Imagine you’re meeting a friend at a bar. He’s a little late, you have to wait. What do you do? You'll probably catch up with all the latest Instagram stories or your exes new pics on Facebook. Ah, and don’t forget the snap of Kim Kardashian's new mansion at the beach and the new huge creative project by this online creator who inspires you.
Social Media, a platform intended to communicate with friends and family, has gradually become a place for narcissistic “look what I have that you don’t have” content and an endless stream of new people to follow, that seem to have that perfect life you’ll probably never have.
And because it came in handy to pick up our beloved phones in every second we feel boredom could make its way to us, we're constantly immersing into others peoples lives, stories, and successes through social media.
“That’s old news!” you’re probably whispering towards the screen now. We’re probably all aware of how people curate their profiles in order to make their life look as perfect as possible. I do it, and I guess you do it, too. Nothing is wrong with that. That's in our human nature; In the stone age, we crafted cave paintings, your grandma probably put a lot of work in photo albums to show around and nowadays? Nowadays we try to find the best photo filter to give our pics the perfect twist.
I have come to a point where I realized, this digital input is not an inspiration but rather a distraction. Don't get me wrong here, It's not a bad thing to take a look at what others are doing, but does endless perfect design-, travel- and fashion content really adds value to your life? It probably does not.
That's why I decided to stop consuming and start creating more. And no, I didn't deleted my social media profiles, ditched Alexa and moved to a lonely spooky house in the woods, but I proactively changed my relationship to social and digital media.
Step 1: Unfollow
Do you really need 60 fashion related blogs with all these beautiful, shirtless men posing in your Instagram feed? I don’t. That's why I decreased my following to two-thirds of the profiles I followed before.
Step 2: Mute
Remember a day you have viewed all Instagram stories? Like there was no more content to tap through? No?
That's why I decided to mute 95% of stories by people I follow. It's not that I don’t like them, but their content just doesn’t appears to add value to my life or career.
Now I only see stories of my closest friends and family as well as a selected number of value-adding influencers. Guess how long it takes to view all the latest stories now? Not more than 2 minutes.
Step 3: Be Aware
Waking up: checking all the latest Instagram stories. Bored in the bathroom? Stories. On your commute to work? You guessed it: Stories. Sounds familiar?
That's what my old life looked like most of the time. Today, I try to open these apps more conscientious and try to make myself aware of how often I access this content online.
Instead of checking my phone right after I woke up, I let it remain in flight mode for just a little longer. On the commute to work, I rather read a book or listen to a podcast. You see the pattern here...
Step 4: Make Use Of Your New Freedom
As you decrease the content as well as the duration you access it, you gain a lot of time. Make use of it! Take a moment to think and breathe. Read a book (not your Kindle App. A real, printed book), listen to a podcast but also and most importantly, START CREATING!
Write a blog, work towards the online business you always dreamed of, apply for a new job, learn to code, take a run or freeze the perfect moment in breathtaking photos or videos. Don’t be afraid to distribute your ideas. Even through social media! If you’ll reach just one out there who says: “this dude really adds value to my life”, you have done well. Bravo!
You see, it’s all about not getting distracted of your own journey.
Remember you’re waiting for that good friend at the bar? Appreciate that! Your friend values you. He likes to spend time with you. Isn’t that what makes life beautiful?