(By a social media manager)
Did you watch the Netflix documentary The Social Dilemma? Then you’ll know that social media was designed to be addictive.
Those little red globes and hearts you see on LinkedIn, instagram, twitter and tiktok? They’re red for a reason; In the Western world, red equals danger – conjuring up subconscious recollections of blood, stop signs and fire extinguishers.
You know the feeling – one minute you’re just checking to see any ‘important’ updates from friends or industry colleagues, next it’s 45 minutes later and you’ve been lost down the rabbit hole.
Do that every day and that’s 10.5 days a year of your life that you’re not getting back.
All the social platforms use these behavioural elements. They get us addicted to scrolling, liking and checking on likes and red signs.
Even when you’ve checked them once, they make you want to check them again and again. It’s a mini dopamine hit, just like a drug.
The latest study from the University of British Columbia shows a link between red and arousal of neurobiological awareness and vigilance. No wonder we’re addicted!
As a social media pro and fellow human, I also get gripped by endless scrolling and distraction.
So in a bid to stop the scroll and use social media (and my life) for the good things, here are my 5 top tips to manage social media effectively and productively:
- Stop following (or hide) any negative accounts or people. This includes anything or anyone that makes you feel worse when you’ve seen their posts. Try it today, it’ll change your world!
- Do start following accounts and people that share positive news / views and helpful content that makes you feel good.
- Be intentional about your posts. Remember there’s a person at the end of your posts, so please don’t moan or complain – it spreads.
- If you use social media for work, be strategic and plan out how much time you intend to spend on there. Stick to your timings.
- Do actively support others who share – don’t just lurk. You can connect with others and do good on social media by being a supportive friend, colleague and human.
I hope this helps you to take control back of your social media use. How much time do you spend on social media? Which platform is your favourite? Let me know in the comments below…