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5 Tips for Setting Social Media Boundaries

I recently have been a lot more vocal about my relationship with social media and thought I would share a little behind the scenes. 

When I work really long hours, I start to go into this comparison mode. And then I feel like at the end of the day, sometimes my brain is so foggy that I can't process anything. Burnout, Anxiety, overwhelm, comparison, brain fog - it's A LOT, and it started to creep up ALOT more lately. I knew I needed to do things differently in my business and life so I started to study my habits a little closely, specifically as they related to social media, what I was doing on social media, and what results I was getting. 

And that part is key. 

I watched the Netflix documentary Social Dilemma and boy, was it eye-opening. Can you believe that one of the founders of Pinterest doesn't even have the app on his phone?!

I was also noticing my kids and my husband's relationship with me and my laptop. I joke that I have this office that I just redid because we've been home for so long, and I end up working at the kitchen table most of the time. But when my kids come downstairs and I'm on my computer or I'm on my phone, it creates this negative connotation, like, Oh, mommy's working again, mommy's on her phone again. It was assigned to me that I really wasn't being as present as I should be. Even though I'm obsessively time-blocking and making sure I'm doing all the things, I knew that I needed to change something. 

I started in networking marketing almost six years ago and as of November of last year, I couldn’t remember a day where I wasn’t on social media. We were taught back before Instagram to share on Facebook 4-5 times a day. Share 15 stories. Post every day. It was part of my everyday routine, but not in a good way. Can you imagine what you would do if you stood in line and while waiting didn’t scroll on your phone? I could not. 

My brain had ZERO whitespace. I was either working, parenting, or scrolling at all times of the day. And I learned that that white space is what I need to be successful, handle my anxiety, and honestly just have more joy (aka less comparison). 

I'm not saying that you shouldn't be on social media, but there are some steps I think that you can take to have a really healthy relationship. These five steps are some things that I do incorporated with Psychology Today. I love the psychological impact of some of these things!

  1. Set Timers. Anytime I go into any app, I set a timer. Even if it's just to scroll, I'm going to only scroll for 10 minutes. Or if I'm going to answer messages or emails, I'm going to do it for half an hour and set a timer for that.  Your phone (or apple watch) will tell you too how much time you’re spending on each app. Setting a timer will help keep you focused and prevent hours of unneeded scrolling. 

  2. You’re not “missing” anything. You can still be informed and take a break. At first, I felt this anxiety of, well, what if I miss something? Or what if people think that I'm not around? And actually, the opposite actually happened. People respected my business and my boundaries more because I was setting them and I was putting them out there. I’ll announce on Saturday, “Hey, I'm taking a social media free weekend and I'll see you on Sunday or I'll see you on Monday.” Think of all the other great ways to get information! Listen to podcasts, read blog posts,  read a book!

  3. Step back and evaluate. Is it a healthy relationship? Are you in a comparison trap all the time? How many forms of social media do you use and are you realizing, or just reminding yourself that social media is a highlight reel? 

  4. Turn off your notifications. I have every single notification on my apps turned off, so I don't get dinged about anything. I have to open the app to check notifications, which is done when my timer is set.

  5. Weekly unplugged day. For me, this is usually Saturday or Sunday, a designated day of the week where you do not look at social media. I actually take the apps off my phone so I’m not tempted to open them for a quick scroll.

What does this mean for my business?

  • I changed my strategy. (aka repurposing content and NOT on Instagram all the time)
  • Podcasting is my content pillar focus (which I love doing and can control). 
  • Pinterest and my FB community are my #1 organic lead sources right now (which I can schedule + also control)
  • My relationship with Instagram has changed. Set timers, focus on networking, provide value and establish authority (check out more about this HERE). 

I encourage you to take a look at what you are doing on social right now and ask yourself, can you do it consistently for 2-3 years? For me, it was a HARD NO. What can you do to control your time? And relationship? And actually, focus more on real life! :) Let’s face it we all use filters! Lol. 

Jump into the community and ask! And share! I am happy to help!

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