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Wednesday, January 15, 2020

SOCIAL MEDIA BOUNDARIES ARE A MUST

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We have arrived at the halfway mark of January 2020 and my anxiety is through the roof, and I know it's due to my self diagnosed social media addiction. I noticed one night that my nerves were high as I watched some Black women who I mostly enjoy live-tweet the Surviving R. Kelly part 2 docu-series. I reached out to a friend to tell her how much I wanted everyone to shut the fuck up. Now, I am all for the takedown, prosecution, and conviction of R. Kelly, so my gut feeling for everyone to hush had to be connected to my anxiety. I say often that when my social media seems like a noisy middle school cafeteria then it's time to put my phone down. But. . . .addiction.

Since a lot of the growth of Ms.Vixen relies on social media and I still run this platform alone, it's important that I create some serious boundaries between myself and these apps that have been the fuel of my anxiety lately. My mental health can not remain stable if I don't. The stability of my mind is more important than any work I'll ever produce.  So, I put together a list of things I will be doing for the next 30 days to help me create a healthy boundary with social media.


Block, mute and delete. 

This process took some time and happened at many different levels so I broke them down in steps 
  1.  Get ride of lurkers, or people's profiles you are no interested in or no longer inspired by. I went through all my list and unfollowed/unfriended anyone who didn't seem active on their own profile OR folks I hardly engage with. This is a personal choice but people in my space "just starring" or "I'm just starring at" make me extremely uncomfortable (this is probably an NYC thing). I should feel comfortable in all my surroundings even if they're online. 
  2. Delete folks who "Gaslight Post" These are the people that share very controversial article photos and memes and caption it thoughts? They offer nothing but take everything, this uneven exchange of energy is never something you need to delete them fools. Also, people who are "friends," or follow me online just to counter and be negative about everything I say (including family and friends) can go as well. I would suggest if this is a family member or a friend let them know that you would rather not interact with their post, and you still love them.
  3. Mute people, so you don't see their post for a while I continuously mute and unmute people throughout the year. My real-life interactions with people aren't continuous 24/7 interactions, so they also shouldn't be in my social media life 24/7 either. Muting allows you to take breaks from people and their thoughts. I think this is a very natural and safe thing to do. Also, this isn't rude, it's self-care sis. 
  4. Just  press the block button. I am so quick to block a person lately. I use to not block people cause the tone on social media is that it boosts the person on the receiving end of the block ego, but I don't care about that at all anymore. It's for me, and my mental wellness and that is way more important than some person I most likely won't have a present IRL friendship with. For the folks you do know offline, who cares if you were great friends in college? If who they are online doesn't add to your life, and continuously drains you delete or block them if necessary. Also, I block accounts of any social media popular person whose ideas and core values don't align with my own. No, I don't really need to hear both sides especially if those kinds of accounts usually further an agenda that adds to my marginalization. This allows their content to almost never show up on my feed, I love blocking people now!

Time Limits

I have to be extremely honest with myself, I need a break from social media. I want to continue being honest with myself about not be ready to commit to that just yet. So I have set up time limits for myself. I mostly only use social media while on my long commute to and from work. My subway ride is about one hour and twenty minutes so that's plenty of time. You’ll never successfully set boundaries from social media if you ignore this simple tenet.

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Mute

We hear a ding, buzz or hum and suddenly we’re all over our phone, laptop or iPad. But you can avoid that by muting all of your social media notifications. I turned off all my notifications and since I have an iPhone I put all my social media in one folder. I made this folder very difficult to access quickly on my phone, so going on social media is always a task, and never something quick and easy for me to do.

Delete the App

I only plan on doing this if the other things I'm doing currently don't help. Sometimes you just need to completely disengage. Your social media accounts will obviously still be active, but if you temporarily delete the apps  from your phone, you won’t have the desire to check your feeds over and over again.

Sometimes, Not Sharing Is Caring 

You don’t have to share every single thought, incident, situation, dream, inspiration…get where I’m going? Recognizing this can keep you from spending all of your time on social media. Start using your notes app if there's a thought you need to release, or go old school and get a journal. Also, every headline you read doesn't need to be shared. We aren't news reporters, so chill.

Leave Your Phone Alone

Most of us carry our cell phone on our person at all times. But there are times when we simply don’t need it. Unless you’re expecting a very important phone call, there’s no reason you should bring your phone into the bathroom (also phones have so many germs, go wipe your phone down with an alcohol pad) if you’re taking a shower, or have it at your side while striking a yoga pose, or while getting dressed. Put the phone away. You will be all right.










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