Many people have a love-hate relationship with social media. On the one hand, it can be a great source of connection, creativity, information, and entertainment. On the other hand, it can bring up feelings of anxiety, insecurity, depression, and low self-esteem. While giving up social media completely is always an option, many people don’t want to do that because they enjoy the positive aspects of the apps. So, what’s a person to do? You don’t have to say goodbye to social media completely if you don’t want to. There are things you can do to make your social media experience more positive and beneficial. Here are five things you can do to protect your peace on social media.
1. Unfollow people or remove followers
You know those people you follow on social media whose posts always make you feel bad in some way? Maybe it’s an estranged friend, an ex-boyfriend, a random person from high school, or a stranger whose posts just rub you the wrong way. Unfollow them! On certain apps like Instagram, you can also “mute” people you’re following, which prevents you from seeing their posts without actually unfollowing them.
Additionally, social media apps give you the option to remove people from your followers list, so if a particular person is following you on social media and you wish they weren’t, you have the power to remove or block them.
You are in control of who you follow and who follows you on social media. Only let people into your social media bubble whose posts, interactions, or presence make you feel good or, at the very least, neutral.
2. Engage more
It’s easy to get in the habit of scrolling through social media without ever posting or commenting on anything. Using social media in this way can feel really isolating. Research actually shows that people who comment and connect with others are happier on social media than people who scroll without commenting. Real communities that care about and support each other can be formed on social media, but just as in “real” life, being part of a community is a two-way street and requires effort on your part.
3. Think before posting or commenting
Social media is filled with controversial and drama-filled posts. Commenting on posts like these might seem harmless, but before you know it, you’re knee-deep in a heated debate with another person. Needless to say, this kind of experience does not add to your peace. Before you comment, pause and take a minute to think about whether your comment will add or take away from your peace. Similarly, think about what you’re putting out into the world via your posts. Your feed can either be an encouraging place or a place that encourages trolls and arguments. It’s your choice!
4. Regularly check in with yourself Lastly, it’s important to regularly check in with yourself to see how you’re feeling about your social media use. If you’ve applied the above tips and still feel negatively affected by social media, that’s your mind’s way of telling you it’s time to take a step back. You could opt to take a social media break, limit the time you spend on it each day, or even deactivate your account if that’s calling to you. Always put your mental health first—it’s a million times more important than any social media post. Looking for in-person support?
If you’re struggling with your relationship with social media and/or feelings of low self-esteem, insecurity, anxiety, or depression, feel free to reach out to SoundMind Wellness to talk to one of our therapists. We’d be happy to support you in creating a healthier relationship with social media and addressing underlying feelings or patterns that may be contributing to your negative experiences.
The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained on this page are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this post is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics, including but not limited to the benefits of mental healthcare, wellness and nutrition. It is not intended to provide or be a substitute for professional mental health advice, diagnosis or treatment. It is not a substitute for a relationship with a licensed mental health practitioner. Always seek the advice of your therapist, physician or other licensed mental health professional with any questions you may have regarding a mental health condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional mental health advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this page.