Staying Sane on Social Media
by Jamie White
February 16th, 2018
5 min read
Today’s world is full of stress and bad news. Everywhere you look, someone is posting an angry rant, arguing over politics, or hyping the latest tragedy to strike. All of this can be very detrimental to your health in a number of ways. Some studies have pointed to the mental health effects that can come from using social media. We’re further inundated with the bad news, or feel less than because we’re seeing so many pictures of our friends ‘perfect’ lives. Here are some ways to keep the #positivevibes going and make your time online much more enjoyable.
Make use of your social tools
Many of the most popular sites have ways to control what you’re seeing. For example, on Twitter, I have utilized lists to ensure I’m seeing the things I want to see. I made a number of lists, from lists of fellow writers, to celebrities, to people in the spiritual community. Each one is filled with people who are taking about their new projects, sharing funny memes, or passing along some great spiritual advice. To do that, all you have to do is go to your ‘lists’ section and create a new list (or lists), then add people you’re following by clicking on the options for them.
Another great method is the Facebook “unfollow” option. During the political season, it was getting hard to read the Facebook newsfeed because of all of the angry rants on both sides, as well as the negativity heaped at those who were part of either side. So, I chose to go to their profiles and unfollow. In case you don’t know how to do it, all you have to do is click on the ‘friends’ button and chose the ‘unfollow’ option. You’ll still maintain the friendship, but their posts won’t show up in your feed.
Unfortunately, there is no such option on Instagram, so you’ll have to make some choices there as to whether the connection is truly worth keeping. The good thing is, with all the different ways the site’s algorithms choose what posts to show, you can quick reduce how much certain people’s posts are seen (should you not want to unfollow) to ensure other people are seen more. All you have to do is comment on and “like” the people you want to see more of.
Stay away from trends
The trending topics can be almost as bad as your feed. Most are full of the bad news, not to mention some hateful, angry commentary, both from friends and random users whose profiles are public. I notice that I feel a lot better when using social media if I stay away from them.
Get a reality check
There was an experiment a while back (and I’m sure she wasn’t the first, or last, to do this) where a woman told the people in her life she was going on a vacation. She then posted all kinds of staged, fake photos that gave the impression she was living it up in exotic locations. In reality, she was hanging out in her own home the whole time. Others, like some popular models, have taken to showing the reality behind their snaps: the airbrushing that happened, problems they were dealing with while the shoot was happening, and other things. Given how easy it is to feel depressed, or unworthy, because your day, home, life, whatever isn’t like your friends, keep that in mind. It’s human, and very natural, for most of us to only show the happy moments. The times when our hair is perfect, or we’ve just had a major triumph. Take everything you see with a grain of salt.
Take it higher
Follow spiritual pages, or funny pages, that make you feel good and make sure to visit them. I personally like to check out some affirmations to start the day. It’s also a great way to share content of value that can help others who are seeking spiritually. Also you can incorporate Crystals by your computer such as Fluorite, Shungite, Ammonite, Hematite which help reduce electromagnetic smog!
Take a breather
Of course, one of the best ways to deal with the negative side to social media is to tune out for a bit. Consider taking a social media holiday. If a long break isn’t feasible due to work, etc, then consider taking a day or, or even a few hours. Spend that time singing along with some favorite music, taking a walk, reading a book, or hitting the gym. You’ll feel a lot better when you get back.