With more of us spending longer periods of time on social media due to the lockdown, it’s more important than ever to ensure you have a healthy social media life.
While social media is a great way to connect and share information, it also has its downsides – it can spread misinformation, give online bullies a platform, and generate feelings of inadequacy.
Here are some top tips to help you have a healthy social media life so you can enjoy the benefits and reduce the negatives.
1. Focus on real human interactions
Spend time – even if it’s within your bubble – with people in real life. Have a yarn, play a game, go for a walk or do something together. Call a friend or family member or organise a group chat with other people.
2. Stick to positive sites and people
Think about how you feel after being on certain social media sites – do you feel good and connected or do you end up feeling bad and disconnected? Only use social media sites that are positive and leave you feeling good. And only follow people who are positive and a good influence.
3. Limit time spent on social media
It’s all about balance. Set time limits on how long you’re on social media. Have set times you check – maybe once or twice a day – and limit the length of time you’re on it.
4. Turn off notifications
A constantly beeping phone is distracting and annoying and prompts you to check your phone. Have a look at what notifications you have turned on and ask yourself whether you actually need them turned on.
5. Remove apps from your phone
Social media apps are designed to keep you coming back for more. If you’re struggling to stay away, try removing the app from your phone to avoid constant checking. Checking on your desktop or other device will take a bit more effort.
6. Try not to compare yourself
Remember a lot of what is posted on social media is massaged and edited to look the best it can be and isn’t always a reflection of real life, so don’t compare yourself to it. Seek out real voices and images.
7. Think before you comment or post
Stop and think before you post a comment. Ask yourself if it’s a good idea and would you say this in real life to the person’s face? Same with images. Is this an image you’d potentially be happy for the world to see?
Healthy social media Mental Health Foundation, UK