Social media is slowly but surely becoming a dirty word in modern society, with the idea that scrolling through endless polished selfies having a negative impact on our self-esteem and mindset.
Despite the obvious implications of social media platforms, they’re pretty much here to stay and we cannot simply log off and avoid them forever. Social media has become a big part in employment and how we live our lives, so even if you’re not on Instagram or Twitter, it is very likely you will still be exposed to it. Well, you know what they say: if you can’t beat them, join them.
We have all been so blinded by the damages of social media that we are being ignorant of the amazing opportunities offered by it. The development of social media and technology has transformed the game of finding careers, building relationships and excelling in life. It truly is what you make of it, who you follow and how you use it that matters.
Here’s how you can ditch the airbrushed selfies and use social media for a healthier mind, life and attitude.
1. Get Inspired
Social media is a magical place. There has never been so much opportunity to build a career or business, with the ability to create a brand within minutes via social media. Building a following, getting your message out there and creating an online brand for yourself has never been so easy. The creation of social media has produced millions of jobs, with so many excelling in an online career – surely something that benefits so many lives isn’t all that bad?
There is a reason why social media plays such a vital role in modern businesses. Use it to your advantage: build contacts, find opportunity and get inspired to better your career or independence. Influencers, marketing companies and online business gain an enormous success from social media use. Transform the day you use Instagram. Ditch the concept of posting polished-up selfies for acceptance from others and start using it to better your life and career. The possibilities are endless.
2. You Are Who You Follow
Remember when you were younger and your parents would tell you ‘you are what you eat’? Eat your vegetables and you will be strong and healthy, drink water and you will gain energy, eat cake and you will feel sluggish. We grow up being taught that what we put into our bodies has an impact on how we look, feel and behave.
What we consume with our minds has the same effect.
What we expose ourselves to on social media, who we follow and what we choose to read forms our mindset.
We choose what we gain from social media by who we follow and take notice of. Making the right decision in regards to this will ultimately affect how social media influences our lives.
Every social media feed is different. There are many factors that make up what we see. We’ve followed accounts over the years for different reasons, but that doesn’t mean they’re beneficial to our lives.
Next time you’re scrolling through your feed, ask yourself ‘how does this account make me feel?’. If the supermodel you follow makes you feel inferior or lacking confidence, you know where that unfollow button is! Don’t be afraid of the block and unfriend buttons, use them to eliminate bad influences and damaging thoughts. Fill your feed with accounts that inspire and improve your mindset, not make you feel bad about yourself. Take actions towards a following clear-out today and you will see a noticeable difference in how scrolling makes you feel.
3. Don’t Let it Consume You
It is so important to limit your time on social media and use this time wisely. Social media use is what you make of it. If you spend hours aimlessly scrolling through selfies and images of people’s lives who you’ve met briefly once and you don’t really care about, chances are you’re going to feel unfulfilled and a little bit drained. Using social media time wisely can transform your relationship with it and increase productivity.
As humans, we have a tendency to obsess over other people’s lives. What is she up to? Where are they on holiday? There’s nothing wrong with taking an interest in the lives of your friends or peers, yet we should never let ourselves get to a stage where we are taking more of an interest in the lives of others than we are of our own.
4. Positive Vibes
One small change I have made to my social feeds which has made a huge impact on my mind set is filling my feed and following with positive vibes and messages. There are endless Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts which dedicate their posts to spreading inspiring and uplifting quotes. Don’t ignore these accounts! Follow them and your feed will suddenly be taken over by uplifting messages. There is no better feeling than scrolling through your Instagram feed to be surprised by an uplifting quote to improve your mood and mindset for the day. A simple click of the follow button of these positive-message accounts will set you up to be exposed to inspiring and uplifting messages when you’re using social media.
This goes hand-in-hand with removing negative vibes from your social feeds too. If an account actively annoys you or spreads negative energy, unfollow it. If you follow someone you don’t like and seeing their posts aggravate you in any way, unfollow them. If you’re too anxious about the drastic ‘unfollow’ action, the ‘mute’ button is bliss! You can silence negative energy at the click of a button. I couldn’t use social media without this feature. Whenever I see a hateful, negative message on Twitter (trust me, there’s a lot) a swift mute button does the world of good. Bye-bye negative vibes!
5. A Real Voice
Finally, here’s how you can change social media for the good. With social media, every user in the world has the power to change the world. Spreading your message has never been so easy and powerful. There are daily viral posts which hit millions of views within a single day. We have the power to reach a global audience within seconds. How we choose to use this privilege is down to us.
Use social media for the greater good – spread positive messages, address important issues and change the world. Social media is a chance for the real people of the world to make a difference. Don’t leave it up to major media companies, use your own initiative to change social values and spread inspiration for a more positive world. It all starts with a tweet, blog post of Facebook status.
I hope I’ve inspired at least one person to change their social media use. We cannot live in fear of social media as there is certainly no signs of it slowing down or disappearing. It is part of all of our lives now and will continue to be in the lives of our future generations. Instead of resenting social media, let’s change it for the good. Little micro actions like the ones above will slowly but surely adapt social media to be a much better place.
Changing your social impact can take minutes. Have a follower clear out, find inspiring accounts and take a second to think about what you’re posting the next time you tweet or share a photo on Instagram. Let’s make social media as beautiful as it can be.
- 5 Tips to Stop Social Media Taking Over Your Life
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I’m Nikita, an English Language and Literature graduate and professional writer who is passionate about breaking the stigma around mental health. Creative words have the power to change the world and I plan to do so.