A common piece of self-care advice is to reduce your screen time and limit your social media consumption.
This is sound advice, but when you’re a creator and your livelihood depends on being online, it’s not as simple as it sounds.
Creators rely on social media to share their content and engage with their community. They use it as a source of inspiration to create. It’s understandable why creators have greater screen time and social media consumption compared to others.
But does that mean creators are doomed to the negative effects of being online?
I think content creators can maximise the potential of each platform, makes meaningful connections with their community, gain inspiration and still protect their well-being.
Here are 8 ways to have a better relationship with social media and content creation:
Separate your personal life from content
To avoid your entire life getting wrapped up in social medial, decide what’s content and what you’d rather keep offline such as your relationship or home. Have interests or hobbies that aren’t for content so that you can keep a healthier balance between life and content too.
I also set boundaries for my personal life even when it seeps into my content e.g. if I go on an outing with friends, I only take my phone out to film for the first 5 minutes and then I put it away.
Be intentional with social media platforms
There's the pressure to be on every single social media platform, but this is overwhelming. Think about your value as a creator, what you enjoy and whether it fits each platform. This helps you avoid spreading yourself out too thin.
It’s important for creators to see social media as a tool. We need to use it in a way that works for us, and if it doesn’t work for us, then we don’t need to use it.
Don't use your personal device to check your socials
In the same way that you may have personal and professional social media accounts, it’s helpful to have personal and professional devices too. I only check my social media on my laptop or ipad as this prevents me from checking analytics or replying to comments any time I have a break. When social media is our job, it’s more important for us to distinguish between personal time and creator time when using our devices.
Don't obsess over comments and metrics
Checking analytics, refreshing the page to see if you’ve had any new likes or rereading nice comments can be addictive. It’s often these dopamine habits that keep us on the screen. This is unhealthy, not only because of the screen time, but because those numbers can really affect how you feel about yourself as a creator. To have a healthier relationship with social media, focus on your love of creating instead.
Plan your consumption time
As creators, we’re on social media not only to create, but to consume so that we can get inspired for our own creative process. It’s helpful, but it does blur the lines between when we’re being productive and when we’re letting social media seep into every moment of our day. Planning set times to consume with the goal of creating can help to counteract this. It helps to distinguish between mindless scrolling, consuming for ideation, and being on socials to create.
Take social media vacations
Just because you’re a creator, it doesn’t mean you have to be on social media everyday. Choose one day a week where you don’t go on social media at all. I know some creators who also take “social media vacations” where they take 1-2 weeks off social media every few months; they even tell their audience they’ll be unavailable during this time.
Make authentic content
Often in our attempts to produce viral content to grow faster, we product content that’s trendy or similar to what everyone else is doing. There’s nothing wrong with that, but always create content that’s consistent with your values and natural to you. This reduces the mental resistance to create, and makes content creation more effortless. It’s a lot less draining this way, in fact, often you’ll feel more energised and inspired when you create from a place of authenticity.
Lean into your community
Whether it's with other creators or your audience, your community is there to support on your journey as a creator. Share how you’re feeling and ask for help when you need it. Instead of getting overwhelmed with mindless scrolling and metrics, take the time to be with your community. It makes being a creator more fun and worthwhile. It will remind you of why you started in the first place.
By protecting your well-being, you can make the journey as a content creator more sustainable and enjoyable. It means you can move further towards success instead of burnout.