Let’s all just admit one thing: Social media does have an influence on us. Maybe you don’t realize it, or can’t explain it, but it does. So, if we’re going to let our online presence impact our lives.. Let’s make it positive!
The first thing you should realize is that you are in control of what you consume. You control what’s in your feed, what you watch, what you listen to, what you read – even if you’re not the one posting it. You’re also in control of how much content you’re consuming by spending time on social media.
So, since you’re in control.. Here’s my advice for you.
Cut out the negative. I know that this sounds obvious, but it’s not. You have to dig deep and figure out what’s truly negative. This means considering what’s naturally triggering, what’s unconsciously upsetting you, the things that are hard to even personally admit but still upset you, and more. (This should include cutting out the sad music, movies, quotes – etc.)
You also have to have a hard conversation with yourself about who is negative for you. Should you still be following your ex? What about Megan, the two faced girl in your third class? Should you be following the people who portray to live the fantasy life on Instagram? Does that make you feel good about yourself? It’s questions like these that you have to ask – and you have to be genuine and honest with yourself. But the most important part is that you have to actually gain the courage to unfollow the negatives.
Bring in the positive. This was the step that helped me the most. I found role models that shared positive messages through social media, followed pages with good quotes, watched funny movies on Netflix, listened to empowering podcasts, and more.
When I created the blog Instagram, I found a new community of people that love to share positive quotes and empowering messages! I found people who are open with their struggles and transparent with their progress and mental health, which made me feel so much better about what I was going through.
Now, I know not everyone wants to create a second Instagram for that sole purpose – but you can still seek out a few people to follow and learn from!
Find something that interests you, and follow it. For me, I’ve always really liked makeup! In the height of my depression, I probably watched a million YouTube videos. Jaclyn Hill, KathleenLights, Bretman Rock, James Charles, Jackie Aina – I love them all! It was something fun to watch and a good mental escape. This was obviously a personal interest, but you can adapt it to anything. The main point is, if you’re focusing on something that you like, you aren’t thinking about the negatives.
Use Pinterest. This is going to sound like a sponsored post, but I really just have an obsession. I swear, some of the greatest things that I’ve learned have come from this platform. I mainly like to look at quotes. I know it seems silly, but I’ve come to so many realizations, just because of a few words attached to a picture on the internet. Yet I promise that if you try to do some deep thinking and application when you’re searching through, you’ll learn something.
Even aside of looking through quotes, Pinterest is helpful for so many things! If you want to find healthy recipes, new workouts, new ways to practice self-care, different ways to organize – I mean they’ve got literally everything. You’ll always be able to find blogs, quotes, photos, how to’s, guidelines, and more – on whatever topic you’re searching for. (PS – while you’re at it, follow @thesopblog on Pinterest 😉)
Find apps that empower you to feel positive and productive. (I’ll be honest, this isn’t a step that I personally take, but I know it’s popular with a lot of other women). You can find apps that will send positive affirmations through your notifications, or email, or even text. There’s an app called Shine that’s pretty popular for that. I did some quick research and found a good list of apps geared toward mental health improvement including Happify, Grateful, Talkspace, and Happy Not Perfect. So, if that seems like your kind of thing – check them out!
Journal Online. Okay, so I know this isn’t a form of popular social media, but I still think it would help bring a lot of improvement to your mental health.. And it’s still technology related.
So, I mean this is pretty self explanatory. Just pull up Word, write a note on your computer, or even freaking text yourself. (I personally use https://www.my-diary.org/hl/en for computer journaling). Once you’ve found a platform, let it out! I can honestly say that I’ve never walked away from journaling feeling worse than when I started.
*You obviously don’t have to journal online. You can even switch it up if you want. I know that a lot of people prefer to write, including myself, but there are some perks to online journaling. Most people type faster than they write, you don’t waste paper, and you can easily look back and find what you wrote.
Forget the pressure to make your social media perfect. I know that this is easier said than done.. (Trust me, I’m still working on taking my own advice here.) – Just remember that you don’t have to take 50 pictures or spend 20 minutes on editing, just to post on Instagram. You’re not required to have a full face of makeup. You don’t have to get the perfect angle to make you look skinny, or take half your clothes off to feel pretty. We all need to work on making social media a little more casual. 🤗
I just have to say it: Care how much time you spend on your phone. Have you ever heard anyone say, “Yeah I want to spend 3 or 4 hours on social media every day for the rest of my life”? Probably not, but it’s still a reality for a lot of people. With that said, let me tell you, spending the majority of your life on social media is not going to fulfill you. If you take away 1 thing from this post, let it be that. Fill your time with actually living life, instead of watching someone else’s on social media.
- I delete the apps off of my phone and stay off them. – I use this when I’m extremely busy and don’t want to waste time.
- I delete the apps off my phone but allow myself to use them on my iPad. – I do this when I want to be more conscious/intentional about how I use social media, even if i’m not too busy.
- I set a timer for how long I’ll allow myself to use them.
- I only let myself use them until or after a certain time. – For example, I can only use them until 11pm or I can only use them after I finish my homework.