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Setting Boundaries with Social Media

January 24, 2023

I used to be an elementary school teacher and ed-tech consultant; now I'm a mom of twins and aspiring children's book author.

This blog is a place for me to write about personal life experiences, gleanings from books I've recently read, past and current DIY projects, and reflective thoughts that need a home outside my heart. Here at HeartEyes, I am opening my heart and eyes to yet another new chapter of my life, and my hope is that by joining me here, your heart and eyes would be opened to a more thoughtful and intentional life.

Hi, i'm tiff!

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Do you get sucked into spending too much time on social media? I most certainly do.

2020-2021 was an exciting year in the DIY Instagram world. I had just discovered this entire community of DIY moms, learned that you can monetize your account by partnering with brands, and my love for teaching came back to me in a different way – teaching others how to use power tools and how to do their own DIY projects at home.

In a previous blogpost, I mentioned how Instagram changed me as a mother. While it did cause me to become a better mother today, I don’t love the way my mind and time were occupied in 2021. At the same time, I do feel like I needed that experience in order to realize how I did not want to live my life.

In 2021, many of my DIY friends started monetizing their accounts. We were all in it together, supporting each other, growing together, and engaging with each other (Instagram term for commenting on and sharing each other’s content) to try to help beat the dreaded Instagram algorithm. As I settled into my role as a content creator myself, I started noticing how much I kept getting sucked into the app.

Things people tell you to do to grow and be in favor of the algorithm:

  • Talk in your stories every day.
  • Post when most of your audience is active on the app.
  • Post at the same time every week.
  • Post the same number of times every week.
  • Post more reels than still photos.
  • Respond to your comments for 30mins right after you post to your feed.
  • Use stickers in your stories so your audience can engage with you.
  • Dance on your head and turn around 3 times every day. 😜

Just by looking at the above list, you can already see how much of your time would be spent on the app, and it doesn’t even include the time it takes to create and edit content, and reply to everyone in DMs!

Here’s what I realized at the end of that year:

  • I was choosing to create content over spending time with my family. (I didn’t have to. It wasn’t my full-time job.)
  • When I was with my family, my mind kept thinking about whether or not I should record what I’m doing in order to share it on IG.
  • I was choosing to spend time engaging in comments and DMs over spending time with my real-life friends.
  • The twins saw me on my phone more than I wanted them to.
  • I was aimlessly checking the app throughout the day, and even when I moved the app from my home page, my thumb kept looking for it.
  • When I wasn’t on the app, I started having anxiety that I wasn’t spending enough time on the app to be in the algorithm’s favor.

Once I made these realizations, I was like wow. IG owned me.

Setting boundaries:

At the end of 2021, I asked myself, “If I spent my time in 2022 the same way I did in 2021, would I regret it?” The answer was a resounding yes.

Immediately I began to set more boundaries and figure out how I wanted to spend my time differently. Below are the guidelines I’ve set for myself since then:

  • No IG between 10pm-10am.
  • No phones at the dining table.
  • No IG when twins are home from school and on weekends, unless it’s quiet time or it’s clear they want to play by themselves.
  • Keep notifications off and stop aimlessly checking the app. (I’ve always had notifications off but had the habit of checking the app whenever I had a moment of time.)
  • Set a timer for watching stories, engaging with others, and responding to DMs.
  • Create more than I consume.
  • Do more of whatever makes me forget to check my phone. (More on this later. 😏)

These boundaries have helped me so much, and when I look back on last year (now that it’s 2023 say what), I can happily say that I don’t regret the way I spent my time. 😊

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  1. Nadia says:

    Your post resonates so much for me! I absolutely agree with everything you’ve written having experienced it myself. Hence why I ended up taking a bit of a hiatus for most of 2022. I too, felt like ‘IG owned me’. Now I’m back, but I most definitely have boundaries in mind for how much and how I spend my time here but there is definitely room to improve. Thanks for such a timely post at the beginning of the year! ❤️

    • Tiffany Chan says:

      I’m so glad this post resonated with you, Nadia! It’s so nice to know that we aren’t alone in how we feel about the way IG has affected us. I’m so glad you’ve figured out the boundaries you need moving forward!

  2. Sherry says:

    This is such a great reminder! One thing that has helped me tremendously is to allow myself have less-than-stellar engagement metrics. Some of my posts have more likes than others, some are just mediocre. This is normal. I don’t have to create content everyday to get that dopamine all the time.

    • Tiffany Chan says:

      That’s so important to remember. I think a lot of us are perfectionists and always want the best grade for every single post but it’s just not realistic. It’s really freeing though when we let that go!

  3. Elisha says:

    I relate to this all too much! 🙁 I love the boundaries you set- now I need to set mine! Thanks for sharing <3

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Pondering thoughts, personal life experiences, things I love, mental health, marriage life, and everything in between.



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Everything from my birth story to postpartum anxiety and depression, from c-section recovery to mom guilt and judgment. Prepare for raw and emotional posts!


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Gleanings from books I've read and podcasts I've been impressed with, with the occasional children's book recommendations!


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DIY project tutorials from six years of projects in my home! Very much a work in progress, migrating tutorials from my Instagram page to my blog!


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