Are You Using Social Media in a Healthy Way?

Dr. John Townsend

May 14, 2018

I love using social media. It’s not going away, and I’m glad. Social media makes our lives better, but that also means that we must be able to use it wisely.

Before we get any further, let me just define the terms here.

Social media is any kind of a website or application that involves the delivery of content that leads to interaction with other people.

Benefits of Healthy Social Media Use

Social media can provide many benefits, including:

  • Stronger Relationships
  • More Success
  • Entertainment

Unfortunately, we tend to see people get stuck in addictive cycles on social media. This could mean they are constantly on their phone, which can also lead to physical problems like eye strain headaches. Or, they seek out people who may’ve been problematic in the past, which can lead to all kinds of emotional challenges. Social media is supposed to be primarily for entertainment. It simply cannot take over your life.

The main thing to consider when using social media is, “Is it helping me be a better person? Am I in charge of it or is it in charge of me?”

Watch Out For the Negatives of Social Media

Let me give you some of the negative ways people handle being constantly connected.

The first is access issues. You have your home life, work or school life, friends, church, etc. All too often, work or school can be accessed through text or email. You are technically available anytime. Do you respond or simply let it go for the time being?

Another thing is quality vs. quantity. When surfing social media make sure you’re not allowing stuff in that’s going to adversely impact your emotional or spiritual well-being. Then, there’s quantity. There’s so much research out there about how people are spending way too much time on Facebook, Twitter, etc., and it gets in the way of real life and real experiences.

Healthy Social Media Boundaries

Now, let me give you some healthy ways to deal with this:

  1. Make sure you’re living a healthy life. You’re working out and dealing with people who are good for you and you’re doing something meaningful with your time. Nature abhors a vacuum. When we don’t have a healthy life and we’re lonely or isolated, we have a tendency to go into the digital world. This is the addictive process. Look, just like some people turn to drugs or alcohol, they can also go into the social media world because their real life’s not working. So, have the healthiest life possible.
  2. Set realistic ground rules. To start, establish times when you cannot be accessed. Use this as a time where you can be disconnected and have real-world experiences, whether it a be a workout or going to church.

 

 

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