Social media can be a force for good, but it also has the potential to be upsetting. Most of us use some form of social media, whether it’s social apps like Facebook or Twitter, places to share media like Instagram or YouTube, or even forums like Reddit. It can help us connect with friends and family, find fun media to enjoy, and even keep up with what’s happening in the world. However, if you spend a lot of time using social media, it can start to affect your mood and even the way that you think. But you don’t necessarily have to ditch social media altogether if you feel like it’s getting you down. There are ways to adjust how you use it so it’s a more positive experience.
Restrict Your Visibility
One of the reasons social media can become overwhelming is simply due to the huge amount of people using it. You can interact with pretty much anyone, and anyone can see your posts if you don’t restrict access to them. Changing your privacy settings can help to make social media a calmer experience, especially if you only allow people who follow you to see your posts. You can find out how to change privacy settings on Twitter and other platforms with ease. You’ll still be able to browse other people’s public posts and follow who you like, but you can prevent strangers from interacting with you.
Stick to One or Two Apps
Social media can easily become too much when you’re using multiple apps. You can feel like you have to use several of them so you can keep up with friends and family and post different types of media. But that can result in constant stimulation from different apps. If you want to make a change, consider picking just one or two apps that you really enjoy or find useful. Think about how you like to use social media and choose the app that is most suited to it. For example, you might use Instagram if you love posting photos and videos.
Take Regular Breaks
You don’t have to completely quit social media if you’re getting a bit tired of it. Taking a break is a good way to remove social media from your life for a while and focus on other things. You might decide to remove social apps from your phone and download them again later when your break is over. A break from social media could be a couple of weeks or maybe even a few months. Some people find that their short break turns into permanently quitting social media because they enjoy the positive effect it has on their life.
Think Before You Post
You can often find that negative experiences on social media come from posting before you think. It’s easy to be reactionary or post something that you haven’t really thought through because social media can be so fast-paced and make you feel things so strongly. But practising leaving some time before having a thought and actually posting it to social media can really help you. By thinking before you post and giving yourself some breathing room, you can avoid things like getting into arguments or upsetting people.
Avoid Judgement and Comparison
Social media can sometimes make you feel miserable because it makes you judge and compare yourself with others. One of the issues with social media is that it often presents extremes. It’s either people sharing only the best parts of their lives or being much more confrontational and angry than they would be “in real life”. Social media can be a much more pleasant experience if you make an effort to avoid judging others and comparing yourself to them. It’s important to remember that social media isn’t always an accurate depiction of people’s lives or even their opinions.
Focus on Connecting with Others
The best way to use social media is often as a way to connect with friends and family and perhaps meet new people too. It can help you to stay in touch with people even if you’re not able to see them in person. You can use social media to keep up with what’s happening in everyone’s lives and let them know how you’re doing too. It’s not just for surface-level sharing, either. It can also help you to ensure you remain connected to people on a deeper level too.
Social media can sometimes provide a negative experience, but there are changes you can make if you want to make sure it’s more positive.