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5 Keys to Liking Social Media Again (and Not Feeling Like a Boring, Underachieving Loser)

5 Keys to Liking Social Media Again (and Not Feeling Like a Boring, Underachieving Loser)

When we jumped on the social media party bus, we thought it would be the ticket to Friendsville. But while it has many upsides, social media can bring on the blues.

Is it possible to enjoy the party online with feeling the hangover? Absolutely! With these 5 keys below, you can enjoy social media again (and stop feeling like a boring, underachieving loser).

1. Why are you on social media to begin with?

Let’s go back to the beginning when you first heard of sites like Facebook and Twitter. You thought, “Oh, what a neat way to keep in touch with my friends. I’m in!” Kept in that frame—a way to stay in touch—social media is just a tool.

Somewhere along the line, we tended to get manipulated by numbers: how many friends you have, how many friends your friends have, how many people liked your posts, etc. It became about quantity, not quality.

Think about why you are on social media. Let it be a thing that adds to your life, not a thing that defines it. Be very concerned if it becomes your life. Instead of spending hours mindlessly trolling, take control so that you get what you want out of the experience. Make a list of the top 12 people you really want to stay in touch with. Write them a private message, saying something like, “You are someone I want to keep in touch with.” Then, once a week, write a longer message to one person on your list. Develop friendships of quality, not just quantity.

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2. Why are you sharing that?

Much of the fun of social media is reading funny comments. Some of the worst of social media comes from the maniacal overshare that we can all fall into from time to time.

Before you share a status or comment, ask yourself, “Why do I feel the need to share this?” Sometimes sharing from the public announcement platform is convenient and appropriate—and hilarious. But not all the time.

Filling out those instant little messages in privacy, we sometimes lose sight of the bigger audience in the room. Now, with running update features, you never know who will see what you post or in which context they will see it.

Would you stand up in a public restaurant and announce that you just ate too much? Would you walk into a party and tell everyone about the tight pantyhose bunching in your nether regions? If the answer is no, think twice about sharing it on social media. There are more personal ways to share your life with the people who have earned your trust and respect—or who appreciate your humor.

When you recognize that you are needing love and support, use the private message feature and select the people with whom you choose to share. A bit of discretion will help cut out the shame hangover.

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3. Comparison is the thief of happiness.

Brené Brown has popularized this phrase from  Laura Williams. It so good I just can’t top it, and it is a huge key to enjoying social media.

If you go on to social media and compare your life, achievements, body, house, children, spouse, cooking, writing or world to what you find there, you are setting yourself up to feel straight nasty in no time. It will take you right back to childhood when your siblings always got the better deal. If you still want to keep playing out that script, go right ahead, but it will leave you forever in the role of “not good enough.”

Try this: when you see the things that others have or have achieved, add them to your list of cool things: “Oh, maybe next year I’ll make that Halloween costume.” And, “Maybe I’ll do some research to see how we can vacation there.” Those things are not off-limits to you; they just haven’t happened yet.

Or, play the Gratitude Game. For the things that really hit your envy button, make a list of 10 things in your life for which you can feel genuinely grateful. It’s hardly original, but it works if you work at it. Then, if you get to a point where you feel like there’s nothing in your life worth giving thanks for, get yourself to a homeless shelter, battered women’s shelter, emergency youth shelter, or elder care facility STAT. It’s time for a reality check!

4. Give yourself a limit.

You’ve heard of FOMO? It’s the fear of missing out. When you’re enjoying a party, it makes sense to stay. But sometimes you’re not actually enjoying yourself; you’re just sticking around because you don’t have anything better to do or you’re afraid something awesome will happen the minute you leave.

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Here’s the deal: you’re not going to be in on everything. And just maybe by staying at the party, you missed an even better time unfolding somewhere else. Just like a casino, many social media sites are designed to keep you there. You have to practice some self-control and get out. Don’t let your boredom or your FOMO suck the fun out.

Try to have your social media time with a limit, like the 10 minutes over your morning coffee. Or the 20 minutes before your date arrives. Just enough time to feel like you’ve dropped in and said, “Hi.” If you’re used to long stretches of social media during a commute, start cutting back once a week with a trade out for a motivational podcast. Or read a book!

5. Remember it’s not real.

We loved watching movies in my house growing up. My mom had a catch phrase for when movies had effects that were over-the-top or endings that would never happen in real life. She do jazz hands and sing, “Hollywood!” It signaled to us: Remember it’s not real!

The online scene has become as absurd and trumped-up as a Hollywood movie. But you’re brain doesn’t always recognize it because it stars people you know. You have to keep in mind that it’s not real. It’s not totally fake, either, which is why we can get so lost in it.

Everyone on these sites are self-selecting their images and shares, even you and me. We’ve all turned into to little marketers, putting our best on display. Sure, maybe some are better at it than others, but none of it is the whole story.

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See it for what it is. Have fun with it!

Choose how you want to play. Perhaps you can do a month of shares with a theme. Try a seventies theme, Star Wars, write like a noir private detective. Make up a game with three of your friends and challenge each other to mix obscure words into your status shares. If someone catches on, bring them into the game.

If it’s not real, then you get to decide who and how you want to be. I’m not saying lie…I’m saying do it with jazz hands!

What strategy will you use to re-claim your “Like” of social media? Did I spark any ideas that could help others? Any thumbs-down action? Share in the comments below.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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