Feeling bored and disconnected from others even though you’re spending hours on social media? Try writing personal messages instead, building a deeper connection with your family and friends.
We’re not denying the many benefits of social media, such as having a place to share delicious bread recipes, cute puppy pictures, or where to find toilet paper during a pandemic.
However, studies show that spending too much time on social media can increase your sense of loneliness. That’s because you only see selected snapshots of other people’s lives, making their world appear cheery, amazing, and oh-so-fun. By comparison, you might feel like your life isn’t quite as cool, thus making you feel lonely or depressed.
You can change this by approaching social media in a healthy way during this challenging time, such as commenting on friend’s posts, only reading stuff that makes you happy, and avoiding arguments (especially COVID-19 debates).
We suggest taking it a step further by writing personal messages every day. That’s right—add this to your daily to-do list (trust us, it’ll take less time than random scrolling). Click on your list of Facebook friends, and start going down the line. You’ll probably stumble upon an old high school buddy or reconnect with an old bestie who hasn’t posted in ages.
Keep in mind that we’re living through a pandemic, so start your message with something lighthearted and fun. But also avoid dead-end comments, such as, “Thinking of you!” It’s sweet, but it doesn’t really spark conversation.
Some great conversation starters include: “What was your favorite part about today?” or “What do you miss most about your pre-pandemic life?” Feel free to include funny memes, gifs, and emojis—it’s all part of the fun.
Lastly, and most importantly, don’t assume others are coping just because they’re posting happy pictures. A one-on-one contact may be the real contact they need, free from the feeling they need to keep up appearances.
And, even if they are having a good day, it’s always nice to receive a personal message from a friend or family member. So, you really can’t lose here.
Once you’ve finished writing your personal messages, check out even more ways to connect with your friends and family while everyone’s stuck at home. It may take a bit of effort, but staying in touch will make a difference during this time of physical distancing.