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01/03/2017 07:00AM ● Published by Robert Frey

Rebooting Yourself With a Social Media Detox

By Kari Walker 

With every New Year, many seek to set new habits or resolutions with every goal generally the same—to become a better version of ourselves. Maybe this is the year you decided to let social media become less of a time suck and increase your overall day-to-day productivity or better yet, this is the year you let go of those toxic online relationships. You know the ones—the Facebook friend who constantly over shares, yet you can’t not view their posts no matter how absurd, offensive or self-absorbed. Could this be the year you let FOMO—that’s fear on missing out—release its grip on the need to capture every detail of the day and finally have meaningful dinner conversation with someone? Yes! 2017 will be your year to get back to a happier, pre-digitally distracted state of mind. And, you don’t have to go at it alone. With the help of a few local social media experts, you’ll be back to good in no time.

 Ashlyn Dupuis

Digital Media Manager, Right Angle

As a digital strategist and manager, most of my days are spent studying consumer behaviors and understanding successful, engaging content for businesses. But it also means, I get easily distracted by an overflow of content and trails of clicks. With social media as part of my day around the clock, I’ve learned to set boundaries to stay productive during the day and allow time to clear negative clutter from my mind. Before you share, read the article—not just the headline. Check the source. Is it a reputable source or is it a satire website (there are many, believe me)? 

Do a quick search for back-up sources. If the article seems like it should be major news and no other outlets are covering it, this raises a red flag that this is possibly a fabricated or inaccurate story. Taking this small step could save yourself from an afternoon of unnecessary sadness or anger.

Comparing yourself or others against glamorous lifestyles, images and perfect bodies will create extra stress in your life. They are called “influencers” for a reason. Truth is, many photos and captions are staged, edited or manipulated by a professional in some way or another. Bloggers, celebrities and artists are great inspiration and can teach some great ways to enhance your makeup or workout efforts, but limit your time following these sources. Take action to reach a goal you seek instead of spending hours searching how influencers manage to make it happen.

You should enjoy social media for yourself and not for everyone else. We live in a time where over sharing has become the norm—are you missing out on enjoying an experience to impress everyone else? Allow yourself to enjoy every moment and not just behind a camera. If you’re on a vacation, business trip or whatever the occasion and feel compelled to capture an amazing view, enjoy first. Then, capture a photo and put your phone away. Obsessing over the perfect shot keeps your brain focused on that versus soaking in what’s right in front of you.

Maggie Stokes

Media Buyer BBR Creative

Social media today is a “double-edged sword.” It keeps you connected to your nearest and dearest, but it can also drive you crazy. How you strike a balance between liking your newsfeed and being news fed up? Here are some tips and tricks to achieve #NewYearNewYou in 2017.

1. Unfriend. Yes, it can feel cold-hearted, but your social media space should be a place of love, not fear. If you have social friends who bum you out or set you off—rip that band-aid right off and start 2017 off right without them. They’ll learn to cope without you.

2. If you can’t unfriend, at least unfollow. Facebook is smart. It knows you have to stay “friends” with all of your cousins—even the ones who embarrass you—so it gives you the option to stay friends, but stop seeing their annoying posts. Unfollowing preserves your peace by muting their unwanted noise. You can always resume following them later by simply clicking a button. And they’ll be none the wiser.

3. Check yourself, don’t wreck yourself. As social media evolves, it keeps getting smarter. Our feeds are “learning” what kinds of content we like and what we don’t, and it’s using that data to make our social experience more appealing. As long as you’re careful about what you “like” and engage with, your social experience should become more to your liking over time. Just try not to focus on how creepy it all is and how much the scary Internet robots know about you.

Log Off 

Have you resolved to unplug from social media for a bit? Afterall, even computers run faster when they get a chance to shut down, so why not you. Check out a few of these social media detox-friendly resources while you’re logged out.

“Better Than Before” by Gretchen Rubin

Rubin is known for studying happiness and habits and in this book she looks at a framework of personalities examining why we are who we are and how we can make a better life for ourselves and those around us through understanding these personality traits. Are you an upholder, obliger, questioner or a rebel? Take the quiz and read the book to find out and work on improving your habits. In her weekly podcast, “Happier”, Rubin and her sister, Eilzabeth Craft examine more on the topic of happiness and habits through exploration of ‘happiness hacks’ and ‘gold stars and demerits’ sure to give you an instant boost to make you, well, happier.

Note to Self 

by Manoush Zomordi  

This podcast is known as, “the tech show about being human.” Zomordi covers topics ranging from how to deal with offensive political or racist comments on social media to information overload and digital clutter. In 2016, her ‘Infomagical’ project set out to help over 30,000 people manage information overload through five simple daily challenges to harness digital distractions. Zomordi is also the author of “Bored and Brilliant: Rediscovering the Lost Art of Spacing Out”, which will be released in 2017, exploring the evolution of how smartphones have changed human use of idle time and crushing the ability to go beyond the screen. 

Today, In Print Ashlyn Dupuis Maggie Stokes

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