Social media has undoubtedly taken over the way we communicate in today’s modern world. Through sites such as Facebook, twitter, and instagram, we now have unprecedented access to share our lives with the world. With this great power, also comes a seriously great burden; and it is up to all of us to know what is appropriate for sharing, and when we are in the bad habit of sharing too much. It is not an easy determination to make, and some of us often get caught up with oversharing the mundane activities that occur in our everyday lives — leaving us with a bad social media habit to break.
This article on Policymic, Oversharing is Ruining Social Media, makes a great point in this statement; “Not all of your “friends” and “followers” want to know every single detail of your life.” Just because we can share, doesn’t mean we should share it. Once you become addicted to social media, and form a bad habit of sharing every little activity, it can be quite difficult to wean yourself off the social circuit. I know this all too well because I suffered from oversharing. My addiction was the Facebook check-in. I remember one Saturday in particular – the day I realized I truly had a problem and needed to rethink my social sharing – where I checked-in about 5 times in that one day. I checked-in at the library, at lunch, at the nail salon, at my daughter’s dance school, and at dinner. When I settled in for the night and reviewed my Facebook activity for the day I was a little taken aback; I had not realized, until that moment, how much I was oversharing.
Breaking a bad social media habit is not an easy thing to do but it is possible. Here are the ways I am weaning myself off my worst social media habit – the serial Facebook check-in:
Control the impulse
Whenever I arrived at a new destination, my first thought was “I’ve got to check-in!” Every time I reached for my phone, I would tell myself to stop. Put the phone back. It required a lot of self-talk and inner monologue, but eventually I talked myself right out of ever thinking about checking-in at all. Now, it will normally be a friend who suggests a check-in while we are all out together; which surely does not happen on the daily.
Forget the phone
No, don’t leave the phone at home (now that is something I could never do!) but just forget about it while you’re out. I trained my brain not to think about my phone much. It took a long time, and I am still backsliding on some days, but it’s definitely better than it used to be. When I don’t think about the phone as much, I am less likely to attempt an unnecessary check-in.
Save it for the good times
Another thing that I now think of every time I am about to give in to the check-in urge is whether this is one of those good times that I really want to share. Will anyone care? Am I at some great new restaurant that I want to tell people about? Will someone be interested in this happening new salon that I am trying out? Those are the types of things I try to consider before I press that check-in button.
I’ve heard that it takes 21 days to form a new habit. In that case, I am about a week away from being fully weaned off my oversharing Facebook check-in habit. If you find that you suffer from the same ailment, just take it one day at a time and remember: it starts in your mind. Once you’ve directed your thoughts elsewhere for long enough, you won’t even miss your former ways.
Social media and oversharing
On social media, oversharing is a no-no
The Consequences of Oversharing on Social Networks