I feel lousy after I've been on social media too long but otherwise I feel disconnected

Cynthia Kaan

Facebook, Instagram, Twitter … social media are everywhere! Used as a tool to improve our connections, they can benefit our relationships. However, they can also be a time thief that leaves us feeling terrible if we’re not careful. Here are a few ways to make sure they enhance, not hinder.

1. Claim control. Spend time catching up with people and things that leave you feeling connected with those you care about. Don’t get lost in the rabbit hole of everything else going on with people you don’t know well or at all. Set a time limit to keep yourself accountable.

2. Avoid comparison. Do you share your bad hair days, hurtful arguments or disastrous kitchen? Probably not. Remind yourself that you are seeing the very best version of most people when you follow their lives through social media. Focus on your life, your relationships and your accomplishments. Pray for eyes to see and the heart to be thankful for what you have.

3. Connect in real time. Genesis 2:18 tells us God didn’t mean for us to travel this life alone. Do not allow social media to be your main form of connection – they’re a sorry substitute for quality time. Get involved in your parish – we all need time to connect with God and with our family of faith. Reach out to friends and family in person. Pick up the phone. Schedule a coffee date. Conversation is best when a hug is involved!

Like everything else, moderation is key.

Be cognizant of your habits and pray for guidance. God is in the details!