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If you've watched 'The Social Dilemma' on Netflix you may be feeling frustrated by the choice to:
1. either delete social media and become a social PARIAH
2. continue to use it, allowing it to manipulate you, record your behavior, feed you ads, and sell your data!
3. Develop healthy social media habits so that you can enjoy the benefits of being connected with your friends and family online. And also enjoy the latest news and be an online influencer without having to compromise with the ugly and evil side of things.
I'm a social media manager and I'm here to show you there IS another way to use social media. I have developed a healthier way where you can design an intentional life around social media!
So in this video, I'll show you how to develop healthy social media habits that will:
- Minimise social media's ability to distract you
- Kiss ads good-bye
- Engage with your preferred groups and friends only (my secret social media manager method, The 'D100' Instagram Engagement Strategy)
- Use social media with INTENTION for fun or for business
Scroll down and keep reading for an overview of what I talk about in this video!
Why is it important to build healthy social media habits?
Although The Social Dilemma has really opened our eyes to the behind the scenes and realities of social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Youtube, there is no denying that the documentary felt a bit dramatic and sensational. After all, that's how to make a hit!
As a social media manager, I can attest that there are the good, the bad and the ugly side of social media. Let's not forget, there is plenty of good! Staying connected with our loved ones, reconnecting with childhood friends, sharing good news with everyone at once, to name a few!
The Dark Side of Social Media
On the other hand, we see the uglier side of social media. We see it in data mining, pushing advertisements in our faces more than we would like to, the strong dependency on our phones - especially for the younger generation who have not known a world without social media!
There's no denying that there is a dark side to social media. A side where we are being manipulated and we are being polarized. Where people are being funneled into their little bubbles where they are constantly hearing what they want to hear.
And because of all of these unhealthy habits that we have developed in the technology age, we absolutely need to learn to be more intentional around social media and adopt healthy social media habits.
In this blog post, I will share everything I do to limit my exposure to social media and consume it intentionally. Here are some healthy social media habits that have worked for me:
Healthy Social Media Habits You Can Use To Curb 'The Social Dilemma" Paranoia!
Being on social media - be it Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest - is part of my job so simply deleting my social media apps and calling it a day is NOT an option for me.
And I understand that this may be a reality for you too.
So here are five strategies that I used as a social media manager that keep me sane, save me time and remove any of the paranoia we witnessed on 'The Social Dilemma'
Strategy 1: Download The News Feed Eradicator Chrome Extension
This extension completely removes your news feed from Facebook and replaces it with an inspiring or motivational quote!
I usually turn this extension on during the week so that I am not distracted by my news feed when I am working and then turn it off during the weekends.
This extension really helps me be more intentional with the time I am spending on Facebook so I am not getting drawn into endless scrolling mode for hours!
Strategy 2: Review and Edit Your Facebook Notifications
Now, let's get your Facebook notifications under control.
If you have apps on your phone, make sure all the push notifications are off.
Then, open Facebook on your desktop, and check what appears in your notification section. You want to make sure that you are in control of the type of notifications that you see.
You can approach this step methodically. When you see a notification that you do not to want to receive, click on the three dots at the top corner and tap "hide". This will notify Facebook that you do not wish to see whatever type of notification it was ever again.
You can also tap on the three dots at the top corner on a post you've made if you do not want to keep receiving notifications every time there is a like or comment on that post.
Eventually, you would have cleaned your notifications and only receive notifications from people, activities or places YOU want to know about!
Strategy 3: Stop using Feeds to Engage with Friends and Clients
On Instagram, I've stopped using the feeds altogether. I have realized that Instagram hardly shows me pictures of friends or people I actually care about on my feed. Instead, I see posts of celebrities or influencers that don't really interest me that much.
So instead of scrolling until I see a post I want to interact with, I stopped using my feed altogether!
Instead, I bookmark profiles of people I want to interact with on my desktop. I intentionally decide when I want to check their profiles and interact with their pages.
As a social media manager, this method of engaging has really helped me to create a strong Instagram Engagement Strategy. I explain all about that in this blog post here.
Strategy 4: Practice Good Digital Hygiene
The easiest way to practice good digital hygiene is to limit the number of apps you have on your phone. Consume social media on your laptop or PC instead.
I like to do nearly 95% of my social media work on my PC. I don't have Facebook or Twitter on my phone. And I only use the Instagram App in cases of emergency for client work.
At night, I also make sure I don't take my phone into the bedroom. I keep it away from my bed or locked away in the kitchen of office during the night.
Digital hygiene is amount having a lot of self-awareness around social media consumption. We need to reflect on how long we spend daily on our phones. We need to notice how often we tend to grab our phones and why.
Just like emotional eating, social media can be a way we use to distract ourselves from something in our lives.
So be more intentional and hygienic about your social media consumption and try to tune into more on the reasons you are turning towards social media when you do!
Strategy 5: Recognizing that Facebook is Changing and Joining the Movement Towards Ethical Social Media
Although The Social Dilemma has increased anxiety and paranoia around social media, it fails to recognize that Facebook is making efforts to be more ethical.
It is currently near impossible to create Facebook Ads around topics like "smoking". Or by even using the word "you" too many times! Facebook is becoming more careful with political news, conspiracies or any topics that can lead to violence.
This is a good thing since it means conspiracy thinkers cannot run ads, making the platform a safer place.
And we play a key role in making social media more ethical and influencing how it is to be used! So if you want social media to change, make sure to do your bit and let your voice be heard that we need positive change on social media!
Further Recommendations For Understanding 'The Social Dilemma'
WATCH: I found an interview between Yuval Noah Harari and Tristan Harris much more enlightening than the documentary itself. Harari is a well-known thinker who has brought attention to the dangers of A.I. Tristan Harris has been advocating for advancing ethics in technology. One of the criticisms of the documentary was that it did not offer any solutions.
READ: This article in 'The Verge' addresses the crucial non-algorithmic aspect of the social dilemma: the one that won't go away simply by deleting social media!
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