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Sunday, April 21, 2024

 DIGITAL DELUGE: How to handle it 

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 A handy guide to maintaining balance in the overwhelming world of social media, as a user and a creator 

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In today’s hyper-connected world, social media has evolved into a pervasive force, overloading users with a constant stream of information, opinions, and visual stimuli. The overwhelming nature of social media is fuelled by the sheer volume of content, the pressure to keep up with trends, and the incessant notifications vying for attention. This digital deluge can lead to information overload, comparison fatigue, and heightened anxiety, underscoring the need for strategies to navigate the online landscape without succumbing to its overwhelming effects. WOW! talks to Shalini Gianchandani, counselling psychologist and co-founder of Inner-Connect Counselling Services, Jubilee Hills, to put together effective strategies to stay healthy in these digitally overwhelming times.

FOR SOCIAL MEDIA USERS 

Get emotional: Creating a mental timeline is an effective strategy. Tune into your emotional state in different spaces, as social media can significantly influence your mood, especially during vulnerable moments. If certain content disrupts your sleep or occupies your thoughts, it’s a clear indication that social media is affecting your overall well-being.

Personal analysis: Conduct a personal analysis to track the time you spend on social media. This reality check can be eye-opening, revealing the extent of your digital engagement and its potential impact on your life. Time limits: Set explicit time limits on your apps to prevent mindless scrolling and ensure that your digital interactions are intentional and purposeful. Scheduled check-ins: Establish specific times during the day to check social media, considering the potential interference with your daily responsibilities. This structured approach can help you maintain a healthy balance between the virtual and real worlds. 

CURATE YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA FEED Take control of the content you consume by curating your social media feed. Unfollow or mute accounts that frequently share disturbing news, and instead, follow accounts that provide positive and uplifting content. 

ENGAGE IN OFFLINE ACTIVITIES Distract yourself from distressing news by engaging in offline activities. Whether it’s reading a book, pursuing a hobby, or spending quality time with loved ones, offline activities can provide a much- needed break and contribute to a more balanced lifestyle. 

STAY INFORMED Limit exposure to sensationalized or unreliable information by sticking to reputable news sources. This way, you can stay informed without being overwhelmed by sensational or disturbing content that might circulate on social media platforms.

HEALTHY DIGITAL HABITS FOR SOCIAL MEDIA CREATORS Stay true to the original purpose behind sharing content. While opinions about them are beyond their control, creators understand that their intentions and purpose are within their control. In the face of online bullying, social media creators should have a protocol similar to handling a stage performance. First, read the criticism, talk to someone reliable to understand if the troller is right in what he/she says. If you think it is right, don’t think again. If you believe you will hate comments but still want to go ahead, you can use ‘restrict comments’ in your feed. That way what you say will be conveyed without the negativity. If criticism turns into abuse, security measures are in place to address the situation. Likewise, on social media platforms, if bullying escalates, reporting concerns to the appropriate authorities becomes crucial. 

APPS THAT CAN HELP YOU TACKLE TIME SPENT ON OTHER APPS 

* AppBlock 

*Flipd 

*Freedom 

*Cold Turkey 

*FocusMe 

*Focus

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