Today I’m sharing this post alongside my friends Arin from Arin Solange at Home and Navy from Navy Berlin, plus some other gals as part of Arin & Navy’s fun Summer Blog Series. I’ve already participated in two other posts with these two this month if you’ve missed them… read my blogging journey here and my mom hacks here.
This week’s topic is all about finding balance with social media, which is especially tricky when it’s part of your job, like it is for me. I am by no means an expert and haven’t figured it all out, but over the past few months, I’ve tried really hard to find a balance and set better boundaries with social media. These are just a few thoughts on how I try to respect my family and friends by not being on my phone all the time while also getting the work done that I need to get done. I actually briefly spoke about this in my blogging story post but want to go into even more detail today!
Let’s start out by stating the obvious: social media can be consuming and as a result, exhausting. At the same time, it’s such a fun and practical way to stay in touch with friends and family, follow along with brands and companies (and bloggers ;)) that you like, and basically just stay connected. I love that I can see what friends from high school and college are up to even though we don’t physically speak on a day-to-day basis. I also love following other bloggers, brands, companies, and stores to stay informed on things and to consume the content they put out.
As a “brand” and “content creator”, it’s more than just a relational platform, however. Being on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and my website is the lifeblood to my job and the way I grow and make money. Not being on social media simply isn’t an option for me. But where do you draw the line then?
Here are seven practices that I try to implement around social media in order to set boundaries for myself.
One of the best things I can do in order to make posting on social media feel less stressful and less like a big hassle is to plan ahead. Believe me, it doesn’t always work out how I want, but ideally, I like to think and plan for a week in advance. That means I think through and plan out my Instagram posts, blog posts, and any other social media content that will either need to be created or put together. Having a schedule keeps me organized and also takes the guesswork out of what I’m posting that day, so I’m not scrolling through my phone frantically trying to come up with something to get on Instagram.
LEAVE YOUR PHONE BEHIND
This is something I’ve been doing a lot more lately and it’s SO EASY. Think about all the places we take our phones… to the dinner table, TO THE BATHROOM, upstairs, downstairs, outside, across the room… it’s crazy! One thing I’ve been consciously thinking about is leaving my phone when I’m doing simple tasks or moving around my house during the day. I have an Apple Watch, so if someone texts me or tries to call, I’ll still be notified, which gives me so much freedom to leave my phone downstairs while Kennedy and I play in her room. Or leave it on the counter when I’m having dinner with my family. This tip is as simple as just removing the temptation. I dare you to try this today, even just once, and see how it goes. I bet you’ll survive. ;)
POST AT TIMES THAT WORK FOR YOU
There are all sorts of opinions on when you should post on Instagram (and other platforms) for the best engagement, which again, if this is your job, that’s really important to consider. At the same time, I know very specific times of day when I’m going to be occupied with other things like getting Kennedy up, feeding her throughout the day, putting her to bed, and spending time with Michael. I try to plan my posting schedule, and work schedule in general, around what works with my family. That usually looks like posting/writing early before Kennedy wakes up, during nap time, and/or in the evenings after she’s gone to bed. I really try to plan my posts for times that won’t interfere with spending time with my family.
TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS
Some of you might be thinking “what does these even mean”? Simply put, you have the option of pushing notifications to yourself through everything from Instagram, Facebook, your emails, etc. If you have notifications turned on, you will get a message each and every time someone posts something, sends you an email, and so forth. I’ve decided to keep these off, which means I’m not being sent notifications constantly. I physically have to open an app or refresh my mail to see anything new. By doing this, I’m not being flooded with new posts or messages all day long, which allows me to decide when I want to check all those things on my own terms.
PLAN AHEAD FOR VACATIONS & TIME AWAY
Planning for vacations or any time away is something I’ve done since I first started blogging. This takes the planning ahead concept a little bit further. If I know I’m going on a trip but want to keep posting or have blog posts that will be going live during that time, I do my very best to have all of that mapped out and completed before leaving. It’s a lot of extra work ahead of time, but it allows me to not be on my computer and phone while on a trip. There are still moments or times throughout the day when I do need to log on to Instagram or my site to do something or send a post, but as far as the actual writing and content creating, I really try to work on that before as much as possible. Oftentimes while on vacation, I don’t have new blog posts being published and will post on Instagram sporadically and more on the fly than normal.
TAKE A DAY OFF
I talked about this idea in my blogging post from a couple weeks ago, but recently I’ve been taking Sundays off social media all together. There are certainly exceptions but it is my goal each Sunday to completely unplug from both social media and my blog. For anyone who doesn’t do this as a job, that probably doesn’t sound like a big deal, but it really is a difficult discipline that I’m working on making a priority in my life. Sundays are our day for relaxation and family, so putting my phone away just makes sense for me on that particular day.
WRITE YOUR OWN RULES
This should go without saying, but everyone’s take on and experience with social media is completely different. My husband, for one, doesn’t even use social media. Like none of it. Which is pretty ironic when you consider how much I do use it haha. But again, if social media isn’t part of your job, these boundaries might not be as applicable to you as others. Either way, you have to figure out what works for you. I do think that having a balance with social media (and phones in general) these days is super important, but that’s going to look different for all of us!
I don’t always get these points right, but it is a goal of mine to follow these guidelines I’ve tried to set for myself. Although social media is a HUGE part of my job, nothing is more important to me than being a wife and mom. Spending time with my family and being present with both Michael and Kennedy is always my priority, so I’m on a mission to work smarter, not harder.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on social media and finding a balance. Whether or not you use social media as a part of your job, I think we can all agree that our culture is a bit obsessed and we could all probably stand to be more mindful of that. Do you have any good tips or tricks you utilize to make sure you’re not always glued to your phone? Please share!