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Nearly every one of us has that friend: The one who claims he or she spends too much time on social media and is shutting down all online accounts. These posts always leave me baffled. It’s the modern-day equivalent of “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”
First, let’s get things straight. No one actually cares enough to stop you. We’ve all imagined leaving at one time or another. But we also all have felt the fear of missing out.
If you think you can kick your social media habit cold turkey, then good luck. It’s an addict’s pipe dream. You might hold out for a while, but with so my relations on any given platform, it’s likely you’ll relapse with a new profile.
There is a solution. Keep reading, and you’ll learn how to make social media work for you.
Before we dive in, let’s build a little rapport: I’m a digital marketer and a psychotherapist. I’ve studied human psychology for over a decade in the persuasive and clinical realms. I don’t like to market myself as an expert, but my background puts me in a position of authority gained through professional research and first-person experience. Let’s start by reshaping some of the content you’re exposed to and help you get the most value out of your social media presence. In the process, you’ll grow personally.
1. Unfollow or unfriend all the whiny people.
You know who I mean. Some of these people are your friends, and some are family. Some even are work contacts. If we’re online friends and you’ve grown annoyed by my posts, do the same for me. Seriously.
Researchers at The University of California San Diego discovered scientific proof behind the adage that “you are who you surround yourself with.” Their work revealed a dynamic spread of happiness in large social networks. Their published report concludes: “People’s happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected.” Personal interaction remains significant, even in the era of memes and gifs.
2. Follow only the topics that matter most to you.
Health, relationships and wealth are among most people’s main themes. Is Upworthy too emotional and filled with clickbait for your current tastes? Stop telling me and unfollow it! If you want to know more about finance, making money and future advances, get rid of the silly meme pages that waste your time. Instead, follow trusted resources such as CNBC, WSJ, Entrepreneur and Futurism.
3. Find groups that teach through crowdsourced wisdom.
This is called building a digital mastermind. Find the right communities, and you can get decent answers with zero trolling insults. It’s also smarter and more targeted than asking your current friends for advice on specific topics. If they don’t share your obsession for these pursuits, they won’t have the knowledge base to care about responding to your question.
For example, I’m part of Reddit’s Beermoney and Entreprenuerridealong groups. I follow selected groups on Facebook, too: Cult of Copy, Local Marketing, Groove Learning, Chat With Traders and Rich20Something are just a few. On LinkedIn, I follow digital marketing groups as well as those focused on health and wellness.
4. Unsubscribe from your daily email gunk.
Find newsletters worth following and ditch the rest. It could be the best-spent 30 minutes of your week. Use Unroll.me to purge the junk today, and repeat in two months’ time. Instead, follow newsletters with content you’ll actually use in your work or personal life.
I’m subscribed to Mywifequitherjob, Ramit Sethi’s I Will Teach You To Be Rich, Videofruit by Bryan Harris, Sumome, Digital Marketer, Justin Brooke and many others who help me learn marketing at an accelerated pace.
5. Now do the same on YouTube and Snapchat.
I did. Now I have time to learn more about consumer psychology. I follow TED talks, Gary Vaynerchuck and Grant Cardone. Thanks to a friend, I’ve also discovered Morgan B and Justin.tv.
6. Take time off from consuming so you can produce instead.
This idea sounds a bit like a contradiction at first. But what good are you as a knowledge junkie if you’re not putting into action the information you accumulate?
Don’t just sit there, do something! Here are few ideas to feed your brain, body and soul:
- Go to the gym and try the workout routine you read.
- Re-create a new low-carb recipe you saw on Food Network.
- Call a friend to say “I love you” after filling your Pinterest board or Instagram feed with positive, caring quotes.
Some people inevitably will need to lower their social activity or deactivate selected accounts. Try these ideas before you unplug completely. I promise you’ll feel more positive and benefit from the daily shuffle.
In case these tips didn’t jumpstart your personal growth with social media, did you hear about the fat, ugly cat at the grocery store? What it did next was unbelievably cute.