Jo’s Journal: Tips on Handling Stress from Social Media Overload

Social Media Overload at Mustard Seed Sentinel
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Tips on Handling Stress from Social Media Overload

by Joanne Troppello

According to Brand Watch, “there are 3.725 billion active social media users.” The average person has 7 social media accounts. I have six social media accounts: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Parler, and Pinterest. I used to have 7, but then Google+ closed down. What social media accounts do you have?

Digital Information World shared research that the average person spends 142 minutes per day on social media. Have you ever checked how much time you spend on social media each day?

I never actually checked, but I usually post 10-12 tweets on Twitter each day and 2-3 posts on Facebook. I spend some time at night creating tweets and saving them in the drafts on Twitter for posting during the higher trafficked times throughout the day.

I have social media accounts, but I try not to get sucked into the vortex of scrolling through the news feeds. However, I do use my social media accounts to promote my magazine and books.

Facebook and Twitter have been excellent sources of traffic to my magazine website. Yet, I recognize that too much time on social media can be unproductive and cause me to get depressed because of the negativity online.

How to Handle Stress from Social Media Overload

Consider the following ways that you can better deal with the stress of being on social media during the day.

1. Limit Your Time on Social Media

Set actual limits for your time spent on social media so you don’t end up wasting time and you can be more productive in your daily life. Consider using apps or programs that can assist you in limiting your time on social media. I haven’t used any of these yet but am considering it.

Check out this article by Kristine Cannon in She Knows sharing information on apps and programs like In Moment, Moment, Offtime, Stay On Task, AppDetox, and Space.

If you don’t want to use an app, discipline yourself to limit your time on social media. I am using self-discipline to limit my time online and better handle stresses from exposure on these platforms.

As I mentioned, I spend about 15-20 minutes the night before creating tweets for the next few days. Then, I post 1 tweet per hour from 1 pm through 10 pm. I used to use TweetAdder to automate postings on Twitter. However, in recent years, Twitter has cracked down on automation, so I stopped using it. You can review Twitter Automation rules for more details.

I check notifications and respond to comments. I only look on the newsfeed 2-3 times per day because that can easily get me distracted and waste time in the black hole of the Twitter verse.

Again, if I didn’t need to promote my magazine or books, I seriously wouldn’t spend as much time on social media accounts.

2. Clean Out Your Twitter Feed

In this article, I’m focusing more tips about how I manage handling stress from being on Twitter rather than the other social media accounts because that’s the platform I spent most of my time on—due to the traffic it brings to my magazine.

Once a month, I clean out my Twitter feed. Basically, when I check the newsfeed a few times a day, if some account tweets profanity—even if they don’t spell it out completely—I mute their account. Then, during my monthly cleaning spree, I go through the muted accounts list and stop following some of them. I focus on the ones that tweet the most content that doesn’t align with what I need to see on my news feed each day.

I want to see things that inform, but also encourage and don’t sidetrack me or hinder me through profanity and negative words. It’s very possible that you may have followed people that you thought would tweet positive things, but the majority of what they tweet is negative. It’s happened to me many times.

3. Turn Off Notifications on Mobile Devices

You may not get a lot of notifications from your social media accounts. However, if you follow my type of tweeting schedule with 10-12 tweets a day, you’ll likely get notifications. You don’t need to get alerts on your phone or tablet every time someone likes, retweets, replies, or mentions you on Twitter. That can easily become distracting and keep you on the app wasting time reviewing those notifications.

Turn those notifications off for all social media accounts, and only check them several times a day when you go online to post another tweet or see if anything is happening with the content you post. You’ll also save some battery life on your phone and tablet by turning those notifications off.

4. Unplug from Social Media for a Time

As someone who is online on these various social media platforms, I have seen a lot of negativity. If you are not effectively grounded, this negativity can weigh you down. My foundation is in the Lord. He is the one who grounds me and helps me handle stresses from being active on these platforms.

Social Media Overload at Mustard Seed Sentinel
Credit: James Besser
Consider taking a social media fast. Take a few days off or take a week off once a month. Set one day each week as a social media free day.

I try to keep my social media free day for Sundays. I do post a link to our Sunday Inspiration column on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. However, I usually only post one tweet that day about church and what we learned. Taking a day off has helped.

5. Don’t Be Afraid to Use Your Block Feature

If you’ve been on Twitter for any length of time—and especially if you’ve tweeted about your faith or conservative political values—it’s likely that you have gotten trolled. It’s happened to me many times. That’s one of the best things about the block feature.

I don’t engage with irrational people in the online world. I won’t respond to people who troll my account because they want me to retaliate, lash out, and then they can report me—then my account will get suspended.

As someone who needs to be online to promote my magazine—and earn my living—I cannot get my account suspended for any length of time. Sure, if I got suspended, I believe God would provide another way to get traffic to my magazine since I have confirmation that this is the work I need to be doing right now.

However, getting suspended means one less Christian conservative who is able to share their faith and values online. Don’t be afraid to block ignorant people who troll you. They won’t be able to see your tweets, direct message you, and you won’t see any mentions from them.

My block list on Twitter has grown daily and I am fine with that. I know I need to share the Gospel, but you cannot reason with unreasonable people.

With Facebook, I used to have my personal account public so I could expand my promotional reach for my books, and then my magazine—which was started three years ago.

I was tired of getting contacted by spam accounts and lewd individuals. So, I set my personal Facebook account to private so only my friends can see my posts and share them. My experience on Facebook has been more pleasant since then.

6. Increase Human Interactions Each Day

This may sound like a simple tip, but I feel that we need it; especially with the amount of time we all spend online, whether emailing, texting, watching YouTube videos, reading blogs, visiting websites, and being on social media platforms.

Make sure you find ways to increase your in-person interactions with people each day. When speaking to people at work, don’t rush through conversations. Actively engage in conversations with people and listen to what they have to say.

Focus on maintaining eye contact and making sure that people know you were actually listening to them. That may mean putting your cell phone away when talking to people and not constantly staring at your screen, busy with your apps.

7. Spend Time with the Lord Daily

As a Christian, I value my time with the Lord. Life can definitely get stressful. That can distract me and draw my focus away from focusing on God throughout the day.

Consider the following tips that I’ve done to enhance my daily time with the Lord.

  • Bible Reading – Set aside time each day, whether in the morning, at night, or both times to read a passage of scripture. I use the NKJV Thomas Nelson Study Bible. I read through the epistles and am now reading through the Gospels and am in Matthew. I love the notes from the study Bible. They have helped me to gain a deeper insight into each passage.

  • Worship Music – I listen to worship music while I work-out in the morning. I use the Spotify app, which is free. However, you have to listen to a commercial break about every half hour. That’s fine with me since I’m not paying the extra fee for commercial free music. I have playlists for different types of music and listen to the shuffle play for my worship playlist while working out.

  • Prayer Time – I try to be cognizant of the Lord’s presence all day long. However, I usually spend some time in prayer during the morning or in the afternoon when I take my break from work and go outside—even in the colder weather, I have bundled up in a coat, scarf, hat, and blankets to sit outside on our deck. Since I work from home, it’s nice to get out for fresh air and if I don’t have errands to run that day, I sit outside. We live in the country and it’s so quiet and conducive to a great quiet time with the Lord.

  • Reading – I have always enjoyed reading, but in recent years I haven’t been able to read much due to my workload. However, in the last eight months, I’ve been reading fiction books again. It’s served several purposes. It relaxes me. I get content for my magazine when I post 2-4 reviews each month, and I get to read both good and poor quality writing—which helps me with writing my own books. I have also been reading non-fiction books about faith and enhancing my spiritual well-being.

How do you handle stress from social media overload?


About the Author

Joanne Troppello at Mustard Seed Sentinel

Joanne Troppello is a published author of 3 inspirational fiction novels and the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Mustard Seed Sentinel. She has experience as a freelance writer in topics such as marketing, retail marketing, health and wellness, SEO and social media, travel and lifestyle, website content, recommendations for apps, and content for blogs.Visit her Amazon Author Page for more information regarding her books. Connect on Twitter. Read more about Mustard Seed Sentinel here.

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