Social media: it’s inspiring and pervasive, informative and all-consuming - the ultimate double edged sword.
The recent spotlight that’s been shone on a select group of Byron Bay influencers and the hiding of likes on Instagram got us thinking about our own relationship with, and presence on social media.
As a business, we adore social media. It’s an incredible tool to connect with our current and prospective Arnhem customers, as well as our local and global community.
It opens the lines of communication between us - we receive feedback which helps us tailor our products and service to you.
It facilitates collaboration - we get to interact with like minded businesses and individuals to inspire and be inspired.
It increases transparency and accountability - social media has increased pressure for businesses to be transparent about processes, especially in relation to people and the planet.
We love that we get to use social media platforms to share our sustainability journey, and hope it encourages other brands and individuals on their journeys.
Social media is undoubtedly an incredible connecter, but it also has its dark side.
The link between social media exposure and poorer emotional, sleep, self esteem, focus and mental health outcomes is fairly well documented.
However, only recently has the causal nature of the link been established.
A new study published in the journal of social and clinical psychology found that limiting social media use resulted in improved well being; increased feelings of connection and happiness.
The study required half of the participants to reduce rather that eliminate exposure.
This is good news! Improving our mental and emotional well being needn’t mean flinging our phones into the nearest body of water.
By evaluating and adjusting our interactions with social media, we can put ourselves in a position to make informed and mindful choices.
We chatted with our team and these are our TOP 5 tips on how to embrace social media on your terms.
NURTURE FACE TO FACE INTERACTIONS
It’s easy to see why social media has become so widespread.
We’re social creatures; geared for connection and community - both of which social media can facilitate powerfully.
However, it’s important to ensure we continue to nurture our face to face relationships, which can be fulfilling in a different way.
Our face to face interactions tend to be more fulfilling when they’re nurtured with time and energy.
Parameters like ‘no phones at mealtimes’ can be helpful in countering the struggle many of us face with being present and focused when enjoying quality time with our loved ones.
TAKE SOME TIME OFF
We get a pleasant little buzz with every like, and chasing that buzz can be addictive.
This can result in a crisis of authenticity- are we doing what we’re doing because its a true reflection of our desires, or for the likes?
It can be really hard to determine.
Taking some time off social media allows us to remember and explore who we truly are without any risk of tailoring/skewing for likes.
By re-establishing our authentic self, we’re also able to engage with social media in a more empowered and deliberate way when we return to it.
MANAGE AND MONITOR
In charmingly ironic fashion, technology can be part of the solution to technology-based problems.
There are now some fantastic tools available to monitor and set goals for social media usage.
Your activity on Instagram allows you to view average time spent on the app and your weekly average, and the set daily reminder function allows you to set a time limit for using the app.
You’ll receive a reminder when your time is up, and you can then choose if you’d like to exceed that limit or not.
The screen time feature on iPhones gives you a breakdown on how much time you spend on each social app daily and also allows you to set time limits.
These functions, as well as the many apps available for this purpose, help draw attention to habits that can otherwise be automatic and unconscious.
A great starting point if you want to make changes.
MAKE IT A GROUP EVENT
Fear of missing out, otherwise known as FOMO is a genuine source of anxiety for many of us.
Taking time off or introducing parameters to our social media habits can spark worry about missing out on key events or information.
Setting social media goals/parameters with a few friends can go a long way to abating those fears, and encouraging all parties to stick with it!
Formulate your relationship with social media relationship based on how you feel.
Given the extreme variance in our sensitivities and confidence, triggers and insecurities, there’s no one recipe for social media usage that will work for everyone,
- which is where mindfulness comes in!
A mindfulness practice will allow you to observe the effects of your social media habits.
To analyse the healthiness of your current approach, it could be helpful to check in with yourself everyday for a fortnight or so, perhaps via journaling.
Then try putting parameters in place to reduce or change your usage in some way, and do the same thing.
You can then compare the effect of any given approach on your mental and emotional and even physical well being.
A daily meditation practice can really help with getting into the habit of observing our thoughts and feelings, and considering their cause.
Apps like Headspace and Waking Up make meditation incredibly accessible, clearly explaining its point and method.
By making previously unconscious patterns conscious, we gain the ability to choose what we do and don’t want to invite into our lives.
These tips help our team, in different ways, to have a healthy relationship with social media: we hope that some may be of interest to you 💗
By becoming aware causes and effects of our social media habits, we can extract the beautiful and connecting aspects of these platforms while keep its negative aspects at bay.
As social media so perfectly illustrates, we humans are a diverse bunch; and each of us must navigate our own way through our tech-orientated culture in a way that nurtures, protects and enhances our uniqueness.