why you should be mindful of the social media you consume

what type of media are you consuming on a daily basis? how do you consume that media? how do you let it seep into your state of mind and dictate your behavior each and every day? until recently, I never thought about the media I consumed when scrolling through instagram or watching snapchat stories. being someone who mostly focuses on using instagram to create and share content, I neglected to think about how the people I followed, the stories I watched, the images I saw were serving me. 

you see, on average, people spend around 135 minutes on social media a day (almost 2 & a half hours). that’s 49275 minutes a year, or 821.25 hours. which means we’re giving a lot of our time and attention to staring at a screen and consuming media. which also means that what we’re consuming must have some kind of impact on our behaviors, mental health, creativity, goals, and productivity (just to name a few). 

the other day before bed, I unfollowed over 200 people on Instagram. this isn’t because I don’t like those people. It isn’t because I don’t particularly like or agree with what they post. It isn’t because they did anything wrong. It’s simply because their content wasn’t serving me the way I want it too. 

my daily average “activity,” or time, spent on instagram is 45 minutes. I’m a big time-management girl, and really try to make the most of the time I have each day. i’m also someone who hopes to make social media a career, or at least use it to inspire and reach others. so that means that in those 45 minutes, I don’t need to be mindlessly scrolling, and I don’t need to get distracted by stories. posting and sharing my own content take up some of those minutes, but in the rest of that time, I’m consuming media. So it’s important for me to be mindful of what I’m consuming. 

media consumption has power. when we are not mindful of the content we’re consuming, social media becomes kryptonite. It becomes a distraction. It fosters narrow-mindedness. encourages bad habits. neglects perspective. stimulates comparison. leads to unrealistic and unattainable goals. lacks clear and true purpose. contributes to a decline in mental health and self love. and if we’re not intentional about social media, that means we’re spending 2 hours out of our days feeling or behaving this way.

when we are mindful of the content and the way we consume, social media can promote connection. provide inspiration. provide perspective. challenge you. promote creativity. encourage collaboration. foster knowledge. provide resources. improve self love and mental health. 

getting clear and intentional about the way I consume media and the type of media i’m consuming has been eye-opening. and I encourage everyone to do the same. use the previous paragraph as a checklist. If the person or account you’re following isn’t serving or fostering the things I mentioned, then maybe consider unfollowing them.

social media, like instagram, is a platform and we should treat it that way. I want instagram to be a platform where I can post and share content that will inspire, resonate, and get individuals to think, whether that’s creatively, inwardly, or analytically. and I also want it to be a platform where I consume content and information that inspires me, resonates with me, encourages me to think, and provides new perspective that grows and expands my mind. 

media consumption has power. and we spend a lot of our time consuming. but we have the ability to turn consumption on social media from our kryptonite to our superpower, and let it promote growth and success.