- How to Improve Your Relationship With Social Media -
Photo from goop.com.
Written by Editorial Intern Amanda Schroeder.
Improving your Relationship with Social Media
The social world that we live in has completely changed over the last 20 years. The number of connections and opportunities that are open to us every day has increased enormously thanks to the internet and the social media companies we engage with. There are a lot of benefits to social media in this new hyper-connected world. That being said, social media can be damaging to your mental well-being and feelings of happiness and fulfillment. With everyone posting every little good thing in their lives, the aggregate of it all makes you feel small in comparison. Followers and likes determine how you feel about yourself and sometimes you do things just to post them on social media. It’s not healthy! Nor is it productive. It’s important to curate your social media use in order to ensure that it is nothing more than a tool, not something that controls your life.
The first step to improving your relationship with social media is to go through the people you follow. Influencers exist to make you want to buy things, that’s it. That’s how they get paid! Unfollowing influencers is a great first step in freeing yourself from the poisonous confines of user-generated consumerism. To the same effect, unfollow everyone that makes you feel small. That girl you had one class with in college whose every post is a punch to your self esteem? Unfollow! You are not obligated to follow anyone, especially anyone that makes you feel like crap.
Get in the habit of putting down your phone. I think we all fall into the trap of “if we didn’t post it, it didn’t happen.” Get used to letting good moments be good moments. Take pictures that you’re not going to post! Just let yourself breathe a little, instead of trying to prove yourself on social media every time you leave your house. Sometimes this is easier if you take a break from social media for a minute. Delete the apps off your phone and you’ll begin to get used to not documenting every little moment. If you’re feeling really adventurous, leave your phone at home all together. It’s healthy to not need to seek validation with everything you do.
Improving your relationship with social media isn’t a walk in the park. The habits we get in involving social media work almost like addictions and are often difficult to break. I know I personally didn’t realize how many times I opened Instagram in a day until iOS came out with Screen Time. That being said, setting small goals for yourself make the whole thing a lot easier than tackling it all at once. The more time you spend away from social media, the more you realize you didn’t even really need it. It's a process, but it's incredibly worthwhile.