I've never been one for adding extras to my to-do list. That's part of the reason that social media has always remained in the background for me. Just keeping up with email/WhatsApp/blogging is enough technology for me! I just added Instagram to that mix and we'll see how that goes...
For me, the most important aspect of social media is managing my time spent on it so that I keep it to the absolute minimal. I see a lot of rewards from leading a low-tech life and I plan to keep it that way. However, I also see the advantages of using social media as a platform to connect with other health-interested women and keep in touch with students that are all over the world.
As I balance my own technology/social media life, I thought I'd share some (hopefully) helpful tips for managing technology/phone time.
1. Take an inventory. Download an app that will track how much time you spend on your phone. I've used Moment (inthemoment.com) for phones or tablets. It's a good reality check- and a surprise- to see how much actual time you are spending on phone.
2. Turn it off. Yeah- remember those days, pre-2000, where having a cell phone didn't mean that we were always available? When I first got a cell phone it didn't mean that I had to answer every ring or text every 5 minutes. I actually remember exactly where I was when my roommate explained to me exactly what texting (aka sms at that time) was and how easy it made her life. This was 2002. Flash forward 16 years...WhatsApp is how friends/families/school groups communicate. Even with a phone that only has WhatsApp and no Safari or extra apps, I can still find myself reaching for my phone more than I would like. I find the best thing is to simply turn it off when I need to focus. People will find me later/call back/locate my house number.
3. Set a timer. When I'm working on a fun graphic to post on social media or tweaking my blog, time can get away from me. Time is too valuable to get caught on which font I'm choosing for a graphic:) While I'm careful to keep my computer hours to times when my kids are at school, even those designated hours need to be used wisely. I've found that setting a cut-off time means that everything on my to-do list has a better chance of getting done so "another five minutes" doesn't turn into an hour.
4. Take a break. It's okay to take a social media break when life gets busy or you just feel like your time/presence is better put into other efforts. A break could be a day or two, or even a week or more. See how you can reach out to those you want to continue to connect with, even without the Facebook/Instagram/Twitter chatter that usually keeps you in the know.
Experimenting with different habits that can be supportive to your health is part of finding exactly what works for you. Keep working on those healthy habits and happy thoughts to optimize your personal wellness:)