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Setting Boundaries for Social Media & Accessing the News

Posted 09 April 2020
by Gordan Stokes

New information and developments relating to the COVID-19 pandemic are evolving hour by hour, day by day. While it is important to keep well-informed of these new developments, it is equally important to monitor and set appropriate boundaries to limit how much coverage you access. Too much can impact your mental, physical and emotional wellbeing.

Ways to set boundaries with social media and accessing the news:

  1. Restrict the amount of time spent ‘scrolling’ social media and news sites – It is advised to access social media and news coverage for no more than 45-60 minutes per day. Any longer can be detrimental to your overall wellbeing.
  2. Curate your online experience – Limit your exposure to a few credible sources. There is a lot of misinformation that can cause panic and anxiety. Consider all the news sites you visit and the social media apps you currently use and decide whether they add value to your day or not. If not, delete them.
  3. Turn off notifications on your phone – Doing this will help limit what you are accessing and allow you to control when you choose to access information or view social media updates.
  4. Turn off your devices – Schedule time to completely switch off. Studies indicate that refraining from screen time two hours before you go to bed can have a positive impact on your sleep.
  5. Change the subject – Positive engagement in social media means you can choose to participate in other interesting topics that are not pandemic related.

Social media is a powerful tool for connecting with friends, colleagues and family, especially while self-isolating. However, it is important to set daily limits around your exposure to COVID-19-related content. Doing this is better for your wellbeing and means you are not exposed to excessive amounts of information.

 

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