Social Media can make us miserable in so many ways and it’s about time we talked about it. I’ve often found myself in a cycle of comparing myself to girls on Instagram with their perfect skin, amazing make up, gorgeous hair and body and then left feeling pissed off that I don’t look like that and my life will never be as good as theirs. That’s just a general overview of what could happen… if you let it. I flipped how I use social media and I now have most days where it inspires me because I made sure what is shown in front of me is positive and serves me well. I know that will chime with quite a lot of people but social media doesn’t have to be a negative place.
As humans, it’s natural for us to have a frame to assess and reassess our own worth and to see how we’re getting on within the game of life. Psychologists call it Social Comparison Theory and it’s seen as a way to understand ourselves better. Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Snapchat or whatever platform it is, is just a reel of endless and pretty inaccurate representations of life and if you’re the kind of person to compare yourself to others and their lives, it can make you feel down and more likely to feel depressed. You will always find someone who is doing better than you or looking better than you, and if you go out searching for that, you’ll find it a lot quicker.
But, what is social media is your job? Good question, right? Social media has always been aspect of my job, but more so now since I became freelance. I’m on it sometimes up to 10 hours a day! If you’re feeling stressed about the pressures of social media, just know you’re not alone. Most of us over the last year have been spending more time on it. Here are a few tips to help protect your mental health whilst on social media in personal time or even work time.
- Take care of your social feeds.
Unfollow or mute accounts that don’t make you feel good. If you find yourself constantly comparing yourself, where your business is at, or your content to others, it might be time to remove it from your feed. It isn’t adding value to you day.
- Set self-care goals.
You can download free apps, such as Aloe Bud to track goals you’ve set for yourself. They send you gentle reminders to help reach these, without making you feel bad if you don’t get round to doing them.
- Give your eyes a break.
Here are some incredible podcasts to give a go to help you learn and improve your mental health.
– Happy place with Fearne Cotton
– Selfie Podcast
– Tiny Leaps
– Holding Space with Cassidy Freitas.
- Monitor your screen time.
Around 50% of the world’s population uses social media. Try limiting the amount of time you spend on your social media outside of work. Track and monitor the time you spend on your phone. You’ll be notified when the time is about to run out and when it’s ready to close the app.
- Have a detox day. If social media is your job, use one of your days at the weekend to spend off your phone, or if not, at least off social media. Having this time away allows you to do other things. Connect with friends, get out into nature, spend some time on yourself.
I don’t think enough of us address the issue that social media can make us miserable and left feeling inadequate and worthless and it seems that a lot of us are feeling shitty about it. These feelings come into play more and more when you use social media for your job. You’re exposed to these things every single day. Anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues have risen dramatically in the past decade. From 2010, Google searches for things such as anxiety have almost quadrupled. A lot of studies that have been done since this rise have shown that the more young adults use social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.
Just remember that social media is a platform made for entertainment. Most of it is scripted and constructed for our entertainment. If you shift your mentality to see this and see it’s not reality, you’ll begin to enjoy it, rather than let it damage you. Remember, just because someone is nailing it on the net, it’s not actually how they live their life every single day.
Success isn’t a race, and everybody is beautiful in their own unique way. Every single person has their own insecurities and problems that they’re dealing with that won’t get shown on social media, so be kind. Not only on you, but on others too. Social media can be a toxic place, but it really doesn’t have to be. Just remember that you are doing okay, and it is okay to feel any of the above from time to time. It’s the way we deal with it and put solutions in place to turn it into a positive that make a difference.