Taking a step back from social medial as a business owner

If you have ever wondered how to start the path to taking more time away from social media and why it is healthy for you and those you are around…this is the article for you!

Yet, hey…when you are on social media, we hope, if you are a female-identifying founder you spend your limited time there with us here → It’s also about feeling accepted and part of amazing communities.

However, disclaimer we will not be able to cover everything in one blog article and we are not counselors, we are only speaking from our personal experiences and thoughts. 

This particular article can start the process of not taking social media into your personal life as much, the overall health benefits of this, and especially mental-health benefits of this. 

Seems these days when we are in public places everyone is glued to their phones. 

That it can be easy especially if a person has an online company, an online personality, is an influencer, and generally makes an impact online, to bring this into our personal lives all the time.

Instead of making a line, a clear boundary between what we will share online and what we will not share, and a clear line about how we probably do not know our online followers as well as our in-person friends and family. 

It can start to feel as if our online followers are close to us and us close to them to ask them personal questions and advice, and also for them to ask us in videos and comments. When the lines become blurred.

If and when we might be “over-sharing” others might feel they are closer to us than they actually are and blur the lines into unhealthy communication. 

Yet what is “over-sharing” in this day in age on social media? 

If we look around on social media it could look as if everyone who is making an impact has to overshare. 

If you see this is true above there can be immense pressure to “overshare” yourself. If we do not take a second to decide what you will be comfortable sharing and what you will not share.

If it looks as if everyone is oversharing or even worse we might not register that they are oversharing because it has become the “new normal” on our social media homepage.

On social media – We can easily find super inappropriate things and super inspiring things

Really anything you might want to see (or unsee!) you can find online. 

It is for us to decide what “oversharing” is for us and how we want to show up online.

There are plenty of upsides to online connection, but how do we find balance with the constant flurry of input from friends, family, and brands constantly wanting for our attention?

On top of that, 29 percent of respondents said they need at least a few days of break to benefit from a social media hiatus, while that number jumps to 46 percent among 15 to 24-year-olds.

That’s why we’re challenging you to take an introspective look at how your social media behavior affects your mental well-being.

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What Is Appropriate For Social Media And What Is Not

What’s appropriate and not for social media has changed a lot in the past year. 

One hard truth of the pandemic was that, was we were instructed by our governments that in order to someday be together safely, therefore we had to be apart in the meantime. 

For many, this meant that social media has become one of the only ways to be with friends and family, many people have flocked to platforms such as Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, LinkedIN, Instagram, and Clubhouse

The new normal, where many more of our daily interactions are mediated by screens, has made us change the way we behave on those platforms, with the realities and the messiness of the pandemic life crowding out some of social media’s posturing and perfection.

These sites have been a social lifeline to a lot of people as well. 

Twitter, especially, shone as a real-time news source. 

The pandemic made social media suddenly more relevant. 

After years of social fragmentation, during which people were less likely to have watched the same shows or even share the same reality, people suddenly had something they could all talk about.

“One thing that brings people together is shared experiences,” Karen North, a clinical professor of digital social media at the University of Southern California, told Recode. “All of a sudden we all have a shared experience.”

Americans spent on average 82 minutes per day on social media in 2020 from eMarketer’s original forecast.  

The media measurement firm previously estimated that time spent on social media would remain the same. But in 2020, concerns about screen time — and “time well spent” — went out the window.

What’s less clear is whether or not people are posting more, but it seems to vary by person and platform. 

We asked Empire Life readers and people on our own social feeds to tell us how they use social media differently now compared to before the pandemic and received dozens of insightful responses about how that relationship has changed.

Some people told us that while they are scrolling on social media more, they’re posting less — indeed, what’s there to post about when you are stuck at home doing the same stuff over and over? Commonly shared milestones like birthdays and weddings were postponed or downsized, and people fear coming off as celebratory when there was that much suffering, or at least so much judgment.

Some said they are posting to social media more, as an outlet for pent-up creativity.

“The ability to connect via so many different platforms not only helps alleviate feelings of isolation but increases the sense of psychological comfort,” said Pamela Rutledge, director of the Media Psychology Research Center. “It makes people feel less lonely and less fearful to know they aren’t dealing with this alone.”

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Many Empire Life Blog readers reported extremes in their social media use: periods of constant usage that ultimately led them to feel anxious or overwhelmed, which resulted in cutting off social media usage altogether.

“I found myself feeling insanely guilty and anxious,” Matthew Kiernan, a teacher in Florida who has stopped using Facebook and Instagram, told Recode. “I’m a member of a lot of education pages and groups, and so people seemed to be doing a lot of performative posting about the wonderful things they were doing in their classrooms with their students virtually. That didn’t really resonate with me because I truly felt like even attempting to do some of that was driving me insane.”

The urge to delete social media has, ironically, been very evident on social media, where people have been increasingly talking about deleting their accounts completely, according to social listening company Brandwatch. July 2020 by far had a record number of monthly mentions of deleting social media, according to the company’s data, and rates remain accelerated. 

“In the pandemic we’re constantly looking for that social stimulation,” Terry said. “Social media somewhat filled the gap but not wholly.”

Complaints and posts complaining about social media aside, overall visits to all major social media sites have continued to grow since the onset of the pandemic, according to data from SimilarWeb, which found visits to major social sites still far above 2019 levels. 

User growth was most dramatic on sites like TikTok and other social video platforms — what eMarketer principal analyst Debra Aho Williamson refers to as “social entertainment.”

According to data from customer experience management software company Sprinklr, nearly three-quarters of mentions of “social media” on social media and news sites in the last year had negative sentiment. 

In contrast, the majority of mentions of TikTok were positive.

“People were looking for something to entertain themselves and not finding it as easily on platforms like Facebook,” Williamson said, noting that TikTok encourages more levity. “It forms connections in a different way, watching strangers talking openly about their lives.”

Getting Rid Of Perfection, And Adding In More Real Life

The pandemic has generally accelerated existing trends like shopping online and working from home. 

Another fad that went fastly popular is the reversal, in some cases, of social media as an inspirational place of perfection

Therefore when social media posts, especially grid photos on Instagram, have long been criticized for their idealized and unrealistic portrayal of people’s lives, there was less of that during the pandemic. 

Instead, things got a little ‘more real’: Children were home, people didn’t wear makeup, and some houses were a mess. 

“The less polished, more real side is appealing and is going to stay,” eMarketer’s Williamson argued. “The idea of the airbrushed, perfect influencer is probably a thing of the past.”

Nadia Ahmed, a sexual health physician in London who’s alternated overuse with deleting her accounts completely, told Recode, “I’ve also tried to not look at influencer accounts as much. In fact, barely, because it upsets me big time.”

Oxford, from We Are Social, said she’s noticed fewer posts on Instagram’s grid. When people do post there, she says the posts feel more introspective and intimate than they had been before.

Some people have found solace in social platforms’ seeming move to more honesty, with people expressing more realness.

Visits to TikTok’s website grew nearly 600 percent on average in 2020 compared to the year before, according to SimilarWeb. Meanwhile, visits to Instagram were up 43 percent, Twitter 36 percent, and 3 percent for Facebook.

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Have you joined Quora yet? To speak your mind, ask questions, and display yourself as an expert there.

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When used in moderation, social media apps can increase a person’s sense of wellbeing by providing entertainment and connection

Many studies have found that excessive use of social media platforms heightens the risk for loneliness, anxiety, and depression.  

The good news is that even a short break from social media can make people feel better!

“If you are feeling tension, pain, or having trouble taking a deep breath, turn it off,” E. Alison Holman, a professor at the University of California, Irvine, told Healthline.

Mental health experts advise people to regularly evaluate how social media is making them feel. 

People may need to rethink their social media use if they are getting easily frustrated by people’s comments or posts, checking notifications even when in the company of others or during an activity with family and friends, missing deadlines because they are distracted by their phones, or getting into arguments on social media.

A study published in May found that a one-week break can significantly improve anxiety, depression and overall well-being. 

The study involved 154 people, ages 18-72, who averaged eight hours per week of social media use prior to the study. During the study, those who were selected to refrain from social media averaged about 21 minutes of screen time. The others averaged about seven hours. 

“Many of the participants reported positive effects from being off social media with less anxiety and improved mood overall. This suggests that even just a small break can have an impact,” said lead researcher Jeff Lambert, of the University of Bath in the United Kingdom.

Other research also has found that a social media break can be a healthy decision. One study found that people who put their phones away at night sleep better because they are not waking up throughout the night to check their phones. 

Another study found that reducing social media use diminishes stress. Other research identified the addictive nature of social media and the urge to check phones for messages as risk factors for anxiety, depression and psychological stress. 

Additionally, a 2018 study found that limiting social media use to about 30 minutes per day reduced feelings of loneliness and depression in college students after three weeks.

Other experts say the best long-term plan is for people to determine the amount of social media time that brings them joy and to stick to that amount. Setting a timer can help prevent people from getting lost on the internet.

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This will benefit you in your business and eventually (with great sales tactics too, more about this here) more conversions to client. Plus in your personal and business life if you are able to decide where you will spend your time on social media, if you have a team decide what their repsondibilities will be on social media, and set a timer to limit time one can also set the amount of time they will spend everyday on social media.

These are some of the areas you can also connect with Empire Life Instagram, Quora, Pinterest, and the Facebook Group.

I have written many professional blog articles about making a huge impact and scaling your business here, here, and here.

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If you have been thinking about raising your prices, championing your value, and raising your value and worth, this is something I cover in the freebie, Raise Your Prices Guide, here.

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Highly suggest to make a list of all the activities you do on social media for your business and decide which of those activities you can outsource. This will allow you to spend less time in general on social media and get back to being present and living your life, which is probably a “full” life.

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 Hoping this article finds you well, and as always we love to hear from you in the comments!

HOW TO GET IN TOUCH WITH EMPIRE LIFE

You can also find more information about Allison Ramsey, Facebook Digital Marketing Professor & Empire Life Founder at Instagram, LinkedIn, Website, and Twitter

To learn more about getting started with Empire Life in launching and scaling your online empire you can contact Allison, Founder of Empire Life, on Instagram and LinkedIn.

 

“The ability to connect via so many different platforms not only helps alleviate feelings of isolation but increases the sense of psychological comfort,”said Pamela Rutledge.

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