I mean, it's just exhausting, right?
Some of us were raised to be people-pleasers and often give more than we get back in return.
That's why we put together these eight ways you can take back your time and sanity by no longer being SO nice to everyone online:
1. Forget about your number of followers.
We’d all love to be the next big "influencer" but the reality is the most popular Instagrammers have a team of people working behind the scenes to curate their social media accounts. They generally have a big budget courtesy of sponsors and advertising.
Follower numbers are actually starting to be called a vanity metric because it’s easy to buy followers who aren’t genuine people. Sure, one of your friends might have a thousand more followers than you, but I doubt they have met all of these people in person.
If you want to be on social media, it’s more important to have meaningful and genuine interactions with your followers. The old saying of ‘quality rather than quantity’ applies here. A better way to measure your success on social media is through your engagement with people — and most importantly, how it makes you feel.
2. Know that you DO NOT have to follow anyone back.
When I originally started using Twitter the general advice was to follow anyone who followed you back. My account grew quickly but my feed was filled with content I didn’t want to read and spam. I have started the slow process of culling my followers and creating lists.
My aunty has a good strategy for using social media. She doesn’t use Facebook or LinkedIn actively. Instead, she mainly uses Twitter because that’s where her children are active. She only follows those people or companies she truly wants to see — and that’s fewer than a hundred accounts.
3. Hide people you really don't want to see in your feeds.
One of my Facebook followers was a dear friend who kept posting snarky quotes about how all men are bad. I felt for her, as I knew she was going through a nasty divorce, but I didn’t share this negative view of men. Rather than unfriend her, I decided to “hide all from Jane” (which can be found on the gray icon to the left of the post name).
Several years ago, I started to have dreams about some of my old high school friends (who I hadn’t seen in person since graduation). I decided that was totally weird, so I hid all of their accounts on Facebook. The good thing is that I can still check up on them whenever I think about them but I see less content in my daily feed.
4. Set up some personal rules.
There are all sorts of rules you put into place for using social media. Here are mine:
- I have a close-family-and-friends-only policy on Facebook and shut down all of the privacy options.
- I only accept friend requests from work colleagues after I have left a position.
- I have various Instagram accounts for the different parts of my social life.
- I don’t post on social media during work hours.
5. Say no to photographs.
If you don’t want your photograph posted all over social media, then you have the right to speak up and ask people to not take a photograph of you. You are also within your right to ask them what they are going to do with the photograph. I find if I raise my hand to protect my face and say ‘No, thank you’ most people get the message.
Please also get in the habit of asking others for permission before you take or post their photographs.
6. Feel free to exit stage left.
An old friend of mine decided she didn’t want to participate on Facebook anymore, so she wrote a beautifully heartfelt email to all of her followers and asked them to contact her on email if they wanted to communicate with her.
Then she deleted her account.
7. Turn down the volume as needed.
If you are starting to feel overwhelmed with information overload, simply start saying no to yourself. Start by limiting the amount of time you spend on social media to once a day or fifteen-minute blocks (some people like to set a timer). Turn off all the notifications, dings and beeps.
Spend some time each week unsubscribing, unfollowing and unfriending.
8. Once a month, give yourself a digital detox.
I’m a big fan of taking a digital detox once a month. It’s hard to do the first couple of times, but the best thing to do is to turn your mobile phone off completely and spend the day away from your home so you aren’t tempted by the television, computer or your tablet.
The best ideas for things to do during a digital detox include having a picnic in the park, spending a day laying out at the beach or taking a hike to explore nature.
Remember, if you ever feel anxious or depressed about using social media, it’s best to talk to someone in person about your feelings.
Social media is a curated way of presenting our best foot forward to the rest of the world. Sometimes we need to set boundaries for ourselves so that we can manage expectations and our personal time online.
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This article was originally published at Slutty Girl Problems. Reprinted with permission from the author.