Social Media: Worth Your Time?

Several research studies put our social media consumption for 2020 at an average of 3 hours per day – that’s 1,300 hours per year – spent passively watching other people’s lives.  Most have some awareness of the pitfalls of too much screen time, but a good number will still hit follow.

Most swear social media is how they communicate, a platform for dialogue and discourse – about everything from PTO meetings to the latest global conflict.  But are we really connecting?  Do we feel closer to those people we follow, a sense of belonging to the stories we read?  After 3 hours a day of scrolling do feelings of loneliness subside?  Are we more fit because we are following the athletic guru?  Do feelings of self-confidence increase after looking at impression managed self-groomed images? Are symptoms of depression and anxiety gone – or just avoided?

Yes, social media can have positive impacts, if (big if here) it is used with intention and purpose.  The mindless scrolling results in several less-than-ideal impacts on our wellness.  So, if you are feeling bold and up for an experiment, let be brave enough to picture an intentional use of time.  A “decide don’t slide” approach to self-care.  Not a witch hunt against social media, but rather a hunt to find what fills your bucket and leaves you with a sense of contentment.

Start with awareness.  This is the scariest part, being honest with yourself, and taking a glimpse in the mirror.  Simply start with tracking your screen time.  Most phones will do it automatically, all we must do is dare to look.  This is your baseline, your starting block.

Next, decide how you would potentially like to use some of those 1,300 hours this year.  Not all, but maybe half, which is still a stout 650 hours to play with.  There is no right or wrong answer here – go big or go small.  Get creative, make something – get moving, set a goal – plan a project, get it done.  The possibilities are endless, which may be more daunting.  So, if you are not sure where to start, start with Googling – coping skills, self care, wellness activities, ways to spend free time, enriching activities, new workouts, creative crafts, funky recipes, how to…

Lastly, be intentional.  When faced with some down time, make a thoughtful decision about how you want to spend it.  See your time as a valuable commodity and treat it accordingly.  Will looking at a screen leave you feeling refreshed, satisfied, and empowered? How would going for a walk feel? Or baking cookies, picking up a novel, being IRL with a friend, working in the garden, playing the guitar, throwing darts?

Social media is not evil, but we should consider if passively watching others is how we want to spend our time.

Or do you want to have your own adventure?

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