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Updated: Jun 19, 2021

Social media platforms were created with the view to encourage us to connect with one another. Overtime, the same platforms began towing us out of our social circles, disconnecting us from genuine relationships that make our lives special.

When was the last time you engaged in a meaningful conversation with someone without having to reach out for your phone to check your feed? When was the last time you took a picture without even a fleeting thought of uploading it on social media?

Most of us look the other way when asked these questions, but today, ask yourself these questions and answer truthfully. Don’t let screens build up walls around you that block out your relationships. Many of the us have conveniently forgotten about the time when social media didn’t exist. We are all so invested

in this virtual world that we forget to acknowledge the people that add so much meaning to our lives.

As Brian Solis rightly said, "In the digital space, attention is a currency. We earn it. We spend it.” We bag the attention that we crave with just a single click and give it away in another. In these moments, the attention that we receive, supply us with a momentary ‘high’, gradually turning this occasional craving into a full-fledged need for attention. Unfortunately, we have all become subjects

that yearn for social media validation. However, every so often, it’s important to remind yourself that these likes, comments and shares are mere numbers, not reflections of your person-hood. These hold only

as much meaning as you give them. Many of us make the mistake of judging our social standing based on followers, likes or comments, forgetting the online world is often a deception. Remember, it’s not always what meets the eye. The sense of immediate gratification that these sites give us is enough to keep us glued to them.

How do you change this?

#1 Limit time on social media to 30 minutes or lesser, a day. Set a reminder that beeps every time you cross this limit and make sure to shut the app down.

#2 Keep your phone away when you’re eating meals. Make a no-phone on the dining table rule at home and work.

#3 When you’re having a conversation with someone, keep your phone away consciously. If possible, keep it far away or in an inconvenient place. Chances are, you might not want to reach out to it because it’s not lying by your side.

#4 This tip might may not work too well with those constantly using phones for work, but shut down your data/internet for a while. It’ll give you a break from constant interactions, closing down all the tabs popping up from numerous conversations in your head.

#5 Keep one hour of the day only for yourself.  Reserve this hour to do anything you enjoy, whether it’s reading, exercising or simply just being by yourself, just make sure there are no screens involved.

#6 After you upload a post on social media, shut down your push notifications for that app. This will help you fight the urge to continuously check updates. 

In general, try and keep your push notifications off, you’ll be surprised at how much of a difference it makes to your mental peace.

#7 Don’t internalise likes and comments on your pictures and think about them for too long, irrespective of whether they are appreciative or negative comments.

#8 Reset your priorities and forget about the Fear of Missing Out. Instead, bask in the Joy of Missing Out, after all, you can’t eat the cake and have it too, can you?

So, for all of us trying to capture the perfect picture for social media, let’s tell ourselves that there's nothing like perfection and real perfection lies in the imperfect.

Don’t let social media make you believe any less in yourself and block you from establishing satisfying relationships. Every time you begin

taking social media too seriously, know the grass is always greener on social media!

- Vrushti Oza

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