Navigating Social Media Boundaries
Social media has become an integral part of our modern lifestyle. These platforms help you to get in touch with far off relatives, your co-workers, your boss, your family. Given the opportunity, you can build meaningful relationships with people. There are many instances of people finding their life partner in social media. Distance is just a number now and has no more relevance. Maintaining a long-distance relationship is easier with the various messaging app. Real-time video calls made it possible for people to virtually talk face to face even if they are continents apart. Similarly, social media has become a popular platform for raising any social issues or spreading social awareness among people. These processes have become simplified as social media allows you to reach a lot of people at once- making an impact at mass level with minimal effort. Navigating the world of social media may seem fun, but it comes with a price.
Social media has projected the illusion of limitless freedom- freedom without boundaries. Most of the end-users are way too reluctant to see through this play of delusions that are being played on social media. Setting up social media boundaries may seem to be an anti-thesis to the apparent freedom that social media offers. However, boundaries distinguish one individual from another; boundaries establish the private domain against the public sphere; boundaries give social freedom the most important dimension which is responsibility. Social media and boundaries should go hand in hand for you to have a meaningful, peaceful and balanced life. Social media has also brought on new terms such as FOMO (fear of missing out), now an official word, the dictionary defines FOMO as a fear of not being included in something (such as an interesting or enjoyable activity) that others are experiencing. However, in many instances, FOMO means being excluded and left out. It has now become a compulsive concern that one might miss an opportunity or satisfying event, often aroused by posts seen on social media websites.
How much do you show? How much is too much? What are your boundaries? These questions are always in the back of my mind. The most important approach I have taken on navigating social media is to change my outlook towards posts. I now approach social media the way I approach my own mental health. I first take a step back and consider if I must post certain things or is it outside of my set boundaries. If it's outside of my boundaries, it’s not worth my time to let a social post-impact how you’re feeling, your mood, your relationships or even your day. Different aspects of boundaries should be elaborated to understand properly so that you could apply and adopt what you think suits you best.
Let’s see how social media affects us:
It’s addictive: being exposed to a world of incessant mental, verbal and visual stimuli and our inherent drive to respond to the same is itself bound to become addictive. That’s why conscious life choices should be made for navigating social media boundaries.
Unhealthy comparison: as discussed before, any visual stimuli affect your psychological profile. Instagram is the most harmful platform in this regard as it contains mainly visual images. Frequently comparing yourself will eventually lower your self-esteem.
Reason of depression: it has been clinically proved social media which was designed primarily to make us happy, is making people sad and depressed. Similarly, it is promoting loneliness by discouraging actual human interactions.
Setting up boundaries:
Try living off the grid once in a while: give yourself a vacation from the entanglements of these various social media platforms. However, you have to acknowledge the necessity for doing so at first. Be kind to yourself enough to permit yourself to unplug.
Limit your time: be clear about your priorities and work accordingly. Do not spend more time than required in social media. Be conscious about it. Only then, you can bring positive changes in your life.
Trim the bad vibes away: cut ties with unnecessary people who do not contribute to your positive growth.
Limit the audiences: limit audiences to your Facebook profile or your Instagram account. You don't want unknown people to peep into your life.
Contribute: it is said that the change you want to see in others, should be implemented in yourself first. So, think thoroughly and make conscious decisions so that you too could contribute towards the betterment of the society.
Have you found it necessary to set boundaries when it comes to social media? If so share your experience below!