How much time do you spend on social media? Be honest. If you’re reading this than I would assume it’s way more than an hour a day.
I definitely spend more than an hour a day on social media. If I were to add in all those little minutes here and there I would estimate 3-4 hours (work + personal), although my husband would disagree. So, how do I manage my time? Sometimes I don’t, but I try to put effort in keeping it structured to not feel overwhelmed and to get the most out of my time.
These five social media tips are about the little things that can make your time on social media (and in life) more enjoyable. This may even be a post for those of you who are not fans of social media, but are looking to get more involved with it.
5 Life Hacks: Social Media Tips
These tips are NOT about increasing followers or how to use Hootsuite. I think those are basic posts that are all over the web and they tend to repeat themselves. These are my life hacks—some I use religiously and others I’m trying to improve on. They all however make my social media life more smooth.
Feel free to share your own tips in the comments below!
1. Track your time
There are two sites that I recommend for tracking and managing time. One is Tomato Timer based on the Pomodoro Technique. The rule is to work for 25 minutes straight with little breaks of 5-15 minutes in between. This is especially useful when you’re using social media because for some reason time ceases to exit and POOF it’s 6pm and you forgot to go to the grocery store and walk the dog—yes, this has happened! Use Tomato Timer when you know you need to limit your time on social media, so you don’t wake up and it’s October.
Next, I use a time management system called Freckle. I love it because it’s easy to track all the projects that I work on, but if you’re looking for a free service then check out these other time management apps. It will help you give yourself an overall picture of what you really spend time on, so you can learn how to be more efficient or what to focus on more. Just remember to STOP the timer before you go to bed or you’ll wake up to 13 hours on your timer even if you only worked for 20 minutes…this too has happened to me!
2. No devices during meals
Meals are sacred! I don’t have a cellphone (here’s Life Without a Cellphone article in case you were curious about how people live without one) so my iPad mini is glued to me, but if I’m with a friend then I almost forget I even have my iPad with me.
Time is precious, so I try to focus on where I am and who I’m with. Now, if that friend is a blogger too then all hell breaks loose. You may catch us taking a picture of our food and tweeting it. That takes a hot second, so no serious time is lost, and then right back to the here-and-now.
If I’m having dinner with my husband I admit that I check my notifications when he leaves the table—like a little kid, I hope he doesn’t catch me and sometimes he takes it away, as he should!
When I’m eating alone at home then I love to watch interesting interviews or read articles. I try to give myself some time to do other things than see who’s tweeting or liking what. I love food, so social media comes second.
3. Don’t believe everything you see
You may have heard of YOLO—you only live once—and many people seem to share every waking moment of their YOLO life online, maybe as away to feel connected? Or as a way to fell secure? Or as a blogger, a way to live and breath your blog? I love to share tips and funny things online, not so much about the roses my husband bought me or that my family is freaking awesome! I feel like if I share too much of my real private life then I should share it all. The good and the bad.
There are tons of studies that say Facebook can increase anxiety. This is no bueno especially for the younger generation. Social media should make us more connected in a good way, but when used poorly or too much or when you believe everything you see a person can go crazy or jealous or start to feel unlucky in life.
For some reason I’ve never really believed in what people say or do. Like when I was a Realtor I never believed some guy was going to buy that big ‘ol house until I had a signed contract in MY hand. The same goes for photos/videos I see online. I’m not saying I have trust issues, I’m saying that I don’t take everything I see, especially on social media, to heart.
I know that people only share what they want you to see, but what about all the photos and status updates that they don’t share? Fights with family? The fact that they may not have a family? Fights with friends or boyfriends? Everyone has problems, so just remember that the next time you want someone’s fake Facebook life.
This video sums up what I think when I see a cute selfie of a couple on social media. We all do it to an extent. If you share the good should you share the bad?
4. Block ’em
You may be following some people on Twitter and Facebook who don’t really do it for you. They may be your long lost cousin who keeps posting random selfies or that one friend who keeps sharing all the bottles he’s poppin’. Look, there are a LOT of people you’re connected to and it’s OK to not care about them all.
Even those random people you may not have ever talked to, but they friended you because your parents are friends…why would you care what they ate for lunch? I try not to accept every stranger’s friendship request unless I know that we’re connected to many of the same people or if they are women living in Florence, since I guess that’s what expats do. Unknown dudes, no thank you. When I deny a request Facebook automatically has them follow me, so as a blogger I don’t really loose a potential reader or whatever they would be.
To unfollow someone on Facebook, simply click the “Following” button. You don’t block them, you just won’t see them in your timeline ever again.
To mute someone on Twitter (which means they will not show up in your main feed), go to the person’s profile, click the gear icon and mute that person. Btw, I did not mute @notmynonni!
Some people think it’s crazy, that you should just ignore people when you see them in your feed or just unfollow them. Who cares what some people say. We’re talking about you and if someone if posting too much noise that you don’t want to see then unfollow or mute them. Ain’t no shame in finding piece of mind in this crazy hectic Internet life we live. AND that long lost cousin who loves sharing those selfies won’t be offended, neither will that guy who tweets 50 tweets in a row.
As for Instagram, you’re SOL. If you don’t want someone in your daily feed because their images don’t do it for you then either suck it up or unfollow them. They won’t know you unfollowed them unless they hunt you down on a third party app to see if you’re still following.
5. Get Some Headspace
Besides just disconnecting during meals or during the few hours of sleep I get I also find it extremely helpful to rest my mind. Or TRY to rest it.
Last year I listened to a few ten minute sessions of guided meditation videos and then stopped. I recently started up again and find myself nice and relaxed afterwards. I use headspace.com and it’s a full web app that helps you track your sessions, allows you to set up reminders if needed and you can even connect with friends to help encourage each other. The last feature is a bit overboard for me, but if it helps you then try it out! Even Arianna Huffington is a fan.
I take a break in the day, take my dog to the park and sit and press play. When my mind wanders, I usually find myself prioritizing all the things I have to do once the ten minutes are up, but I stick to the session. I plan to keep working on it so I can think less and less about what I have to do and focus more on the nothingness.
As a kid I was interested in meditation and always enjoyed yoga. After a great yoga class my body always felt amazing and my mind felt more at peace, so I’m happy to give this a try.
This is more of a personal life hack, but thought you may want to try it out whether you use social media or not.
6. Your turn!
What simple tips help you unplug or live a more stress free offline/online life?