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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 May 21, 2019

13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

Creating your productivity ritual — a routine that helps you to maintain a peak level of energy can get you the best out of your days.

Part of creating your productivity routine involves removing activities that drain you (what I call “kryptonites”), and that includes your bad habits.

Like it or not, bad habits are bad for you — mentally, physically, emotionally and even socially in some cases. While some bad habits are harder to quit than others, it doesn’t change the fact that you need to get rid of them. Here are 13 bad habits to quit right away:

1. Stress Eating

I used to be a serious stress eater. I would eat whenever I felt unhappy, stressed, disappointed, anxious, or even… happy! My eating had nothing to do with being hungry, and everything to do with using food to fill my emotional voids.

While eating would comfort me, this feeling was momentary and would disappear right after I was done eating. Instead, what I had left would be the same emotional void that triggered me to eat in the first place (be it unhappiness or stress), a 2,000 excess calorie intake over what I should have eaten for the day, and anger at myself for having stress ate.

I’ve since overcome stress eating. I have healthy eating habits and a healthy relationship with food today where I no longer use food as a tool to fill my emotions.

If you are a stress eater, don’t fret — here’s how to manage your stress better:

How to Manage Stress (A Step-by-Step Guide to Turn Stress Into Success)

2. Nail Biting

Not only is nail biting unhygienic, it is also socially repelling, leads to dental problems like malocclusion of the anterior teeth,[1] potentially cause stomach problems,[2] and lead to severely deformed fingernails in the long run.

People who bite their nails tend to have shorter nails than the average person; their nail plates also experience scarring and may eventually become absent.[3]

Understand what triggers your nail biting behavior and replace it with another neutral to positive habit. Make habits to break habits.

For example, if you bite your nails when you are stressed, go for a walk or listen to music instead the next time you feel stressed.

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3. Hanging out with Naysayers

We all know these people — people who play devil’s advocate to every idea you have and every goal you want to pursue. We are already our greatest self-critics, so it doesn’t help when there’s someone beside us, ever ready to pounce on what we say and tear it down.

Hang out less with these naysayers and spend more time with supportive people who share constructive feedback instead. You will be much happier this way.

Learn how to get rid of naysayers with these 10 Ways to Ignore the Naysayers and Achieve Your Dreams.

4. Being with People Who Don’t Appreciate You

Haven’t all of us been in this situation before? Trying to please people who don’t appreciate us? Bending over backwards to be there for people when they are never there for us?

While we give without expectations of return, we need to draw a line with people who don’t value us because these people damage our souls.

Stop spending time with people who don’t appreciate you, and spend more time with people who do instead.

Unsure who you should get rid of? Learn about it here: 5 Kinds of Toxic People That You Need to Get Rid of Now

5. Smoking

Smoking is one of the leading causes of preventable death globally.[4]

In just the United States alone, about 500,000 deaths are attributed to smoking-related diseases annually. A recent study estimated that as much as one-third of China’s male population will have significantly shortened life-spans due to smoking! Gender-wise, male and female smokers lose an average of 13.2 and 14.5 years of life respectively — that’s over a decade of life right there.[5]

Not only that, smoking causes pre-mature skin aging (i.e. wrinkles), yellowing of teeth, bad breath, and worse of all — jeopardy of the health of people around you, including your loved ones. Studies have shown that non-smokers exposed to second-hand smoke are at risk to many of the health problems associated with direct smoking.[6]

Smoking risks

    6. Excessive Drinking

    All of us know that drinking too much alcohol is bad for us, but do you know how bad it really is?

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    According to the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, drinking too much — be it on a single occasion or over time — can seriously damage your health:[7]

    • Brain problems: Alcohol interferes with the brain’s communication pathways, making it harder to think clearly and move with coordination.
    • Heart diseases: Cardiomyopathy – Stretching and drooping of heart muscle, Arrhythmias – Irregular heart beat, stroke, high blood pressure
    • Liver diseases: Steatosis or fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis, fibrosis, cirrhosis
    • Pancreas problems: Pancreatitis, a dangerous inflammation and swelling of the blood vessels in the pancreas that prevents proper digestion.
    • Different types of cancer: Mouth, esophagus, throat, liver, breast

    If you drink a lot, perhaps cutting it out right away will be tough. Cut down the number of glasses you drink each time, followed by the number of times you drink a week.

    If need be, seek help from an AA group — you aren’t alone in this. Change starts from today.

    7. Eating Junk Food (Including Diet Soda)

    Junk food — they are everywhere in our society today. From McDonald’s, to KFC, to Burger King, to 24-hour takeouts, junk food such as fries, highly processed burgers and sodas has become a staple in our society today.

    If you think, “Hey, but junk food is tasty!”, think again:

    A study by Paul Johnson and Paul Kenny suggests that junk food consumption alters brain activity in a way similar to addictive drugs like cocaine and heroin.[8]

    “After many weeks with unlimited access to junk food, the pleasure centers of rat brains became desensitized, requiring more food for pleasure.”

    And you wonder why you seem to crave fast food when you just had some the day before?

    While it may not be possible to remove junk food completely from our diet right away, we can reduce our junk food consumption starting today. Instead of soda, opt for a fruit juice (fresh juice, not the carbonated kind) or mineral water. Instead of fries, switch to mashed potato, a salad, or rice (many food outlets allow for this today). Instead of a fried meat patty, go for a grilled one.

    Where possible, opt for healthy food joints like salad bars and delis as opposed to fast food outlets. Every little step goes a long way.

    Here’re some healthy snacks ideas for you: 15 Healthy Snacks You Should Always Have At Home

    8. Eating Too Much Red Meat

    There has been conclusive evidence that consumption of red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer; and suggestive evidence that it increases the risk of oesophageal cancer, lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and endometrial cancer.

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    In addition, some studies have linked consumption of large quantities of red meat with breast cancer, stomach cancer, lymphoma, bladder cancer, lung cancer and prostate cancer![9]

    Personally, I’m a vegetarian so I don’t consume red meat, but for those of you who consume red meat, do watch out and limit your intake — better still, cut it out of your diet. World Cancer Research Fund recommends limiting intake of red meat to less than 300g (11 oz) cooked weight per week, “very little, if any of which to be processed.”

    Of if you’re thinking about becoming a vegetarian, check out this guide: 5 Practical Tips For Starting a Vegetarian Lifestyle

    9. Watching Too Much TV

    I stopped watching TV since eight years ago and I have never regretted it. Every once in a while I will switch on the telly to see what is on, and then I will switch it off because it’s just the same boring shtick over and over again.

    Watching TV, particularly well-written dramas, can be a good way to unwind. However, remember that TV isn’t your life.

    Spending three hours every night watching TV will not change your life for the better. Rather, using that time to reflect on your life, take stock, and take action on your goals will.

    It’s not easy to remove TV from your daily routine right away, but follow these 6 Steps To Remove TV From Your Life.

    10. Being Late

    Not only is being late being rude to others, it also means that you’re always rushing from one place to another, playing catch up in your agenda, and having to apologize to every person you meet.

    Stop being late and not being punctual, but practice being early instead. Target to arrive 15 minutes earlier before any appointment and bring along something to do in those 15 minutes (or longer if the other person turns out to be late). Then you can stop playing catch up and stay ahead in life.

    Learn more tips about how to be more punctual here: How to Be On Time Every Time

    11. Being in Bad Relationships

    Are you always dating the wrong guys/girls? Do you end up with jerks all the time? Well, you may not be able to stop yourself from meeting bad partners but you can certainly stop yourself from furthering contact with them, spending time with them, or even… entering into a relationship with them.

    I used to invest myself in this guy who was nothing but toxic for me. After a good five months of experiencing nothing but getting burned over and over again, I realized that he was a total waste of my time and I deserved better. I decided to cut him off, and it was soon after that I met my soulmate.

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    Learn about why you shouldn’t stay in a bad relationship and how to deal with it if you’re in one: Why Trying Hard to Stay in an Unhappy Relationship Is Not Love, but Fear

    12. Leaving Things to the Last Minute

    Burning the midnight oil isn’t fun — it’s exhausting.

    Those of you who got through college by burning the midnight oil would have learned this the hard way. Not only is it damaging for your body, it is also mentally draining as you’re constantly in a hyper-tense mode, feeling anxious about whether you can finish your work on time.

    Start today on a new note. Rather than react to your deadlines, be proactive about them by planning ahead, identifying what needs to be done for the week, and getting things done in advance.

    By staying ahead of your tasks, you can also use your extra time to plan ahead in your life and get more things done.

    Take a look at this guide and learn how to stop procrastinating: Procrastination – A Step-By-Step Guide to Stop Procrastinating

    13. Focusing on the Negatives

    In every situation, there are two ways you can react: zoom down to the problem areas and crib about how things aren’t the way you want, or celebrate the areas that are going well and work on making everything better.

    Many of us see the importance of doing the latter but in practice, we do the former. Why though? Criticizing and focusing on the negatives is easy but it doesn’t empower nor inspire us to be better.

    Make a change — for every negative encounter you run into, I challenge you to identify three things that are good about it. Practice doing this for one week, and by the end of the week you’ll find that your first instinct is to think positive, not negative.

    And here’re even more ways to help you stay positive: 11 Tips for Maintaining your Positive Attitude

    The Bottom Line

    So here you find the 13 most common bad habits and their consequences on your mind and body. The good news’ you can quit them all.

    Just spot out your own bad habits and take my suggestions to quit them. Then you’ll find your life a lot healthier and happier!

    Need more tips to break your bad habits? Check out these articles:

    Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

    Reference

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