Social media seems like harmless fun and for the most part, it is. We connect with people around the world, make a couple of friends, post, share, like, pin, retweet, and do it all over again daily. For most of us, these apps have become an essential part of our daily lives.
However, what does social media have to do with our mental health you may be wondering? Well, 80% – 90% of the information an average person consumes on a daily basis comes from the web and social media is a big part of that web.
When consuming food we ensure its delicious, nutritious and makes us healthier and stronger. We, however, aren’t as mindful of the things we put into our minds.
The difference between going to Google or any other search engine to seek information and social media is INTENTION. On search engines like Google you intentionally go to seek specific information and what you seek is what you will find.
However, this isn’t usually the case for social media, with social media you are on the Timeline consuming whatever information you stumble upon on the TL.
Now revisiting the question as to the effect of social media on your mental health.
Social media is a combination of information. And what does the mind feed on? Information! Information is the mind’s food. That is why social media can easily get addictive.
Every time we are on the TL, we are intentionally or unintentionally consuming the good, bad, and ugly. This information we consume affects us. Ever seen a post that created a shift in your mood or vibes? Well, there is your answer.
Just as food is the body, information is to the mind. Now looking at it from that perspective you can say unhealthy food affects our body. Not eating right can lead to a whole lot of health complications. Now think for a minute of what unhealthy information can potentially do to your mind. This is why we should devise a method to positively use social media.
How to Positively use social media
1. Be intentional: you can intentionally curate the information coming to you on a daily basis on social media, by following the right accounts. If you’re one who loves to be inspired on a daily basis or struggles with keeping consistent at any set goal be it your finances, career, fitness, and so on, follow accounts that reflect that on a daily basis. Once you do that, you are a step closer to protecting your mind and having a positive experience.
2. Take breaks: take breaks from the socials from time to time. Don’t be glued to your phone 24/7. One of the things I do is take some “me” time during the day. An hour or so when I just live and breathe in the real-world. I turn off my socials and interact with the world around me. Those moments create a balance that can’t be traded of anything.
3. Have hobbies: most times people who are plugged 24/7 do not have real life hobbies outside Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and so on. This is why they spend that much time on the socials. Ever met someone who the most interesting thing about them is their Twitter thread or Instagram feed? There are so many other fun things to do, be open to trying new things and embrace new real life experiences.
4. Control your time: your goals for the day cannot be to stay on Instagram all day or reply to every tweet or discuss every trending topic but you can find yourself doing this when you don’t have control over your time. So control your time and this brings us back to being intentional. To live a balanced full life, we have to be intentional about what we do and of our actions.
Doing anything excessively is bad, we cannot afford to be excessive and lose sight of the most important thing, “US”. We are important, so cutting down and being intentional goes a long way to have positive life experiences even on social media. Remember the essence of self-care is to actually care for ourselves.
Do you use social media positively? What are your tips for having a positive experience on social media? Are you currently struggling with social media? Well let’s discuss below👇