Social Media vs Mindfulness

Can you practice mindfulness and use social media? That’s a question you may be asking more than ever before. Social media can breed bad habits, but it has also become a lifeline of connection in a socially distanced world. So how exactly do you balance social media vs mindfulness and maintain mindfulness while using social media?

We believe it’s possible to use social media with awareness and stay true to your personal growth journey. Here’s our advice on ways we’ve practiced mindful social media use and made it work in our lives.

Avoid Mindless Scrolling

Know your intention before logging on. Are you spending this time connecting with others or watching funny YouTube videos to boost your mood? When you know why you’re logging on and then create a plan for your social media time, you can avoid the mindless scrolling that wastes hours and can be detrimental to your mental well-being. 

The woman sitting on her bed scrolling the social feed on her phone. Knowing your intention before getting on your phone is helpful when it comes to social media vs mindfulness.

Set Time Limits

As part of your mission to curb mindless scrolling for good, give yourself social media boundaries. Put limits on the time you devoting to it and avoid scheduling your scrolling time during early mornings or late nights — use that time for meditation or journaling instead. Many phones have screen time reports that analyze your time spent on different apps. You can use that data to keep yourself honest. By carving out time for intentional social media use, you’ll be more focused when you use it. 

Turn off Notifications

Social media creates a sense of urgency with its persistent notifications. By turning them off, it’s easier to set boundaries and establish “social media free zones” in your life. 

This young woman wearing sunglasses in the park is spending time scrolling on her smart phone. Social Media vs Mindfulness tip: turn off your notifications.

Do a Newsfeed Detox

Take more control over the algorithm by detoxing your newsfeed. Unfollow accounts or people that undermine the good habits you’re creating. Any post or account that makes you feel judgmental or regularly triggered is usually one that needs to be muted or unfollowed. Ask yourself what you gain by following certain accounts. You may not always have control over ads, but you can decide who you follow! 

Give Yourself a Reality Check

When you start scrolling and find yourself in a comparison trap, take a step back and remind yourself that social media is NOT reality. Your feed is a highlight reel of other people’s lives. All you see is the filtered, edited, and carefully selected pieces of content. Let yourself be inspired, but the moment you start to feel down because you’re not as “insert adjective here” as the person you follow, log off and focus on the gratitude you have for your life.  

Practice Non-Attachment

Before you post anything on social media, ask yourself: “Do I need validation from this post?” or “Will I be upset if I don’t get a certain number of likes?” By learning to post things without the attachment of a certain metric, it’s easier to be more mindful about your social media use. 

Stay Positive

Social media can be an extremely negative place. It may seem easier to vent into the void of the internet than actually talk it out with a real person. Combative content attracts a particular type of response, so put out what you want to get back. 

Be Present in Real Life (and during virtual meetings)

There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to have a conversation with someone who can’t look up from their phone. Instead of getting distracted by social media, lead by example, and be present in your conversations. Maintain eye contact and listen. Being present allows you to deepen your relationships and get more out of every conversation. 

Social connection is something we all crave, but without boundaries, social media can be draining. Take a mindful approach and let social media be a positive tool in your life. To learn more about how you can use community and social connection to advance your personal growth journey, download the Veraki app today!