Social media can cause a raft of problems over the holidays if not used with care.
Social Media has quickly become not only a huge part of our lives but an extension of our lives. From Instagram to snapchat and Facebook, it is a space to curate a version of the life you are living or perhaps the life you are reaching for.
But the holiday season is a time to take extra care, as social media is often a reflection of our emotional state of mind, without us even realising it. And the holidays can be emotionally challenging for a huge percentage of the population.
Think abut the people closest to you for a second. We all know a gorgeous girl who every time she has a break up posts bikini shots, or snaps with her friends, and sometimes you can even predict the captions. “The real loves of my life” at the bottom of a photo at the beach in her bikinis with her girlfriends is a prime example, and is really saying “I am heartbroken, thank goodness for my girlfriends”.
Remember your social media accounts are seen by a lot more people than you think, including current and future employers, your children and their friends, your children’s teachers and so on. And before you say “that wont happen to me as they don’t have access” they only need to have one friend in common with you who does have access, and boom. They’re watching you.
So how do you prevent your innermost thoughts and fears turning up on social media without you even knowing it?
Here are some tips:
- Less Is More – You only need one or two photos of the big day, like Christmas Lunch, not 12. And if you are posing multiples, ensure every frame is different to keep it interesting.
- Just because it’s a special night like New Years Eve, doesn’t mean you have to post that night online. I am someone who loves a super low key NYE with friends, and I am happy with that decision. Doesn’t mean I have to turn that event into a supposed big party online just because it is NYE
- Keeping some things OFF social media is sometimes more important than putting them on, this is particularly true if it relates to your family or personal relationships. The world doesn’t need to see your Christmas gift from your lover, for example.
- Social Media is NOT the place to get even with an ex or promote your newly found single status. EVER.
- Social Media is NOT the place to vent about the things going wrong in your life such as your recent divorce, money problems or family issues. Grab a friend and have a coffee and talk through that stuff, or see a therapist.
- Don’t over photo-shop your images. The singe biggest tend in instagram in 2017 visually has been unaltered unfiltered natural photos. Keep it real.
- Write sincere captions. People are reading captions more than ever, and it’s your chance to send a powerful message to the world, so stop and think before you write.
- Use instagram stories with care. Many people are posting 4 or 5 stories a day. Stop! This is way too many. Three is an absolute maximum if it’s a special day, or perhaps if you are travelling, but people just don’t want to watch your life over and over. One or two is ideal.
- Do NOT look at your ex’s social media accounts. This is the single quickest way to feel insecure and unhappy instantly over the holidays. He is an ex for a reason. Let it go.
- Take some time out to look at your social media habits over the past 12 months, and set some new boundaries for 2018. Ideas like social media free-days, a month off, a no devices at the dinner table rule, or even reviewing your friend’s list and culling are ways to start fresh and get real balance in your life.
- Stop and think before blocking someone. Blocking someone on social media is actually a very direct, and harsh thing to do. It’s the equivalent of slamming a door in someone’s face publicly, in the real world. It hurts. There are other ways not to see someone’s feed – Facebook offers these, so stop and think before you do this, especially if you have just broken up.
- Do not use inappropriate sites for dating. Linked In seems to somehow have become the place to meet new people to date. This is not right. Do not get swept up in meeting people on-line on the wrong sites. If you want a date, go to a dating site. If you want a job, use a job seeker site, but don’t get the two confused.