Don’t get us wrong – social media is a great thing but even great things can get out of hand.
In recent months, we have realized just how easy it is to start a wildfire with fake news, while we all know that person who takes too many selfies and that over-sharer who has just been plain obnoxious.
Now that it’s a new year, we can reflect on how we have used social media for good and not-so-good, and how a few simple changes to our routines can make online communities a better place for everyone.
Adjusting social media habits can increase your productivity and put you in a clearer frame of mind. You may not even realize your social media habits have gotten out of hand until reading on. Consider this a light-hearted intervention.
Give Your Front-Facing Camera a Break
Selfies are one of the hardest bad social media habits to break. Google reported that 24 billion selfies were uploaded to its photos app last year. That’s probably just a small fraction of total selfie activity worldwide. Let’s tone that down some. Take 50% fewer selfies this year. When you’re out and about and feel like telling the world where you are, remember that 10 years ago you would have given your camera to another person and had them take the shot for you. Selfies are addictive, and taking one usually results in a quick dopamine hit. The problem with selfies is that they have become an art form. If you’re not happy with the result you try again. Don’t do that – and don’t get us started on mirror selfies.
Only Comment if Your Contribution is Worthwhile
It’s tempting to comment on everything – especially in group settings and on content shared by organizations rather than individuals you are only loosely acquainted with. Think before you post. “Am I helping this discussion?” If you’re not, you’re wasting your time and wasting the time of others as well.
Stop Being a Butthole
There are people on the internet who start things just to start things. These horrible social media habits have to stop. Don’t feed trolls, but more importantly, don’t become one. While posts about politics are the most susceptible to troll activity, anything that someone can get emotional about can have a detractor. Not everyone is going to agree with you and you’re not going to agree with everyone. Have respect for fellow mankind on social media and their opinions, and don’t make yourself look like a fool.
Do Your Part to Preventing Fake News from Going Viral
A tweet may only be 140 characters but it can turn into 1,000 words if someone falls for it. Being first has become more important than telling the truth, and a
private citizen’s observation can become a major talking point without any backing.
Fake news has become such a problem that Facebook now allows users to report it with its ^ menu. Only take news as gospel if it comes from a legitimate source. All-in-all, just be smarter about comprehending what you read on social media and don’t make these bad social media habits any worse than they already are.
Don’t Share Everything
Passion is great, but too much can give your friends a reason to unfollow your posts. Like many of these habits, just think before you post. Don’t beg for attention because unfortunately, very few people actually care about your dogs, the great meal you just cooked or your political opinions. Focus more of your time and energy on life itself rather than sharing your life. You’ll have more time and people will be more likely to like you. The only downside to this of course, is that your posts won’t receive as many likes.
Drop the Phone When You Get Home
When you get home from work and see your husband or wife don’t just sit there on the phone looking at the same things on Facebook you probably looked at half the work day already. Set your phone down. Eat dinner. Do something else. Dropping these bad social media habits can work wonders for your relationship, and you’ll fall asleep faster because your retinas aren’t burning up from all the blue light.