How NOT to let Instagram, Twitter, and co take over your life: A short guide

Published on:27 November 2019, 16:51pm IST
Being on social media has a lot of perks. But too much of anything, including being on Instagram, is bad for you. Here’s how you can strike a balance
Dr Samir Parikh
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social media boon or bane
Learn how to strike a balance between your real and virtual life. GIF courtesy: Giphy

Social media has become an integral part of our daily existence. We can barely survive a few hours without browsing on a platform either to distract ourselves, pass the time, look for specific information, or post something on your own account.

Social media has also become responsible for what we come to assume about ourselves–what we do and who we are.

Little do we realize the strong need that we have to present a certain image and to be viewed in a certain way on these platforms. In doing so, we spend more and more time on these platforms–even at the cost of other activities that we may need to do.

The stimulating and engaging mediums that these platforms have to offer capture our minds. And so, we are often preoccupied about our next post, next tweet, or next video. If that’s not enough, a desire to know what goes on in the lives of others–be it our friends, family, or celebs–also consumes us, keeping us glued.

social media platforms are engaging
GIF courtesy: Giphy

If social media dependency is a feature in your life, just like it is in the lives of million other millennials, then here’s a guide to help you strike a balance:

For starters, know the purpose of what you see on social media
Each day we come across hundreds of posts, stories, and videos on social media. But we often forget that each piece of information we see has its own purpose. It is designed to meet a specific goal!

As an active consumer of social media and its messages, it is essential that we assess and evaluate the purpose behind the information that is shared with us.

Thinking through these aspects allows us to be better judges of both people and the products that we view. This in turn helps us make informed choices and not view ourselves too harshly.

Don’t let the likes preoccupy you

instagram Facebook likes
GIF courtesy: Giphy

We often associate ourselves with the likes our posts get on social media. Needless to say, it is critical to maintain a distinction between who you are and what feedback you are getting for your social media presence. That is the only way you can strike a balance between your virtual and real life.

Strive to be in the real world

Exercise releases endorphins
GIF courtesy: Giphy

Make conscious and active efforts to stay engaged with activities and people in the real world. Do not let social media become your lived reality. Connect with people outside these platforms. Do activities which are outside the realm of the life that you have on social media. Most importantly, ensure that you do not neglect your roles and responsibilities in the real world on account of the activities that you pursue on social media.

The boon of social media can become a bane if you don’t utilize it mindfully. Keep striving to strike the right balance!

Dr Samir Parikh Dr Samir Parikh

Dr. Samir Parikh is a psychiatrist and director of Department of Mental Health and Behavioral Sciences and Fortis National Mental Health Program at Fortis Healthcare