Nearly every one of us has that friend: The one who claims he or she spends too much time on social media and is shutting down all online accounts. These posts always leave us baffled. It’s the modern-day equivalent of "The Boy Who Cried Wolf."
First, let’s get things straight. No one actually cares enough to stop anyone. We’ve all imagined leaving at one time or another. But we also all have felt the fear of missing out.
If you think you can kick your social media habit cold turkey, then good luck. It's an addict's pipe dream. You might hold out for a while, but it's likely you'll relapse with a new profile.
Still, there is a solution. Keep reading, and you'll learn how to make social media work for you.
1. Unfollow or unfriend all the whiny people.
You know who we mean. Some of these people are your friends, and some are family. Some even are work contacts. Researchers at The University of California San Diego discovered scientific proof behind the adage that "you are who you surround yourself with." Their work revealed a dynamic spread of happiness in large social networks. Their published report concludes: "People's happiness depends on the happiness of others with whom they are connected." Personal interaction remains significant, even in the era of memes and gifs.
2. Follow only the topics that matter most to you.
Health, relationships and wealth are among most people's main themes. Is Upworthy too emotional and filled with clickbait for your current tastes? Stop telling people and unfollow it! If you want to know more about finance, making money and future advances, get rid of the silly meme pages that waste your time. Instead, follow trusted resources, like Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur Philippines!
3. Find groups that teach through crowdsourced wisdom.
This is called building a digital mastermind. Find the right communities, and you can get decent answers with zero trolling insults. It’s also smarter and more targeted than asking your current friends for advice on specific topics. If they don't share your obsession for these pursuits, they won't have the knowledge base to care about responding to your question.
4. Unsubscribe from your daily email gunk.
Find newsletters worth following and ditch the rest. It could be the best-spent 30 minutes of your week. Purge the junk today, and repeat in two months' time. Instead, follow newsletters with content you'll actually use in your work or personal life.
5. Now do the same on YouTube and Snapchat.
Dare do it and you might even have time to learn more about consumer psychology. Follow TED talks, Gary Vaynerchuck and Grant Cardone. You might also want to check out Morgan B and Justin.tv.
6. Take time off from consuming so you can produce instead.
This idea sounds a bit like a contradiction at first. But what good are you as a knowledge junkie if you’re not putting into action the information you accumulate? Feed your brain, body and soul. Go to the gym and try the workout routine you read. Re-create a new low-carb recipe you saw on Food Network. Call a friend to say "I love you" after filling your Pinterest board or Instagram feed with positive, caring quotes.
Some people inevitably will need to lower their social activity or deactivate selected accounts. Try these ideas before you unplug completely. You'll feel more positive and benefit from the daily shuffle.
In case these tips didn't jumpstart your personal growth with social media, did you hear about the fat, ugly cat at the grocery store? What it did next was unbelievably cute.
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This article originally appeared on Entrepreneur.com. Minor edits have been done by Entrepreneur.com.ph