Too Much Social Media: Tips for Staying Sane and Productive

With each day, I see more evidence that social media has become a major distraction and that it may be negatively effecting the quality of our lives. Anxiety, confusion, depression, and a general lack of focus are plaguing many social media users. Television used to be the major distraction, but now Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram have become a daily obsession for many people.

iphonebackI am guilty of being too easily distracted by social media apps. Almost every day the first thing I grab is my cell phone. The second thing I usually do is open Twitter and check the trending topics. So basically, the first thing I see when I awaken to a brand new day is the chaos and confusion that’s going on in the world at the moment.

Sometimes there’s a horrific story of something that happened the night before. Other times the news stories are completely focused on the latest atrocity committed by the person currently occupying the oval office. The rest of it is mostly chitter-chatter and topics that can make you feel like you’re losing a few IQ points with each scroll.

In my book You Matter I mentioned the need to take social media breaks. I think there is great value in “unplugging” and taking regular breaks from the chaos of social media. Here are a few tips for how to better manage your social media usage.

Understand that Too Much Information Isn’t Useful

Imagine going to college for four years and trying to get 20 different degrees at once. There’s no way that you will be able to retain enough information from all 20 of those subjects to become enlightened on any of them. That’s basically what happens when you allow yourself to be overwhelmed with too much information on social media apps. Choose one or two points of focus and become educated/enlightened/an expert on those subjects.

Choose an App, Just One App

There are so many social media apps available now, including dating apps, that it can be very overwhelming keeping up with them all. Choose one social media account to focus on and stick with that. Here are a few insights about the most common apps from my personal experience:

· Facebook is for people who like to connect with the people they already know.

· Twitter is for people who are more cerebral and like to express their quiet thoughts.

· Instagram is for exhibitionists (think “show and tell”) who want to be noticed.

· Snapchat seems to be more appealing to young teens who are looking for a distraction.

Create Lists and Segmented Timelines

As mentioned earlier, social media is chaotic because you’re bombarded with so many different topics at once. One minute you’re reading a story about a loving llama and the next thing you know you’re presented with a news story about a violent attack abroad. It’s no wonder so many people struggle with anxiety.

Create lists or segments of people who will provide you with the topics that you want to read on your timeline. Search for specific hashtags of interest (#GirlTalk or #PoliticsChat) instead of looking at general trending topics. I’m not that familiar with social media sites outside of Twitter, but I know they have a way of limiting what shows up on your timeline.

Set a Timer

If hours go by and you’re still on Facebook or Instagram scrolling through pictures, you have to start setting some limits for yourself. It’s unlikely that you’re being as productive as possible in your day if you spend hours looking at posts by other people. So set a 10 or 15-minute timer on your phone right before you open your favorite social media app. That is enough time to get a quick update about what’s going on in the world so that you can then get back to your world.

Make Your Password Impossible to Remember

Taking extended social media breaks are necessary, but it can be easier said than done. If you find yourself spending too much time on a particular app, fix it so that it’s easier to resist temptation. Create a long and complicated password that you’ll never remember. Reset the password on your social media account and then log off. Now, when you feel tempted to pop into Twitter to see what’s trending you’ll be forced to go through the whole password reset process again.

Getting off of social media and getting back to real life may not be that easy since we’ve largely become addicted to our cellphones over the past decade. But we at least have to start having a conversation about this. Recognize how social media addiction may be affecting your life. Take steps to balance out your day and better manage the information that you’re consuming.

 

Lynn Gilliard is the author of a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU. Her latest book You Matter encourages women to know and understand their worth.

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3 Simple Ways to Defeat Anger

The famous author Mark Twain said, “Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.” In other words, your anger is hurting you more than anything or anyone. Explore these three simple ways that you can go about defeating your anger and finally move forward with your life in a productive manner.

Determine the Source of Your Anger

Understand that in many cases you’re not really angry at the situation that is right in front of you — you’re angry about something else in your life. Maybe you just broke up with your girlfriend or your boss is nagging you at work. Once you accept what you’re really angry at in your life, it seems silly to keep taking it out on innocent people. Apologize to the innocent people around you and treat them with the respect that they deserve. You can then take steps to remedy or release the source of your issues.

Laugh

Whenever you feel like you’re about to have an epic meltdown, stop, close your eyes and try to think of something funny. If you want, think about what you want to do to the other person in your mind — make it over the top and ridiculous, then laugh about it heartily. It may take a few moments but when you have that memory or thought placed clearly in your mind’s eye, laughing about it can completely change your state.

Change Your Scenery

Sometimes the humdrum nature of life can be too much to bear. You may start to feel as if you’re running on a hamster wheel, seeing the same people, places and things day in and out. That alone can make you angry and put you on edge, especially when those people, places and things annoy you. Try changing your scenery — go somewhere new and different today, even if it’s just the park. Changing your surroundings can help give you a different perspective on your situation and relax you both physically and mentally.

You are the only one who can control your anger. Use these tips as a starting point on the road to a more peaceful and relaxed existence. Don’t let anger eat your “vessel” up from the inside out — you have to let it go.

Love Lynn

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Is It Really a Good Idea to Have a Plan A B and C?

Throughout much of my adult life I lived by the belief that it’s always good to have a plan A B or C in case your initial idea doesn’t pan out. In my mind, the plans after “A” would have been settling into a permanent job; plan B is a good job I like, “C” is not as good of a job and so forth down the alphabet.

But that conflicts with the teachings of my mentors who say that if you have a major goal, nothing should distract you from it. Many say that having a “backup plan” is a bit like predicting the failure of your first goal.

Now I feel the need to adjust the line of thinking that I’ve always clung to about having a backup plan. Now I think that it’s important to have a plan A B C D through Z that specifically moves you toward your ultimate goal or dream of choice.

I agree with my mentors, like Les Brown, who say that if you have a dream you want to achieve you hang onto it like a mad dog with a bone. At the same time it’s still a good idea to have a plan A B and C for pursuing that dream. That’s the key.

There could be many roads that lead you to your ultimate goal — some are smooth, “safe” and curved while others are more “tricky” or risky but they might get you there faster. Each of those roads to your goal are labeled plans ABC. The more backup plans you have the better in this case — if you believe in your dream, you will do what is necessary to achieve it.

Even if you do decide to put your plans on pause for a moment, that doesn’t mean that your “trip” is over. For instance, if you decide to pause a business venture and get a job, let that be a time to regroup, save some money and get refocused on your business plan. In this case, getting a job isn’t plan B for your LIFE… it’s just PART of plan B for achieving your ultimate goal.

Avoid negative people who try to discourage you. Keep learning and growing. And stay focused on your dreams and goals — they help give your life meaning and purpose.

“Life takes on meaning when you become motivated, set goals and charge after them in an unstoppable manner.”
– Les Brown

Watch this motivational video by Les Brown: http://youtu.be/KlUMrzwmbyo

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a book of life and love advice for women entitled Why Doesn’t He Love Me? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

How to Stop Complaining & Start Thriving

Do you complain too much? What do you complain about? Here’s a little tough love from Lynn

I used to be a major complainer. I would spend much of my time writing and sending complaint letters to companies who I felt wronged me. It didn’t matter if it was a fast food worker who didn’t get my order quite right or forgot to give me ketchup — I would probably take the time out to write a letter.

I was also a silent complainer. I held my pity parties all alone and in my head:

“No one is ever there for me.”

“No one cares about me.”

“I can’t trust anybody.”

Over time, I learned a hard lesson. In most cases, no one really gives a care about your complaints. They are focused on what is going on in their own worlds. Think about it — do you care much about the complaints of others? Or do you just find them annoying?

If you open your eyes and your mind, removing the tendency to complain about what’s going wrong in your world, you’ll probably see that you have some pretty great things going RIGHT.

You have privileges, talents and benefits that others don’t have, but if you spend all of your time focusing on the negative you’ll never get a chance to see them.

So here comes the tough love that you may find difficult to accept. Everything that you experience in this life as an adult is your own fault and you always have the option to “opt out” of experiencing negative consequences.

You don’t like how a fast food worker talked to you? They get paid minimum wage and most don’t like their jobs, so if you want pristine treatment maybe you shouldn’t be going to a fast food restaurant. Cook healthy food at home instead.

You hate your job? Quit it and try something else that you love to do. It might not make you as much money and you might have to sleep on a few couches along the way, but guess what? You no longer have that job to complain about!

You’re tired of being treated like a disposable woman by men? Don’t allow them to sneeze all over you and then toss you away without a second thought anymore. That’s 100% in your control, just say NO.

There’s value in making your voice heard on certain issues, because if we never spoke up about problems in society, change wouldn’t happen. But there’s a difference between complaining and voicing your opinion — in the former case you’re just sending out negativity (venting) but in the latter case you have a positive outcome in mind that can be universally beneficial. Know the difference.

If you want to #THRIVE, stop complaining about what’s wrong in your life, and start focusing more on positive solutions.

Love Lynn

 

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.

Review of Beyond Positive Thinking by Dr. Robert Anthony

When I look for self-help books I want someone who speaks to me with down to earth ideas that I can relate to and implement immediately. I found that in Beyond Positive Thinking by Dr. Robert Anthony. Here is my review of the book.

Being, Doing, Having
One of the most important nuggets I grabbed from this book was that most of us are confused about what it takes to be satisfied in life.

We believe of having, doing then being, so in other words we think that we have to have money/fame/success/material things first in order to finally be happy.

But if that were the truth, why are there so many unhappy, miserable people who have plenty of stuff?

America is one of the wealthiest countries in the world but is nowhere near the top of the happiness list.

Dr. Anthony instead says that we have to look at satisfaction in a different way: being, then doing and then having.

First you have to BE happy in order to be inspired to do something with your life that will ultimately lead to having everything you want.

Many of us complain about what we don’t have instead of being thankful for what we already do have: shelter, food, clean water, love from a family member or friend.

Our Lives Are Shaped by Our Beliefs
Another important point that Dr. Anthony makes in the book is that we act out our lives in accordance with our beliefs about ourselves. In many cases our beliefs about ourselves are formed because of what others have told us about ourselves — and we accepted it.

A young man who has always been told he is “stupid” accepts that characterization of himself and goes on to act out being “stupid” throughout his life. A girl who has always been told she is beautiful (even if she doesn’t meet society’s ideal of that) will live out her life as a beautiful woman as long as she accepts that belief.

So we have to accept better beliefs about ourselves first in order to change the course of our lives for the better.

Unhappiness Comes from Comparison
In the book Dr. Anthony says says that comparison is the root cause of unhappiness. When we constantly compare ourselves to others and think that we’re falling short, we become sad and depressed about our current lives.

I believe that one of the reasons why Americans are so unhappy as a nation is that we are obsessed with celebrity culture. We’re constantly inundated with messages, pictures and stories of people who we believe are doing so much better than us at life. The irony is that most of them are only creating an image for others to look at — they’re just as unhappy.

One More Good Point
Have you ever wondered how two children can grow up in the same home and turn out completely different? Well Dr. Anthony offers a theory that makes a lot of sense.

He says that the difference is due to each child’s interpretation of what is going on in his surroundings throughout his young life. So even in an abusive household one child might grow up and become abusive himself because he interprets that as normal behavior. Another child sees the side of the victim of the abuse, interprets it as wrong behavior and resolves to never put someone through that ever.

I really enjoyed Dr. Robert Anthony’s book Beyond Positive Thinking and highly recommend it for anyone looking for solid, clear-cut advice on how to break through to a more satisfying life.

Love Lynn

Lynn Gilliard is a writer and transformational blogger. She is the author of a self-help guide entitled Survive, Live or Thrive? and a popular relationship guide entitled Let Him Chase YOU.