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Social Media Boundaries

In today's digital age, social media has become an integral part of our daily lives, offering us a platform to connect and share things. I mean you’re here on the blog after all! However, while social media can offer benefits, there are also challenges that can impact our mental well-being. So if this post resonates with you, a helpful suggestion might be to consider a “spring cleaning” of your social media feed(s) to ensure they’re offering you the benefits you may hope to seek from using them.

The first part of this would be to determine what are these benefits someone may hope to reap from using social media? Common examples are connection (i.e. connecting with loved ones who do not live locally and/or being a part of a group such as a digital book club or a support group for eating disorder recovery), learning or education, humor and escapism. If you find that you’re not actually reaping these benefits however it may be time to take a more fine tuned look at your usage and possibly set some boundaries.

Tips for Setting Boundaries:

Limit Screen Time: Allocate specific time slots for social media usage and stick to them. This helps prevent mindless scrolling and reduces exposure to triggering content.

Curate Your Feed: Only follow accounts that promote these things you are looking for; unfollow or mute accounts that consistently contribute to negative feelings (even if it’s someone you know personally!). This takes an ability to be mindful and check in with how you’re feeling after logging off of social media, so give yourself time and space to do so, i.e. “engage more mindfully”.

Limit Exposure to “Recommended” or “For You” Pages: These pages are often led by the specific app algorithm to show you things based on what you’ve viewed. This can be helpful if your feed is feeling like a curated and safe space, however if you’ve been viewing posts that don’t contribute to positive feelings, unfortunately the algorithm will likely continue to show you more of these posts. Avoiding these pages can be useful and/or clicking “uninterested” on certain pages or content to try to provide feedback to the algorithm.

Temporarily or Permanently Delete Certain Platforms: Setting boundaries around social media is not black and white, therefore you may need to think about whether temporarily or permanently deleting certain platforms makes sense. You may find that using social media while struggling more with body image or taking care of yourself is not a helpful aspect and therefore decide to temporarily delete an app or apps during this season of life. You may also find with engaging more mindfully that a certain app or apps don’t add any benefit to your life and therefore decide to permanently delete your account.

Ask for Support: If you are struggling with social media overall, please bring this to your treatment team and/or a trusted support person to talk about how to help protect yourself. Sometimes setting boundaries (even if we know we need them) can be difficult to achieve on our own, so you deserve support around this.

Hopefully this helps to ensure that navigating social media is a safe space and encourages a “spring cleaning” of the aspects that do not feel helpful!


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