My NEW Thought on Social Media Usage

by | Mar 11, 2019 | Journal, Personal Development


I love social media.


Of all the things I love, the ability to connect with other people who have a shared interest is easily my favorite aspect of the platforms.

But it’s so easy for social media to interrupt everyday life. I’m guilty of allowing my connection with others online to spill over into the times I’m with others IRL (in real life).

I don’t like to be with others when they are “on their phone” and I’m sure the feeling is mutual.

And while I don’t want to give up my online connections, I also don’t want to damage my social interactions. I knew I needed a thought to help me separate the two.

Creating Separation Between SM & IRL

I realized that I needed a way to separate the two. I’ve tried turning off or modifying notifications in the past and it definitely helped. But it wasn’t the complete solution for me.

I’ve also tried leaving my phone behind or committing to not looking at it, but that approach felt extreme, limiting, and overall just didn’t strike the right balance for me.


The approach that I’m diving into now and that I’m quite bullish on is more of a mental switch. I’m looking at my social interactions as if they were happening IRL.

Messaging with a friend?

I picture them in the room with me.

Reading a blog post?

I imagine sitting in the audience of a presentation they are giving.

In each situation, I ask myself “Would I invite this person into the current thing I’m doing in real life? Or would it be rude to do so?”

More often than not, the latter is true and I realize I’m not being present with the situation I’m currently in. And it’s clearly not fair or right to those around me—even though they rarely notice as they are frequently doing the same.

By bringing social media to life, I’m able to better realize what I’m actually doing in each moment.

And there are plenty of times when it’s appropriate and convenient to connect with others that are physically far away. I just need to be more deliberate about those times and let others around me know what I’m doing to reduce friction.

I believe I can use social media in a way that enhances my life and isn’t detrimental to those in my physical presence, I just need to keep bringing it to life to make sure that I’m not wearing two different hats at the same time.

Like most things in life, social media was never the problem. How I choose to use it was and it’s time for a change.

And I think this visualization just might be the trick I need.

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