Mar 17, 2021
“By erecting healthy boundaries, I am able to assess what my limits are and make space for what is important to me,” says Minaa. “Boundaries are essentially how I take responsibility for my content and decide what I want to interact with and what I don’t. Practice boundaries with your device in general, assess why you feel inclined to be next to your phone all the time and what you think you’re missing out on.”
Liz recommends only following people who inspire you and doesn’t trigger any emotions that you don’t want to feel. “I have times where I’ll be on Instagram, and I’ll make a point to respond to DMs, but I set very rigid boundaries and time schedules around that to protect myself,” says Liz. “I’ll potentially mute things or use the block button if I have to. I do my best to make sure that I’m not letting this app or any of these apps take too much of a toll on my overall wellness.”
Both Minaa and Liz believe in blocking, if necessary. “If I see something negative, I don’t have an issue blocking people from my online space,” says Minaa. “I am human, so words can hurt sometimes, but I have to challenge myself when I am filtering only on the negative, and not making space to honor the positivity that is also happening around me and toward my content.”
While taking breaks is essential when social media is part of your day to day, unplugging is also important. “My practices change often, but some tips would be: pick a time during the day when you want to unplug and either remove the app altogether or set an in-app limit to alert you when it’s time to log off,” says Minaa.
Liz notes that finding supplemental activities is a great practice when you feel the urge to be on social media. “Whether that means reading a book or putting a puzzle together or doing something else that works with you to be a little bit more present and mindful in the moment can also serve as a good and a healthy distraction to what’s going on,” she says.
“Delete the app on your phone,” recommends Liz. “You don’t have to delete your account, but you can get rid of the app. That will help from removing some of those urges of being on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or whatever app it is.” Liz notes that we’re so used to the muscle memory of scrolling to where the app is on our phone and clicking on it. So she suggests being mindful of those behaviors.
Minaa takes a similar approach. “When it becomes too much, I simply delete the app so that I am not enticed to log in,” she says. “I also currently have all notifications for all social media apps turned off so that I am not inclined to respond to alerts that I’m receiving consistently.”
It sometimes feels impossible to separate yourself from your phone. But Liz notes that a good practice is keeping your phone out of sight, putting it in a drawer, or simply putting it somewhere else. “Even limiting your screen time overall before bed, trying not to be on your phone so you can get a quality night’s sleep can be super helpful,” says Liz. “I would say be very mindful of the content that you’re consuming overall. People typically share all of the really good things that are going on in their life and don’t really share the lows, and it becomes easy to get consumed in a mindset of constantly seeing all the good things happening for everyone else.”