Social media is still relatively new, in historical terms, and how it affects our lives has not been researched thoroughly to date. However, I think most people can intuitively feel when their social media use is getting beyond their control, and endeavour to use social media as part of a balanced life. In business, as in life, it’s important to have balance. Here are some ideas on how to use social media in a way that enhances rather than takes away from your real life.

Do real life OR do social media

It’s not only rude to start scrolling through Instagram or Twitter while out to lunch with a friend, it’s also not doing your brain any favours. Cognitively, when you try to do too many things at the one time, you end up doing nothing very well. When you’re with friends or family in real life, focus on them. Actually listen to them and you’ll find the experience much more rewarding. Leave Facebook for the ride home on the train or while waiting at the bus stop.

Don’t Facebook in bed

Or Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn. In fact, don’t use your laptop or phone AT ALL before going to bed. Numerous health researchers and practitioners will tell you that your brain will not switch off effectively unless you leave the technology alone. Take an hour before bed to read a book, have a cup of tea or take a bath – you’ll probably find falling asleep comes easier too.

Take a day off from social media

Taking 24 hours off from social media won’t kill you. The world doesn’t end if you don’t check Instagram every morning. It’s actually pretty refreshing not to have to look at your phone to check your accounts for a whole 24 hour period. It might even leave you feeling keen to get back into it with renewed vigour the next day.

Don’t leave it all out there

Don’t get me wrong – I’m an over-sharer from way back. But I have boundaries and limits to what I share online. Get me in a room having a chat with my friends and you’ll get the full-blown story, but check out my social media profiles and you’ll probably only get a glimpse into my actual personal life. It’s up to each person to decide how far they’ll go with sharing their story on socials, and whether that will benefit them from a business or personal perspective.

If you have any other tips as to how to ensure social media use is balanced in your life, I’d love to hear them. And get in contact if you need help managing your social accounts.