A healthy approach to social media
Social media has become such a massive part of our daily lives, sometimes we don’t even realise how much time we spend scrolling through our feeds to find that hit of dopamine.
It can often be the last thing we look at before we go to bed and the first thing we check in the morning. Spending long periods of time online can leave a person feeling isolated, alone, anxious and unconnected which has a negative impact on their mental health.
Now, we’re not saying social media is a bad tool as there are so many positive features and people online to help inspire us, but now is a good time to have a healthier relationship with social media.
It’s important to remember that social media is a fabrication of our lives and the people you follow will want to showcase the best side of themselves and #livingtheirbestlife.
This isn’t always the case but more often than not it is. You only see a small slice of someone’s day not the whole picture so, if you’re having a low day seeing a friend or influencer online happy and smiling this can affect your mental health as you start to compare yourself to others.
With this in mind, is it time to have a good clear out and clean your feeds? Although it’s not easy to figure out why you’re feeling down – part of the problem could be due to who you’re following.
Top tips for a healthier social experience:
- Go through who you’re following and try unfollowing or muting accounts that upset you and take up too much of your time.
- You are in charge of who you follow and what you want to see – make it diverse, make it inspiring and make it a place you feel comfortable!
- Be strict with your usage. Allow yourself set times during the day to use social media whether this is ten minutes on your lunchbreak or a quick five minutes in between cooking dinner. It’s equally important not to be harsh on yourself too, if you say, “oh I’ll have a quick ten minutes” and it ends up being longer don’t beat yourself up about it.
- Recognise when you’ve had enough and when it’s time to put the phone down or shut the laptop – this can be very empowering!
- Try to make a habit of spending the first and last hour of your day without a screen. Instead go for a walk, read a book, meditate or draw – find an activity you enjoy that doesn’t involve a screen. Easier said than done we know but practice makes perfect.
- There’s nothing like picking up the phone to call a friend or loved one – particularly now. Proper contact (albeit still estranged due to lockdown) can have a positive impact on your mental health and wellbeing.
Put your mental health first and if that means deleting an app or two for a while that’s okay. You know what’s best for you so take care of yourself in both the online and offline world.
For more advice and useful links about mental health and social media visit:
Blog by Verity Webb – to mark Children’s Mental Health Week and Time to Talk.
Part of Ditzy Media’s effort to consider social media responsibly – particularly for young people during this time of lockdown.