5 Types of Boundaries For Healthy Social Media Use

5 types of boundaries for healthy social media use

One of the most valuable steps you can take to improve your mental health (and the overall quality of life) is to enforce boundaries for healthy social media use.

But it can feel so impossible to do successfully or to stick to consistently!

Also, is it just me, or does the looming new year make you panic that yet another year of your life is almost gone?

(It’s okay to say yes, this is a common feeling.)

The thought is scary! It’s much easier to avoid the feeling by distracting ourselves & procrastinating. Not so fortunately for us, we live in a world with all the procrastination we could ever imagine right at our finger tips!

Not to mention that the holidays are filled with an endless feed of highlight reel posts that make the void never ending.

If you find yourself going down the black hole of mindless scrolling, I feel you.

Here are some tips to consider when it comes to setting boundaries for healthy social media use.

1. The Who

The first boundary you should look at is WHO you interact with on social media. This includes who you follow, who you message, who you allow to follow you.

While it may seem like a hard choice to make, it’s one of THE most impactful controls you can put in place to improve your relationship with social media & minimize the impacts of scrolling.

2. The What

Equally as import, the WHAT covers the type of content you spend time on.

Algorithms can make this one complicated by always pushing tempting content to click on, and I recognize that.

But you do have choices that are in your control:

  • Again, who you choose to follow in your circle.
  • Choosing content that’s a mix of educational, thought-provoking, inspiring, and aligns with the type of person you want to be
  • Content that makes you feel good, challenges your perspectives, and empowers you to grow.

3. The When

Controlling how much time you spend on social media is arguably one of the more difficult boundaries to enforce. Some tips for how to improve your habits via boundaries include:

  1. Decide the designated times you would like to allow yourself to spend on social media. This could mean picking a specific time of day to spend on social media, while also setting a defined period of time each day to scroll. You can enforce time limits within the app, or possibly even through your phone itself. It could also mean choosing specific days per week that you can use social media, and deleting the apps for the time you don’t wish to be distracted (i.e. delete it for weekdays, re-download for weekends only).
  2. Turn off notifications so that you minimize temptation. I know this doesn’t work on it’s own. But if you need just a little bit of friction, this is usually enough!
  3. It’s a good idea to limit scrolling first thing in the morning and right before bed as these are two crucial times of day that set the tone for healthy habits that impact your overall well-being (your holistic wellness!).

4. The Where

The WHERE can be an effective tool when used in combination with the WHEN when it comes to enforcing boundaries for healthy social media use and creating lasting habits.

If you’re trying to limit the amount of time you spend on social media, it can help to design rules around your environment.

Designate a specific room or space where you allow yourself to use social media– or not use it.

For example, if you have a designated office or work space, make it a no-phone space.

You can leave your phone outside of the bedroom for 1 hour every evening and prioritize presence with your partner, or time for yourself to focus on something other than social media like reading.

5. The HOW

For me, one of THE most effective ways to take control social media habits has been to take a more ACTIVE, creator focused role.

This means that you’re actively using social media as an extension of your learning & growth. This won’t be for everyone. You may find that you need to disconnect entirely in order to not feel drained. And that’s okay! Choose the boundaries that work for you.

But for me, I’ve found it to be an empowering challenge that’s pushed me to think deeper, build my own critical thinking abilities based off of what other creators share, and strengthening my own voice and sense of self.

As an added bonus, I’ve also built pretty genuine connections with other like minded people online from all around the world–which before, I did not think was possible! And though it means I spend a decent amount of time on social media, it doesn’t impact my mental or emotional health as negatively as it used to because I use it in combination with the other boundaries. Instead, it’s been a catalyst for my growth.

Finding success long term

I’ll be real with you.

Enforcing all 5 boundaries perfectly all the time can be near impossible. The apps can be quite addicting!

(Seriously. If you are able to do this, tell me your secrets! Though now that I think about it, you’re probably not reading this article…)

But good news — that’s okay!

In my experience, if you can at a minimum make significant progress in just one (ideally two) of these areas, you’ll notice a major improvement in your mental health.

And that improvement will help you build momentum & increase your confidence in your ability to control your social media use long term.

Take your power back with these ACTION oriented boundaries for healthy social media use!

Interested in more tips to improve your mental and emotional well-being? Join my newsletter community to be the first to know!

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