We hear a lot these days about how social media is detrimental to mental health and wellbeing…but is it? Is there a way to actually use social media as what it is supposed to be: a way to socialize with people and create and engage with media that makes our lives better?
I like to think so. I am a mental health advocate and have used various social media platforms as my main way to engage with my community for years now. I have met some of the most amazing and supportive people through these platforms. I have found art that has gotten me through my toughest days, and words that have sparked a fire in me to advocate for us.
Some tips that I have found to help me engage in social media in a way that feels like self care:
Limit your time and have a purpose
It can be very easy to get lost in The Scroll: maybe you went on an app for a a particular reason or to catch up with a friend, and you look up at the clock and realize you have been scrolling for two hours. Try to make sure that you have a goal every time you go on social media, and try to stick to that goal. Your goal can be as simple as seeing what your friends have been up to or finding cute animal pictures, but regardless. once you have achieved your goal, log off.
Unfollow accounts that make you feel bad
You are not obligated to follow anyone. If someone’s content consistently makes you feel bad, you can unfollow them. It is good to learn from social media and sometimes to even experience some discomfort as you learn new things, but you shouldn’t have to see content that makes you feel worried or anxious when you see it.
Use the block button as needed
You also are not obligated to be friends with or talk with everyone. If someone has made you uncomfortable on social media, you are welcome to block them. You don’t owe them anything, and your mental health is more important than their ability to access you and your content.
Try to make connections and not just scroll
Sometimes, it can be really nice to reach out to someone, even just to tell them you appreciate their content. You never know what may happen, you may make a new friend! Or at the very least, that person gets to know that their content had an impact.
I would like to share some of my favorite mental health content creators, so maybe you can find the same happiness that I did from their work.
- Blessing Manifesting (Dominee)
- makedaisychains (Hannah Daisy)
- anxiousblackgirlcomics (RONIDE)
- hellomynameiswednesday (Wednesday Holmes)
- The Latest Kate (Kate Allan)
I would also like to share some amazing local and national organizations as well who publish helpful and relatable content on their social media platforms.
What strategies do you use to manage your social media experience? Is there anything you want advice on how to improve your social media experience?