As per Statista, there are 4.59 billion social media users worldwide.
Social media has become a necessity in everyone’s life but setting certain social media boundaries is vital to avoid the dark side of social media.
Before jumping into these things, let’s see why social media is widely used.
Why are we hooked on social media?
The main selling point of social media is that it helps connect people no matter how far they are! Social media has always provided a space where one can express themselves. When MySpace was first launched, people got fascinated by the concept of social media pretty fast, and that is where the addiction began. Later, other social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, and TikTok joined the club.
Social media allows both extroverted and introverted individuals to express themselves. Social media provides a virtual escape from the lives hardships and serves as an outlet for people. Then why should we set social media boundaries in our daily life?
Why should we set social media boundaries?
If you want a healthy relationship, then having firm boundaries is a must – both in real life and on the web. Social media is a double-edged sword that entirely depends on how you use it. Creating boundaries for social media are required in our life as it helps in protecting our mental health.
Here are some adverse effects of social media
- The very first thing that is highly affected is our body posture. Various medical studies have seen alarming results for people who use smartphones for more than 4 hours a day. It can easily lead to rounded shoulders, spinal curvatures, vertebrate disorders, and so on.
- It makes us feel lonelier and provokes more sadness. A study stated that Facebook gave less life satisfaction.
- This creates significant chances of depression and anxiety as we are social creatures who require connections that help maintain our mental health. According to studies, it was seen that eye-to-eye contact with your near and dear ones can quickly reduce stress and regulates heart rate. But if you have more social media interactions on a daily basis, then there is a high chance of developing depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.
- Cyberbullying through social media has been on the rise. Bullying the weak ones has been a traditional sort of thing going on for ages. After technology has evolved so much, people are bullying people online.
- Electronic devices emit a blue light which is very bright for our eyes. Using smartphones while lying on the bed can turn out to be the most harmful because direct light exposure can easily destroy the retina and further lead to macular degeneration. Even youngsters are now undergoing cataracts, mainly people after the ’60s, and ophthalmologists have found a link between cataracts and smartphones.
- To balance mental and physical health, the key is perfect sleep. Our body must produce melatonin naturally to have a sound and healthy sleep. But, this is mainly disturbed by endless scrolling of social media. This affects our sleeping pattern very badly, reducing melatonin production naturally, and resulting in disrupted sleep.
13 Ways To Set Healthy Social Media Boundaries
We now know how important it is to set rules for social media boundaries in our lives for a better mental state; here are the 13 ways to create healthy social media boundaries:
1. Create No Phone Zones!
Our first tip for setting social media boundaries online is creating a no-phone zone. You can fit this into your schedule easily. Set a rule of not using a phone in a specific space, such as a bedroom or while watching TV, eating, etc.
No phone zone rules are one of the most influential and effective methods for setting social media boundaries. It helps create self-discipline and more time to focus on the world around you. Practicing this method also helps in constructing healthier relationships. It gives you more time for self-care too.
2. Do Not Compare
Social media is one of the reasons that everyone has fallen into this vicious cycle of comparing themselves with the one on the screen. Always remember that people always put their best foot forward on social media. It is not compulsory that what you see is true. Most of the time, it is a facade that creates an artificial reality that makes us insecure about our authentic selves. Hence we are comparing our real life with someone’s made-up life.
Your only competition is from the past you and how the present you surpasses the limits of your past. Stop being jealous and insecure by comparing yourself with others’ lives; what you see is not always true!
3. Set A Limit
One of the most needed tips for setting social media boundaries is limiting your intake. As a short-term mental health goal, set limits to your screen time on social media, but keep in mind to set realistic limits that you can stick to. Setting social media boundaries is essential for leading a happy life.
Setting achievable limits won’t stress you too much, nor will you get frustrated quickly. Social media has now become a working platform for a lot of people. However, it is still possible to limit yourself, set time limits on how much you need to work on social media, and remember not to exceed the limit in your free time to spend some time outside with nature!
4. Create A Self-Care Routine
There are several self-care activities you can take part in. Self-care might mean different for different people; it might be journaling, walking, music therapy, or others. This helps us be in touch with ourselves. Mental health awareness of yourself is compulsory, and self-care is one of the answers to it.
In this world full of chaos, find your peace by setting boundaries for social media that won’t affect your self-care routine. After all, we are humans and need rest to function properly, and practicing self-care can be the answer. It can be like a vacation from social media.
5. Take A Screen-Free Day
Taking time away from electronic devices like TV, laptop, Kindle, or others is essential. Take a screen-free day where you solely focus on the world around you and yourself, and try to maintain the bare minimum contact with electronic devices that can add up your screen time.
It will be like a getaway from your electronics. This can help you get rid of that headache you get at the end of the day after spending hours on electronics. This will help reset your brain and connect you to the real world.
6. Keep An Eye On Your Following
The people you follow create a massive impact on your life, it might not be that evident at first, but with time, it shows its effects on your behavior. If you find yourself filled with more negative thoughts after viewing a person’s page on social media, then unfollow them. If the content you are viewing is a reason for low self-esteem and self-confidence, then you need to find a different page to feel inspired and motivated.
Follow those who make you feel more grateful, teach you how to be happy in life, and make you more positive.
7. Monitor your time
One of the most helpful features of our phones that help us make strategies for setting social media boundaries is the screen time spent on a specific application. By this, we can analyze how long we spend on social media.
This could help you set goals and limits accordingly, which can help reduce your total screen time on social media. Track the time you work on social media and the time you spend scrolling on it. This feature in your smartphone can help you gain self-discipline and, at the same time, make you more productive by focusing on your work rather than spending time scrolling through your insta feed.
8. Move your apps
An easy and effective way to set boundaries on social media is by just moving your social media application to the last page of your home screen. As we are habituated to firing up our phones and surfing on the first screen of our homepage for the longest, moving the social media apps to the last might take our reflex action, as we say, out of sight, out of mind! This process is one of the easiest methods that you can use to learn how to set healthy social media boundaries.
9. Don’t Rush With Strangers
Meeting new people online creates a rush in us, but we need to remember that we should be wary of people we meet online. There are different kinds of people on the internet. Take some time to know adequately about the person you met online. This is one of the essential tips for creating boundaries on social media.
As per Dr. Dana Gionta, it takes six to nine months to know a person’s real character and personality. You might feel that you hit it off at first, but remember that the internet shows you what you want to see. Look for the red flags and build your relations wisely.
10. Do not take your phone to bed
Keeping your bedroom a blue wave-free zone is essential, as scrolling through social media while sleeping can create an illusion as if it is still daytime, and this makes you an insomniac. There are severe problems associated with sleep deprivation.
11. Start having screen-free meals
We have a terrible habit to watch something while we eat. Stopping this habit helps us focus more on the food instead of the screen. You allow yourself to reduce the amount of screen time you acquire slowly.
12. Social interaction days
One of the best strategies for setting social media boundaries is engaging more in social interaction in the real world rather than on the internet. It is an excuse to make you get out of your bed and explore the place around you.
Finding local events going around your place and visiting them can help you meet new people in the real world and make you feel happier. This will create a change of pace in life.
13. Ignore the hate
One of the best tips for setting social media boundaries is that when you face any hate comment, message, or post, you can ignore them for mental peace and to maintain calm. Engaging with or messaging them back won’t do anything other than disrupt your calmness.
Whenever you face such a scenario, try to avoid the person, or you could block and stop thinking about the page or post.
Social media is a great tool when used correctly. As we say, anything excess is poison. There should be a limit to your social media usage, and a social media detox is necessary for everyone. Setting social media boundaries is essential in this era where everyone is on social media 24×7.
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