How To Not Let Social Media Ruin Your Life

I'm on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Twitter and Bloglovin'. On top of that, I run an advertising agency that specializes in social media management. Which means I'm looking after social media accounts of clients. So if there's someone who can advise you on how to not let social media ruin their life, it's me.

Social media has taken over our world. We're constantly updating our lives on Snapchat, Facebook and Instagram. Our phones are full of social apps. And now we all know that spending too much time looking at our phones checking out glitzy photos of bloggers and celebs on Instagram or looking at Facebook photos of our friends enjoying their travel holidays is detrimental to our mental health.

But we can't not be on these platforms. There are too many advantages to these social media that we can't deny. WhatsApp lets us talk to loved ones for free. We can keep up with what's happening with long-distance family and reunite with long lost friends on Facebook.

But these apps also drive us crazy. So here are a few tips and tricks to not let these social media apps get to you, and how to keep your sanity while still being up-to-date with technology and staying connected. I'm breaking these ideas down according to each app, so you know exactly what to do for each.

How To Not Let Social Media Ruin Your Life


WhatsApp can sometimes drive you mental with continuous incoming text messages and voice notes. While you can't completely switch off notifications, here's a few things you CAN do to not let WhatsApp make you feel like throwing your phone at the wall:
  • Change your notification tone to something short. A notification tone that's long will irritate you {and others around you} when you're being flooded with messages. A short tone like a short beep or a pop is a subtle reminder that you have messages.
  • Customize your tones for different people. I have different tones for close friends and friend groups that I always love hearing from. This way when they send a message, I know it's them and I know that I'll want to read it, or that it can wait.
  • Mute group notifications or from people that send you a lot of forwards. Thankfully now, WhatsApp doesn't show you the red notification number from those you mute. Only when you open WhatsApp you can see that you have a message from them. You can also mute notifications of all groups. 
  • Get👏 Out👏 Of👏 Groups👏 You👏 Don't👏 Like. 
  • Use the block feature. If someone sends me a lot of forwards constantly, I block them. Even after asking some people to remove you from their list or not send you forwards, they still do. Also, you know that your aunt will get really offended if you tell her to stop sending you all those sexist jokes and scandalous fake news. Just go ahead and block them. They won't know. If they need to talk to you, they can call you.
  • Make shortcuts of the people you message the most. Every phone allows you to make shortcuts of WhatsApp. Put all your most frequently messaged family and friends as shortcuts on your phone so you can message them directly without going into Whatsapp and getting distracted by all the other messages.


  • Turn off notifications on your Facebook app. Go to- Settings & Privacy - Settings - Notifications- Notifications settings- scroll down to "Where you receive notifications" - Push - switch off: Vibrate, Phone LED, Sounds and Logged-out notifications. you can also customize the rest of the notifications for comments, tags, etc. Turn off the one that says "Email and SMS notifications" so you don't get annoying emails. Doing this means that only when you open Facebook, you'll see the little red notifications. 
  • Don't accept friend requests from people you don't know. You'd think this is an obvious one but it's not. Accepting friend requests from anyone and everyone doesn't make you popular. It just gives you more mental clutter when a person you don't know starts messaging you or comments weird or nonsensical stuff on your posts. Plus, Facebook is the more personal of all social media. You don't want strangers and coworkers you don't know that well peeking into your private life.
  • Use the Unsubscribe button freely. Facebook has an amazing feature which lets you unfollow/ unsubscribe people without unfriending them. This just means you won't see their posts on your feed. Just click the three dots next to their post on your feed and click Unfollow. You can also click on their profile and Unfollow there. You can also do this for Facebook pages that you have 'like'd but don't want to unlike as they might belong to a friend and you want to support them. Just unfollow their posts. Customize your feed so it shows you only what you want to see.
  • Report and block nasty people. Just because they're on your friends' list, doesn't mean you have to take their shit. It's YOUR account. People can be really mean sometimes. Delete their nasty comments from their post. If someone is being consistently mean or sleazy or bullying you, report them and block them. 
  • Unfriend people you don't like or whose behaviour you don't like on Facebook. You can still be friends in real life.

Instagram & Twitter

  • Turn off all push notifications. This means you won't get a sound, or the little pop-up notification that comes on the top bar of your phone screen saying so many people liked your post, etc. You'll still see all the updates of how many people liked your post, who followed you, etc., when you open the app.
  • Use the mute feature. Twitter had it for some time, but Instagram recently brought in the mute feature. This means that you can still follow someone without seeing their posts on your feed. Same goes for InstaStories. Mute the ones you don't like cluttering your story feed. 
  • Like Facebook, unfollow people you don't like. There's no compulsion for you to follow them back if they follow you, or if you don't like what they post. People follow you because they want to keep up with you or they get some entertainment value from your posts and tweets. Don't feel obligated to follow them back just because they followed you.

Gmail/ Email:

I know this is not a social medium, but it still is something that can absolutely drive you mental. So here's the solution: turn off all your email notifications and unsync all your inboxes. Try your best not to check your email on your phone. There WAS a time when we didn't have our emails on our phones and we had to either go to the office to send one email or do it from the computer at home. And that was amazing. Because you weren't getting constant notifications for every single email you received, your brain was relaxed. So go back to that by putting notifications off and turning sync off. This way, you can check your emails only when you want to. And don't worry. When you open the inbox, all your emails will be there. You can either reply from your phone to urgent emails or choose to do it from a laptop/ desktop computer.

I can't tell you how much peace of mind not having emails constantly pop up on my phone has brought me. Remember, if people need something from you urgently, they can call you.


For all other apps like Pinterest, eBay, Snapchat, even editing apps, turn notifications off and turn the coloured light notifications off. The idea here is that when your phone is sitting idle, there are no notifications that make you pick up the phone and check what's happening on your social media. Your WhatsApp notifications are still on so you know when you get a message. Or a call {unless you like keeping your phone on silent mode the entire time. Many people do, and I admire their resolve}. So you can respond to people who are trying to get in touch with you for some reason. But all the other notifications of who liked your post, who followed you, who sent you a friend request... you don't need to know what's happening on a real-time basis. You can check these later.

Another thing that has really help me switch off and reduce my social media addiction, is to put my phone off and away, two hours before bed. I've been doing this for more than a month now and I can't believe how much it has helped me get better sleep, be more in the present moment, and slow down my frantic thoughts. Now I don't obsessively check my phone when I can't sleep. Or fight sleep by going on my Twitter.

I realize that I become more tired and sleepy before bedtime, and it's easier for me to fall asleep. Before, because of the phone's white light and the information bites from it keeping my brain awake, I wouldn't be able to fall asleep as fast or sleep as deeply. I also realize I don't feel the need to check my phone and what's happening in the world before I sleep. Before I'd check Instagram which would lead me to check Twitter which would lead me to check Facebook, you get the drift. Now I don't feel the need to check them at all. It's astonishing.

And one last point before I conclude how to not let social media ruin your life is to remember that what's happening in someone's online life is not an accurate portrayal of what's going on in their real life. Don't compare your real life to their social media feeds. You being happy in what you do in your life is all that counts. Reality counts. Being with friends. Laughing with family. Looking at the sky. Touching a flower's soft petals. Cuddling with your pet. These are the things that matter.

Is there anything you do that makes you put your phone away or check social media less? Let me know in the comments!

Until next time,

Shabana Feroze

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