Last week I re-shared some posts I wrote a year ago about some struggles I had with social media. I felt envious at times. I felt too involved in people’s lives that I hardly talk to anymore. And because I was getting used to a new living situation now knowing anyone, I spent a lot of time seeking comfort from those virtual connections. Unfortunately but understandably, all of this made me depressed so I had to change these thoughts for myself, but also for my marriage because it began to affect that as well. Feel free to go read part 1, part 2, and part 3 of those posts.
Today I am happy to say that I’ve stuck to the changes I wanted to make in my social media use. I am still very interested in what’s going on because I am such a people person! The difference is that I don’t rely on it for emotional comfort or connection, or entertainment.
I use social media a lot for this blog and I worried about that because I had just recently decided to use social media less! It’s been a different experience, however. I notice that I post less status updates about my life which I think is good thing because I keep more of our marriage moments to ourselves. Instead I try and share writings and quotes that inspire marriages and that makes me feel good. Focusing on that has made me think more positively, which means I focus less on the “comparison game” that we all experience at times. Instead of getting jealous of how cute a couple looks together or acts together, I think “That’s so cute that they do that for each other! I should share this awesome idea with my readers!” Thinking differently about what we see on social media is one way I stopped letting social media get me down and therefore stopped letting it get my marriage down.
If you’ve been following me on instagram (if not go find me! @freshlymarried), you’ve noticed that I don’t share every day things I would share on other platforms. I save some of those things for my personal instagram because only the 100 followers I have need to see what’s going on in my personal life. I keep my freshly married accounts focused on marriage in general or things that have to do with my marriage in particular. I think it’s smart to keep those separate so that anyone from anywhere can’t be that involved in your life. Though I think this way, it’s different from what other bloggers and people in general do. I’m all about reaching more people because I believe in my message, however, I don’t see it necessary to be so constantly inclusive.
Find the balance
I know many people who go to extremes such as deleting all social media accounts. Maybe for some people they truly found that necessary to feel emotionally healthier and less distracted in their daily life. It’s very possible though to find a balance, which is what I felt I have found and so many others have found. I love the saying, “all things in moderation,” because it rings true in so many daily situations and can definitely be applied to our social media use!
I know that my changes and finding balance has a lot to do with my different circumstances. I now know my neighbors, I have friends here, and I’m so much more used to where I live. It took time but we established home-y roots here and all this changed my reliance on social media connections. These tangible emotional connections are what keep me from turning to virtual connections as much.
Social media used me more than I used it. Not anymore, though. I don’t let it use up the time I should spend with my spouse. I don’t use up time comparing my marriage to others based on what I saw on social media. Don’t let social media use you! I encourage those of you who have found yourself so heavily involved in social media to the point that it affects your mood and your marriage, to make changes before it gets worse. I hope the suggestions I have made in my many posts on social media use can be helpful in doing that.