Managing Social Media
Using, and interacting, with social media is now a pretty normal part of life. Whether it’s through facebook, instagram, twitter or snapchat, the way we communicate, receive information and stay in touch with friends is changing. Although social media has provided a fantastic platform for expressing your views, keeping up-to-date, and chatting with friends, it also comes with a number of challenges. Whether it be ‘trolling’ or ‘putting a filter on,’ social media provides people with an opportunity to act, or portray themselves, in a way they wouldn’t necessarily do in ‘real life’. For this reason, it can be really important to set some boundaries on how you use, and engage with, your social media accounts.
Here are a couple of considerations our Lead Psychologist noted in order to protect your psychological well-being while continuing to enjoy social media.
Switch Off - Social Media can be really entertaining and can tap into our secret voyeuristic tendencies but it can also mean that we’re engaging with a screen more than we are the world around us. It can also become a little obsessive and mean that you’re not socialising with the people around you as much, or (due to screens) can disrupt your sleep, and can also be a major tool for procrastination. Setting some time aside for going screen free can help you to connect back in with the world around you, relax, notice nature, and have a great time with your friends.
Be Critical - A lot of us already know this, but with all the editing apps, software and filters (!) out there, what we see on our social media is often not ‘real.’ In addition to this, a lot of successful YouTubers, Instagramers or ‘Influencers’ are paid to talk about products by companies. This can sometimes be confusing because you feel like they’re just ‘chatting’ with you but in reality it’s an ad. People also tend to only post the ‘best bits’ of their lives and so it can seem like everyone else’s life is one non-stop party of pretty. Whether it’s subtle advertising or it’s someone changing the way they look, social media can often leave us feeling pretty bad about ourselves. It’s important to be critical in the way you consume this information; put your detective hat on and ask yourself whether everything your viewing is indeed real.
Create a Positive Digital Space - One of the most fantastic parts about social media is YOU get to choose what you see. This means you can follow or friend anyone you like. This also means you can unfollow anyone you want. Be mindful of who you’re following and who you’re friends with. Do they make you feel good? Do they make you laugh? Do they make you feel empowered? If they don’t - unfollow. You are in control of the digital space you create and it’s important that what you’re viewing and consuming contributes positively to your psychological well-being.
If you feel like your social media is negatively impacting your mood, or you want to get strategies on how to support your loved ones, or kids, in using their social media, please feel free to contact Piece by Piece Therapies for support.