It's no longer a secret that many social media outlets -- Facebook in particular -- contribute to depression. Even if you're not familiar with "Facebook depression," you might have discovered the affects on your own.
Many of us get annoyed by the social networking sites -- or avoid them altogether -- for many different reasons. Some of those reasons being: lack of privacy, annoying posts and getting friend requests from people you don't care to associate with.
And then there's the big reason -- that sometimes social media just makes us feel bad. Like maybe we don't have a lengthy friend list, maybe our posts don't get a lot of likes, maybe our friends have better things going on in their lives than we do.
There was a time when I was off of Facebook for the better part of a year. It was in 2010 when it was rapidly gaining popularity but wasn't the pinnacle of socializing just yet. I was very accustomed to visiting with my friends in person, so when I logged back in after months I was shocked at how much of a "planet" Facebook had become.
After getting fed up with the content and how Facebook often (and noticeably) lowered my self-esteem, I spent many years deactivating and reactivating my account until I learned how to gain more control over my accounts.
These are my three favorite tips to bring the joy back to Facebook:
1. Set boundaries.
Always! Make this your mantra: Life exists outside of Facebook. In fact, that is where the magic happens. I like to use social media to touch base with people every once in a while.
What works for me is checking all of my active accounts 1-3 times per day, and each of those check-ins are limited to 5-minutes. Therefore, I'm spending less than 15-minutes per day on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Which leaves the rest of my time available to live my life.
That might seem like a lot or a little social media time to you, so either way you'll find what works for you. The purpose of having some boundaries and guidelines in place is to give you a better sense of control, in addition to preventing social media addiction.
The less power my social media apps have over me, the better I feel!
2. Leave positive comments.
This my favorite tip, personally. Saying something nice makes me feel good. And saying something nice -- when my instinct is not to be nice -- challenges me to be more empathetic. Which somehow makes me feel happy too.
And one more thing -- when I get Facebook jealous -- I make sure I "like" the update or say something nice. It's more fun to be part of celebrating someone's big announcement, rather than being on the sideline hating. And that, again, brightens my mood.
Give it a try, if you haven't already!
3. Follow the right accounts.
There was a time in my Facebook life where my timeline was one giant scroll of positivity. Now, I'm un-following at least one person per week because they joined the dark-side with the dreaded Facebook rant.
However, I've begun making my Facebook feed positive again. I know which of my friends, family and acquaintances generally have nice updates and shares, and I look forward to seeing what they have to post. I am not a stranger to the "un-follow" button when I come across too much negativity.
To beef up your happy Facebook feed, load it up with some of the professional pages that provide useful information. (This is the part where I'm going to suggest you follow my empowerment coaching page because I provide affirmations, mantras and motivational material. #shamelessplug) There are a ton of great celebrities, motivational speakers, spiritual healers and more that keep their posts upbeat and can leave you feeling happier and more inspired.
And one final thought...
As I was writing this, I realized that most of us are more familiar with avoiding negativity on Facebook, rather than experiencing posts or social media habits that let us feel good. To me, that really said a lot about what we voluntarily subject ourselves to on a daily basis.
With that said, be sure to utilize the privacy, blocking and un-follow features that are offered on Facebook and other networks. It will give you a better sense of control to keep the negativity at bay, while you build up a more positive feed.