Social media can be a great source of inspiration and a way to keep in contact with friends and family. It can equally be a source of great stress and anxiety, leading us to feel bad about ourselves and our lives.
So what can one do to maintain a healthy relationship to social media?
My first tip is one that I live by, only follow people or accounts that make you feel good or inspired! When you notice someone’s account or pictures on social media are constantly bringing you down and making you feel bad, unfollow them, forever or for a while. Maybe you are in a bad place right now and you cannot handle that influence. If it’s a friend or someone you don’t want to hurt, try just turning off their visibility or notifications. I have over the years gone from obsessively following fashion people, who after a while made me feel bad because I just didn’t look that way or could afford the things they were consuming, to only following fitness people, which in the beginning motivated me, but in the end, just made me feel unworthy. Lately, I have been weeding out all accounts that are wasteful or don’t care about sustainability, they tend to anger me and I really don’t need that type of negativity in my life.
My best way of keeping this balance of only following accounts that makes me feel happy or inspired is to occasional audit and sort out irrelevant accounts. Sometimes it happens simultaneously when I am scrolling in the feed and I see something that makes me feel bad. However, I try to take some time every now and then, when I notice that social media makes me feel more anger and sadness than joy and fulfillment, to go through all my followings and contacts.
Lastly, a simple reminder to all of you. The most important one. Remember that social media is not reality! It’s easy to get wrapped up in other peoples’ accounts and believe that it is how their lives look like all the time. But comparing yourself to someone who gets clothes for free and has a personal photographer or who has the money to travel 300 days out of the year is not going to make you happy. And to be honest, they are probably struggling with many of the things you are, even though their lives seem like a dream to you.