You probably can’t even remember the days before social media.
While social media sites are everywhere today, there really was a time when young people didn’t know everything about everybody. They got by without knowing things the instant they happened. Information sharing was a little slower, calmer, and a lot less stressful.
Leisure activities actually had something to do with resting and decompressing from the stresses of life. Social media, in comparison, is anything but a relaxing activity. But it’s probably an integral part of your everyday life. So, how can you make it as stress-free as possible?
1. Pick Your Friends Carefully
More is not always better. There’s an indisputable link between large social networks and increasing levels of stress and anxiety. So, don’t worry so much about getting everybody to follow you or friend you. By minimizing your network you can minimize your stress, too.
Quantity is certainly not quality. Look for valuable friends, not volume in friends. And restrict access to pictures and status updates to those you know and trust. Those who you can count on to not misuse the information you share or make it more public than you intended.
2. Don’t Throw Stones
As the saying goes, when you live in a glass house you shouldn’t throw stones. That isn’t just true for people who have a thin skin. Being sensitive to how you treat others will make your life much easier. When you treat others the way you want them to treat you, you not only set a good example, you take a proactive approach to eliminating stress.
Learn to be positive. Keep any negative or even sarcastic comments to yourself. Granted, you may be annoyed with somebody’s behavior or don’t agree with their opinions, but you don’t have to drag them through the mud. Remember, when you start throwing mud, someone’s going to get dirty. And it may just be you!
3. Share – Don’t Compare
Turning social media into a game of who has the best and most won’t decrease your stress. All it will do is make you more frustrated when you realize you can’t keep up with some. Your social status is not all that counts, and it certainly doesn’t measure your worth.
So, instead of looking through other people’s pictures and letting yourself be drawn into unrealistic comparisons, why not simply be happy for them. Don’t compare your life with those who seem to have it all and allow it to demolish your self-esteem. Instead, share the fun things you enjoy with those who’ll enjoy them with you.
4. Don’t Kiss and Tell
While it may be a matter of pride or bragging or simply you being happy about your new “involved” status, in order to minimize stress, you may want to keep your love life offline. When you’re single, some may poke fun at you for not having a significant other. When you’re happily coupled, others may become envious or become annoyed with all your lovey-dovey pictures. And when you’ve broken up, someone will more than likely take pleasure in rubbing it in. Why would you expose yourself to that?
Even when others are not quite that malicious with comments, keeping the topic of your love life offline will help you avoid unsolicited relationship advice or falling into the trap of airing out your dirty laundry in front of everyone. Some things should just stay private.
5. Unplug and Recharge
As with any other stressors in your life, sometimes it’s just best to walk away for a while. Unplug from that cell phone, that tablet, or that laptop and immerse yourself in a hobby that has nothing to do with technology. Or why not connect with friends and family offline.
Sure, social media makes it easier to stay connected with them when you’re apart, but it can also keep you apart when you’re together.
Remember, time is precious! Don’t allow it to just slip away while you’re busy viewing and sharing and tweeting. Budget it like you would money. Decide how much time would be reasonable to spend on social media and stick to the boundaries you set.
When you manage your online time in this manner, you won’t just find that your stress will decrease, you’ll find that your enjoyment of the time you do spend on social media increases as well.
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