How to Stay Connected on Social Media Without Disconnecting to Reality
Mood Music: It Goes Down in the DMs by Yo Gotti
I tired of Fit Tummy Tea, corsets, the words bae, zaddy, daddy, fleek, lit, turn up, bih, bruah, the phrase “slim thick”, teeth whitening blue lights, breasts, butts, BodyCon dresses, Donald Trump, Arthur, SpongeBob and Mr. Krabs. Basically, I’m exhausted with social media.
So you might be asking yourself, “If you are tired of social media why are you on social media complaining? Go back to your corner of the world and let us live. Go be a grandma somewhere else!”
The answer is I know that I am not alone in my weariness of social media, however I’m sure you all know the secret I do- disconnecting from social media is disconnecting from current events and in turn people.
How do I know? I have firsthand knowledge.
My Social Story
I’m telling my age by saying this, but in my life and time I have had a Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Myspace, Bebo, been a Yahoo Group page member, I even had a Black Planet profile, but for the space of about a year I disconnected from social media.
I was in a period of heavy depression and I just didn’t want to be social. So I deactivated my personal Facebook and only logged on to my old twitter account occasionally to make a comment.
I was happy under the radar, living my life in a very old school format, but I noticed after a while that I has no longer just disconnected from social media, I was disconnected from current events.
I didn’t know what Instagram was, who the hell Dougie was (it turned out to be a dance), or all the in depth details of Kim and Kanye’s wedding.
My conversations with my friends began to suffer, because I just couldn’t relate. So after a while I gave in, I traded in my old phone for a smart one and rejoined the world of social media.
I was nearly addicted as I navigated twitter’s new interface, caught up with old friends and classmates, and learned how to dab.
I even found out that Jesus was not the only Vine people were talking about. I became like the people I always made fun of- sitting at social gatherings and being more social with my phone than the people around me.
I knew I had a problem, but what’s a girl to do? Disconnect and walk around oblivious to what’s going on in the modern world or learn to navigate the social media sphere in a way that I didn’t feel like I had to post a picture of my cup every time I went to Starbucks with the hashtag #girlproblems?
As tempting as disconnecting sounded, I had to accept the fact that knowing what’s happening on social media is as important as staying current with the news and knowing about contemporary political events.
Social media has become a necessary evil, so I came up with some tips for myself that may even help you stay connected without disconnecting to the real world.
Tips for Social Media Usage
- Limit your time on social media– Know that those little peaks down your timeline during lunch break or in the doctor’s office waiting room can add up. Be conscious about limiting your screen time to about thirty to forty-five minutes a day.
- Have at least one day a week of being totally unplugged- Enjoy some time with your family, friends, and pets. Schedule at least one day a week where you do not log onto any social outlets. It is a good way to get things done and be a little more precious about your time on earth (Reflection: The Passage of Time and How to Make Use of Every Moment )
- Don’t scroll on social media in bed– If you are like me, you have made yourself late for work or other important obligations by either scrolling down your newsfeed or timeline late into the night or after the alarm has sounded. It is easy to get caught up laughing at memes and catching up with friends for hours, but it is not a good idea. Make better use of your day and your time in bed than worrying about what Mr. Krabs and Arthur’s Fists are up to lately.
- Don’t live for social media– Social media can be a part of your life without being your life. Don’t go places or do things to show off for the ‘Gram or the Vine or whatever other social media outlet. Be present in the moment, and don’t make a habit of viewing your life from behind a camera.
The Break Down
Hey, don’t feel guilty about spending time on social media! We are human and everyone is eventually going to waste a few hours consecutively behind a screen at some point.
It is ok for sometimes, but don’t make a regular habit out of it. Social outlets are a cool way to meet people, make friends, or even find your potential soulmate, but do realize that the most genuine form of connection is face to face without depending on likes or shares for validation.