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Positive social media use

Social media can be a wonderful tool for connecting with others, maintaining friendships, sharing interests, and staying informed about current events. However, it is important to be aware of the potential effects that social media can have on mental health and well-being. Be mindful of your social media use and take care of yourself online.

By following these practical tips, you can establish healthy boundaries around social media and have a more positive and empowering online experience.

  • Tip 1: The Algorithm Used By Your Social Media Platform Determines The Content That Is Shown To You

It is not possible to fully understand all of the factors that go into the algorithms used by social media platforms. However, it can be helpful to learn about how algorithms work on different platforms. For example, liking a post on one platform may lead to similar posts being shown to you, and following an account on another platform may result in similar accounts being suggested to you. These micro-environments on social media can impact your emotions. Some people find that following accounts that are funny, informative, or inspiring leads to a more positive social media experience.

  • Tip 2: Don’t Get Sucked Into Doom Scrolling

Doomscrolling refers to the habit of mindlessly scrolling through negative news articles, social media posts, and other depressing content. This can have negative effects on well-being. To avoid doomscrolling, try finding more positive content to engage with, setting limits on screen time, and taking breaks from screens. These strategies can help you break the cycle of doomscrolling and improve your overall well-being.

“I used to spend hours every day scrolling through news articles, social media, and forums, consumed by a never-ending stream of negativity and fear.”

“It was a habit that I couldn’t shake, and it was taking a toll on my mental health. I felt overwhelmed, anxious, and defeated. I was stuck in a cycle of doomscrolling, unable to look away from the constant barrage of bad news. One day, I realised that I needed to take control of my habits and find a way to break free from the grip of doomscrolling. I started by setting limits for myself. I designated specific times of the day to check the news and limited my social media usage. I also made a conscious effort to seek out positive and uplifting content to balance out the negativity.”

– Lorena*

  • Tip 3: Don’t Give Your Phone All Your Undivided Attention

Phubbing refers to the habit of ignoring the people around you and giving your phone undivided attention. This can prevent you from being fully present in the moment and engaging with others. When you phub someone, they may feel rejected, left out, or unimportant. Using your phone to text or check social media during a face-to-face conversation can also make the experience less enjoyable for everyone involved. Try to be mindful of your phone use and make an effort to be fully present when interacting with others.

“I have a group of close friends who I love to spend time with, but we noticed that every time we went out to dinner, we were all constantly checking our phones.”

“It was ruining our conversations and taking away from the quality time we were supposed to be spending together.So, one night, we decided to try an experiment. We all agreed to put our phones in the middle of the table, and the first person to look at their phone would have to pay for the whole dinner. It was a simple rule, but it had a big impact.”

– Yakov*

  • Tip 4: Turn Off Notifications

Social media apps are designed to keep you engaged and encourage you to spend as much time as possible on the platform. They use various tactics, such as notifications and infinite scrolling, to keep you hooked. It can be helpful to be aware of these tactics and set limits on your social media use to avoid overuse. Notifications can be a constant distraction, pulling your focus away from the present moment and towards what is happening online. This can make you more anxious and less productive. To combat this, consider silencing or turning off notifications on your phone and other devices. This can help you focus more on what is happening around you and reduce anxiety.

“I used to be obsessed with TikTok. I would spend hours scrolling through the app, watching endless videos, and checking my notifications constantly.”

“But as much as I loved TikTok, it was also making me anxious. I felt like I was missing out on something important every time I wasn’t on the app, and the constant barrage of notifications was overwhelming.One day, I decided enough was enough. I was tired of feeling anxious and stressed all the time, so I made the decision to turn my TikTok notifications off. At first, I was worried that I would miss something important. To my surprise, turning off my TikTok notifications had a huge impact on my anxiety levels. Without the constant barrage of notifications, I was able to focus on other things, like work and hobbies. I felt less stressed and more in control of my time.”

– Carley*

  • Tip 5: Have Online And Real World Balance

While there are many benefits to being online and connected, it is important to make sure that your time online does not consume your life. The amount of time that is considered “too much” will vary from person to person. Consider setting limits on your online activities and taking breaks from screens to ensure that your online life is balanced with other aspects of your life.

In addition to considering the amount of time you spend online, it is also important to think about the quality of the content or activities you engage with. Consider how your online habits may be impacting your relationships, health, work, or studies, and make adjustments as needed.

To learn more about how to balance your online activities, you can explore resources that provide guidance on this topic.

  • Tip 6: Restrict Phone Usage At Night

Using your phone before bed can disturb your sleep, so it is a good idea to avoid checking social media or using other apps right before going to sleep. To improve sleep quality and reduce distractions, consider activating the night shift/mode on your device, using the “do not disturb” feature on apps, or turning off notifications. You may also want to consider leaving your phone in another room while you sleep. These strategies can help you disconnect and get a better night’s rest.

If you use your phone as an alarm clock, you may want to consider purchasing a separate alarm clock to keep by your bedside. This can help you avoid the temptation to use your phone before sleep and allow you to keep it at a distance while you rest.