonment, the excuse is always the same: I don’t have time. Then let’s use social media according to certain goals in order to create more time.
Step 1: Choose the social media platform that is most appropriate for your favorite goals, and delete, freeze, or forget about the others. If you can’t stay behind the latest news for even two minutes and you’re addicted to verbal one-upmanship, then Twitter is perfect for you. For those who follow what everyone is up to: Facebook. And for those who’d rather starve than live without images: Instagram.
Step 2: Determine what you need for social media to be good for you. No matter which platform you choose, the possibility of the endless feed is always present. Think about how you can turn this feed into something personally beneficial. What were those things you enjoyed doing? (See paragraph two). Remember those. Follow accounts that give you morale, motivation, ideas, and inspiration in regards to the things you want to develop. Those who trust themselves can limit their social media to only these kinds of accounts.
Step 3: Designate a specific daily time slot for social media usage and don’t stray outside of it. I kept the most difficult one for last. We all live addicted to the feed. Our cure for feeling the depth of our dependence and freeing ourselves (even just a little) from our addiction to social media, which wasn’t even a part of our lives five to ten years ago, is as follows: We’re going to use high school level psychology lessons (such as Pavlov’s dogs who salivate to the sound of a bell or Kant leaving the house at the same time every morning) on ourselves. We choose one (maximum two) time slot that is prone to be the most uneventful. We set ourselves a rule of not going above thirty, twenty, or (if we’re assertive) ten minutes and control ourselves (with alarms if we have to).
But more important than anything, we choose to see the whole matter as a game. Nice work if we can manage it and benefit from it. And if not, where are we having problems?