I’m half way through my Foundations of Digital Communications Strategy & Social Media course and so far it’s been great. One of our assignments was to work as a group to create a short video and present during a live webinar. Our topic was the healthy use of social media which I was thrilled about because this is a topic that really resonates with me. I often wonder about the effects that social media has on people. It’s a new and fascinating tool that many are still learning how to navigate. It’s opened up many doors for us to connect with people around the world, but there’s also another side to it. Carefully curated photos that only show the highlights to the world can have a negative effect on our followers. An unhealthy relationship with social media can negatively affect our self-esteem and cause issues with relationships, friendships and even our jobs. Furthermore, it also sadly opens up opportunities to cyber bullying in all age groups.
Take a peek at the video that my group put together below for some tips on how to use social media in a healthy way.
1. Be selective about who you follow
I find that this tip makes a huge difference in your well-being. Why continue to follow someone who makes you feel upset or isolated. Unfollow them or hide them from your feed.
2. Call/see your friends
Instead of filling the need to connect with people through social media, turn to some real, non-virtual socializing. Schedule a coffee or dinner date to catch up. Call them on the phone to chat or have a video call. I find that the communication we express through our tone and facial expression is just completely lost through social media.
3. Don’t feed the trolls
Because what’s the point? Some people are just out there to bring you down no matter what. I’ve been subject to bullying before and I found it easier to take away their power by ignoring them then to give them power over me by acknowledging their stupidity.
4. Stop comparing yourself
I mentioned this one earlier about how people’s posts are carefully curated and only represents a moment in time. It’s not telling the whole story – we’re not seeing the arguments or the low times. So try to stop comparing yourself to what you see on social media because most likely people are going through the same life struggles that you are.
5. Take a break from social media
One year for Lent I avoided Instagram and Facebook and it felt liberating. By the end of the 46 days (I avoided social media even on Sundays) I forgot that it even existed. And when I went back onto social media, I didn’t feel the need to constantly check my feed. It was a really nice change.
To add my own personal tip, I would recommend to:
6. Avoid checking social media first thing in the morning
I find that our morning routines set the tone of our day. If you see something on social media that makes you upset, then you’ll likely start your day feeling that way. Ease into your morning with something more pleasant like listening to good music while you get ready. That’s what I do 🙂
Do you ever find social media overwhelming? What do you do to maintain a healthy and balanced relationship with social media?