I`m back with an interview with my dear Instagram friend Rebecca! We all love social media and I`m sure you have had thoughts about the affects it has on your life whether good or bad! I know for sure that I have been looking for ways to use social media in a repossible way so that it does`nt affect my mental health, because I have been there and had to take longer breaks from it to get back in touch with myself and my prioriteres.
So without further ado here is the interview I did with Rebecca. I love talking about social media with her because she says things that my mind thinks and knows but I’m unable to put into words, she is amazing and you guys should check her out on Instagram and on her blog!
Hey Rebecca could you please tell us a little about yourself and your relationship to social media.
My name is Rebecca Melodee Ndigaye, I’m 30 years old and have been an avid user of social media since around 2007 when Facebook, Tumblr and MySpace were booming. I run a digital agency where I do social media management, content creation and digital consultancy for businesses in Copenhagen, Denmark.
1. How would you describe an unhealthy relationship with social media?
I love social media, and just as there are pros, there are cons. I’d say when you consume more than you create without genuinely engaging with accounts that you follow – scrolling aimlessly, comparing, procrastinating and escaping reality with social media. We all take part in escapism by reading a book, watching a movie etc. but when it reaches the point where it’s the first thing you see in the morning, a necessity during the day, and the last things you see at night, then that’s unhealthy. There’s only so much information, and “inspiration” you can be bombarded with before it becomes passive, not adding any real value to your life but taking away time, and actually decreasing your attention span.
2. Is there a way to use social media mindfully?
There are quite a few,but to keep it short I’d say;(1)C ontent has a life span of 48 hours. Create whatever you want, put it out there and let it do its thing. Share content for community, and not popularity. I think that our motivation determines how we feel when we’re on these apps. If it’s not about the likes, shares and comments and you’re genuinely proud of a piece of content then the lack of them won’t matter - your joy is intact because you’re validated through the process and fun you had creating, or reminiscing that moment/place/thing you chose to share. We make social media about other people, but it’s all about you. You are your content. In the process you’ll find your tribe. Even if that’s 5 people (2) Know that your worth is not tied up with social media numbers (3) Show up when you feel like it. It takes the pressure off of constantly having to be on these apps. There are so many “social media experts” making money off of telling people when to post, and how the “algorithm has changed”, and it’s nuts (4) Follow the people that inspire you.
3. Do you think that social media can cause us to become less aware of our mental health?
Most definitely. You’re submerged in information from the time you wake up, till you go to bed . . . that is if you aren’t stuck on your phone. When it gets really bad, social media can be addictive. There are numerous studies that show that there is a direct link between social media and mental health issues such as anxiety, depression, suicidal ideation as well as self harm, the latter because we’re made numb. Our minds aren't equipped to process a dancing cat, to then a homeless man, a new single from Beyoncé, to your best friend grocery shopping, social injustice, and then a cute outfit all within 3 minutes. In general terms – we lose the ability to feel, the emotional intelligence and capacity to express ourselves, and then go to extremes to feel alive, or not wanting to be alive. When we are happy on social media, it’s instant gratification, and then it’s gone in a few minutes, because you saw something that made you feel less than, and then we have to stimulate ourselves, and that’s how the wheel keeps turning and the mind wanders, in these times, than can lead to a harmful place if social media isn’t used with care.
4. Do you believe in taking breaks from social media or is it better to create and use a strategy on how to use the platforms?
There is no right or wrong. Take a break, have a strategy - just make sure you look up from your screen once in a while. I left Instagram for two years, because of the negativity on the platform. I understand that that’s a bit much, but it goes to show, social media isn’t everything there’s life outside of these apps. Even having one day, or the weekend where you aren't on social media frees up your mental space. There is genuine FOMO (fear of missing out) I get that, but whatever was posted will be there when you get back on the platform. Some people are scared of breaks because they don’t want to “lose followers” or their connections. When someone unfollows you, they aren’t genuinely interested in your content, and that’s completely fine. Let them go and be grateful for the time that you were able to inspire them, and focus on those that are present. At the end of the day, there is a subconscious need for us to be “liked” and appreciated on social media, but that shouldn’t be at the expense of your well being. Scheduling tools like Later, Planoly and the likes are great because planning and posting in real time can be taxing if you do it often. Decision fatigue is real, and you don’t want to waste precious brain energy on posting on the gram. I do a combination of both, and I show up when I want to, but always with value.
5. Social media can bring a lot of joy to people especially during this pandemic. What are some of your best tips to not stay glued to the screens these days?
(1) Plan your days ahead, or at least the day before and schedule out times where you’ll be on the platform, and why - to engage, to post, for inspiration? When you have a purpose, you become intentional ( 2) Get on the platforms after your morning routine so you aren’t bombarded with impressions first thing. The feed knows no boundaries, so you have to create and stick to yours (3) Fill your day with activities that don’t require your phone. Maybe start with an hour, then be on the phone for 10 minutes, and continue as you feel led. (4) You are in control – you don’t have to follow any and everything. Turn off your notifications, and mute as many accounts as possible. Have a scroll through who you are following every two weeks. If you don’t go back to any of those accounts, unfollow. Be selective. . . Not as in “I only follow the cool accounts” but more, do I genuinely interact with this account? They could be creating great content, but that doesn’t mean that it’s for you. And remember that when someone unfollows you. It’s not personal. It’s just social media – treat it with a light heart, it could literally crash and be gone any second. Create and consume what you see as valuable to make you happy, whatever that is. Be social. Social media was meant to connect, not collect people.
Oh I love that so much [ social media was meant to connect, not collect people ]
Thank you so much Rebecca for doing this interview, you are truly amazing and there is so much value in your replies that I’m sure alot of us can and will benefit from.. Thank you
To everyone who has taken the time to read this post thank you
Until next time