Social media offers many benefits. It helps you stay connected to family and it helps to reconnect long lost friendships. It’s even helped serve as a bridge for biological families in many adoption cases around the world. Social media has made our lives more convenient than ever before, simply because it’s so much easier to find others who can offer us the resources that we need. While this constant connection serves its purpose, it can also be somewhat damaging to mental health. Here are some tips for ensuring that your mental health isn’t jeopardized when using social media.
Purpose. Logging into social media can turn into somewhat of a rippling effect. It’s so easy to get bombarded by a long list of posts that you had no intention of viewing in the first place. You may have been simply logging in to check the start time of an upcoming birthday party you were invited to and you find yourself drowning in a sea of photos, comments, and posts. Instead of getting lost in the lives of others, be intentional about why you are logging into a site in the first place. Use social media to benefit you and avoid letting other people’s posts take over your precious time and mind space.
Be Inspired. Instead of looking at someone else’s post as competition, try looking at it as inspiration. Most people only put the “good” out there for everyone to see, which means that you see very little of their “real” life. Seldom do people post photos of messy houses, temperamental children, or a bad day. Instead, they are sharing the new renovations, a family vacation, the smiling kiddos, and the job promotion. Keep in mind that the person posting these perfections, is likely struggling with the same things that you are. Avoid putting anyone on a pedestal based on their social media posts. It also helps to be strategic about who you follow. If someone’s posts are constantly making you feel bad about yourself, then it might be time to unfollow them.
Think First. Much in the same way that you get absorbed by your Facebook friend’s posts, they are likely feeling the same way about your posts. Before you click “post,” think about what you are sharing and ask yourself if it’s spreading positivity. Spread joy and encouragement, rather than a false image of your life. And avoid arguments and negative comments.
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