How to Not Get Consumed by Other People’s Lives on Social Media
Ever have lunch with someone? Ever have such an exciting talk to tell or you’re bored and want to hear about that person’s day, but they’re too busy scrolling and watching Snaps?
Ever feel disappointed that you wasted your lunch time talking to someone that’s on their phone?
Well then maybe it’s you that’s the problem!
I’ve been there. Several times. It’s a reason I prefer to have lunch alone at times.
I’m gonna be honest—to the average college student, I’m pretty boring. Don’t drink, don’t have sex, don’t watch TV (I do a great job of hiding it, though. I promise!)
But I’ll at least engage in conversation with you. I’ll bring up relevant things and ask how your life is going, how strongly you’ve been hustling, etc. etc.
But when that phone comes in between us in the middle of a conversation, I immediately lose interest. Immediately!
People will check Snapchat and watch how other people’s days are going before they even care about finishing a conversation.
Not only does social media make you and the Snapchatter look like a boring swatch of drying paint, but it gets people addicted. Addicted to other people’s lives.
Some people may feel like they have to watch other people. Some size up who they follow to see how well an Instagrammer/snap chatter is doing compared to themselves. We get so caught up in other people’s accomplishments that we undermine our own achievements and our own paths of life.
We see someone’s chapter 10 and compare it to our chapter 2. We get jealous.
One time, one of my classmates posted a picture of her new car, and I immediately grew envious. She was working a job and saved up for it while I was here trying to pay off my debt. It seemed as if her life was passing me by easily.
But then she told me it was just a joke.
Even if it wasn’t a joke, I shouldn’t have compared my life to hers. We all have different walks of life, different road bumps and obstacles that come our way. And it’s all at different times.
In this digital world of quick information, it’s easier to get drunk off of it. It’s so easy to just sit and watch what other people are doing on social media. All you’ve got to do is tap on their name. But why are we so invested in lives that aren’t our own? How is watching Sally show off her outfits on Snapchat helping us become future entrepreneurs or medical practitioners?
Here’s how to not get consumed by other people’s lives on social media:
Change your mindset.
Why do you do what you do? Why do you care about holding a streak with someone on Snapchat? Why do you care about your friends not following you back on Instagram? Why, why, why?
You should realize that unless you’re some type of social media manager or virtual assistant or influencer of any kind, the number of followers you have truly doesn’t matter.
Realize that scrolling through people’s lives is wasting your time.
In fact, there are apps like RescueTime that tell you how long you’ve been on Facebook and other online activities. It may seem like only minutes a day, but those minutes can add up to DAYS.
There are so many other things you can do with your time, like exercise, study, read, journal, or—heck—drink water! You spend 2.5 hours on social media but you can’t drink 2.5 liters of water every day?
Changing your mindset entails being more aware of your goals in life and analyzing how your daily activities fit into such goals.
Yup. Ruin people’s day and unfollow them. Chances are, you are following waaaayyy too many people on social media. Why are timelines and news feeds so addictive? Because they’re never-ending! And why are they never-ending? Because you follow too many people.
It’s way easier to not get consumed by other people’s lives when you’re not stalking other people’s lives in the first place. Well, not necessarily stalking. Because people’s businesses are out there for everyone to see. Including your own.
When making new media accounts or managing your own, try not to follow so many people. ESPECIALLY ON SNAPCHAT.
Snapchat I believe can be the BEST time-waster. . After you finish watching one person waste time, you have the option to watch even more people waste time automatically! It’s like a movie of other people’s lives! And the more people you follow, the longer the movie.You can be sucked into 5 people’s lives consecutively all with one tap. And for some, it’s addicting because you can’t just stop watching someone’s story. That person’s story will still be up there until you’ve watched it in it’s entirety. Snapchat is TRICKING you into wasting time.
You don’t know how many people I’ve unfollowed because all they posted were selfies in their expensive makeup or their luxurious cars their parents bought them. I just asked myself, why am I watching this? And you should too.
Of course not all people on social media use it to waste time. Some people use it to show off, but other people use it to help people. If you will follow people, follow the people with lives you aspire to live. Want to be a successful youtuber? Follow a successful youtuber. Dancer? Follow a dancer! Follow people you wish to follow in real life.
I’m documenting my days as an entrepreneur and a college student on my Snapchat. Today I broke down student loans: principles, tax rates, and why it’s important to start paying now. If you’re interested in seeing the life I live, feel free to follow me: @blossombtc. But by no means should you feel obliged to do so.
Get off social media.
Come on, I know you guys saw this coming.
Social media is a great place for talking about your day, taking pics of your brand new car, helping people achieve their goals—it’s a goldmine of information. However, too much of anything is ALWAYS a bad thing.
I’m not going to tell you to take a whole month off of social media. I’m not even going to tell you to take a whole day off of social media. Some people’s jobs rely on social media! Heck, I’ve found jobs using social media.
I am saying that you need to be cognizant of the information you receive. If it’s not contributing at all to your happiness and success, leave it. Find and do something that will. Like clean off your desk. Update your resumes and cover letters. Eat vegan ice cream.
It’s cool to check in and see how your close friends and family are doing occasionally. But when you’re following a whole bunch of people you don’t truly care for or if you’re on social media for too long, your focus involuntarily shifts and you’re automatically sucked into other people’s lives. And it’s kind of hard to build the life you want when you’re too busy focusing on others.
Other quick tips on how to not get consumed by other people’s lives on social media:
- Set a timer for social media dilly-dally (5 minutes for morning, afternoon, and night).
- Find a hobby,
- Always ask yourself “is this helping me reach my goals in any way, shape or form?”
- Pretend that you’re driving in a lane. Everytime you peep too much at other people’s lives, you’ve gone outside your lane. Car crashes happen when you’re outside your lane.
- Hang out with people that value your time as much as you value theirs.
- Remember: an idle mind is a devil’s playground. Get work done!
How do you avoid the quicksand that is other people’s lives? What do you do to make sure you don’t stay on social media for too long?