So, you’re scrolling through FB or Insta, having a little old harmless browse – next thing you know you compare yourself to others and your mood suddenly changes (oh boy have I been there) you just keep torturing yourself, checking out profiles, switching to auto-pilot and scrolling: making yourself feel worse! Does this sound familiar to you?
It’s not surprising why you feel bad after a browsing session when it comes to social media. Selfies are plastered everywhere, filters are on hand and those perfect (well edited) life snaps are shown. The “like” button has also become gold to so many people. The list is endless. On the other hand, however, social media can be a great platform for promoting your business, sharing your creativity, highlighting important issues and raising awareness on so many important causes/subjects.
We’re in a time where everything is done online now and working from home is so much more common since the pandemic.
When my relationship with social media started
When I first became acquainted with FB back in 2007 (yes I’m over 40) I have to admit I loved it. Social media was a new way to connect with others. I loved checking into places, posting photos of my hols, dinner (I know) and basically sharing the snaps I “wanted” the world to see. Oh did that soon change.
When Social Media becomes unhealthy
Now, when I look back, social media was not one bit healthy for my mental well-being. When the novelty of this new platform had worn off I was comparing myself to others, and my self-esteem dipped whenever I was scrolling. Do you find your mood changing when you’re scrolling for eternity? Yep, we’ve all been there!
My goodness I remember well before mobiles and the Internet and managed quite well. In todays world, don’t you feel lost if your phone isn’t attached to those hands? I’m so much more mindful these days with social media and deleted my personal social media accounts many years ago (I just had to and feel much more happier/content) I still have FB and Insta, but more for hobbies and work.
You’re in a time where social media is so powerful and addictive. Selfies are huge and trying to master the right pose/look can be exhausting/stressful. Try not to compare your life (I know it’s easier said than done) we’re all unique and brilliant in our own ways. You have your weaknesses and strengths. Build on your strengths and what you enjoy doing and what makes you feel good.
According to NCHR (National Center For Health Research) 45% of adolescents have reported to being online “almost constantly,” whereas 44% stated being online several times a day. This is a huge percentage of younger people spending their time online on a daily basis – and is bound to have a negative impact to your mental well-being. However, a 2018 survey report (NCHR, 2018) has stated how 31% of adolescents found a positive impact from social media use and connecting with others. But, 25% of adolescents found social media to have such a negative impact.
Researchers have also shown how social media can disrupt sleep (NCHR, 2018) I can vouch for this myself, as I used to take my phone to bed (I stopped that years ago) put it under my pillow and if I woke during the night would have a quick check: then the dreaded scrolling started. Leave your phone downstairs at night or put it into a drawer. Get that proper nights sleep your body and mind needs.
Finding the right balance
There are positives to using social media when you get that balance right and become more aware when online.
If you’re a sensitive person (sensitive person myself I may add) with low self-esteem and you find yourself feeling low after you spend quite a bit of time scrolling: then take a step back.
7 tips on balancing a healthy social media life
1. Ask yourself these questions before going online:
- How do I feel?
- What can I do instead?
- What exactly is making me feel worse?
- How is this beneficial?
2. Delete apps from your phone, so you don’t have it handy to constantly check/scroll.
3. Follow positive well-being accounts, these will help you to see the positives. Follow genuine accounts focused on your wellbeing.
4. If it gets too much or overwhelming then take a little break from it. Or even dedicate a day with no social media use every week.
5. Take up a hobby you enjoy and follow accounts you have an interest in.
6. Go outdoors (leave the phone at home) Spend time in nature to recharge your own batteries and connect with yourself. There is so much beauty out there and outside of social media. Breathe in that fresh air!!
7. Become more aware of your feelings when online. Check in with yourself: ask yourself do I feel ok doing this? Set yourself a time limit when online.
Social media can be so addictive and you can spend wasted hours scrolling.
Channel your energy into what YOU really enjoy. What makes you smile?
It’s ok to take a break and remember to always be kind to yourself. Step by step you can change a habit. You are more than enough. You really, really are.
I feel so much happier not having a personal social media account anymore and I limit my time spent when browsing on the phone. I’m more aware when online. I channel my energies into what I enjoy, which is being with my family, writing, coaching and poetry.
Talk to someone if it all gets a bit too much, it’s ok to share how you’re feeling with someone you trust – it’s not a weakness but a strength to open up (and at your own pace too)
Thank you for checking out my post and let me know what your relationship with social media is like.
Do you need to find a healthier social media balance?