Social media is positive in a lot of ways. It makes us laugh, fills free time, and can help us keep in touch with friends and family. Unfortunately, social media may also skew the idea of what a happy life looks like. In fact, Instagram and Facebook have been ranked as the top two worst social media sites for mental health. To stay positive as you surf social media, try some of these tips to strengthen your inner happiness.
The Highlight Reel
Scrolling through the newsfeed, we see one friend traveling the world, and another who just got married. We see someone who just landed an awesome job, and another person posing on the beach looking amazing. The best thing to do is feel happy for the success of your friends, but it’s not always that simple. If you’ve had a bad day or are feeling particularly vulnerable, seeing other people’s highlight reels can make you feel envious. However, that’s all they are - highlight reels. This is just what’s being shown to the public and doesn’t always represent the full story. It’s important to keep this perspective in mind when you’re browsing social media.
Unfollow Triggering People
Typically, there are a handful of people who make glamorous posts more often, or may have something that you want. Facebook makes unfollowing really easy. All you have to do is go to their profile and click “unfollow”. It’s completely anonymous so the person will not be notified. Plus they remain on your friends list. When you unfollow someone on Instagram, the person won’t get a notification either. If seeing someone’s posts are getting you down, don’t be afraid to do what’s best for your wellbeing.
Take A Break
If you’re still feeling envious after unfollowing triggering people, it could be time to take a break from social media. To take a break from instagram, it’s as simple as deleting the app off your phone. If you’ve saved your password or linked the app to another account like Google or Facebook, logging back in when you’re ready is easy. To take a break from Facebook, you can try changing your password to something more difficult to remember. Save that password somewhere, and don’t use it until you feel you’re ready to go back on the site.
Oh, the peace and quiet. Wait, is that an urge to scroll? For some of us, opening a social media app becomes second nature and can be a hard habit to kick. According to social psychologists, setting a benchmark of 21 days to remain scroll-free is the necessary amount of time to break a habit. The first week off an app is usually the hardest, but it becomes a lot easier after that. All the time you free up is great for removing jealousy triggers from your life, while also providing time to reflect.
Is Social Media Worth It?
What does social media provide for us? It’s a bit of a catch 22. You get amazing inspirational stories, and the latest news tailored to your interests. You get to see your baby cousin growing up and cute animal pictures. Mixed in with all that good stuff is a lot of content based in narcissism and envy, so what’s a person to do?
This time away from social media presents the perfect opportunity to gain some perspective. What do you want these sites to provide for you? By making that choice clear in your mind and acting accordingly, you are building a web experience that serves your happiness - not your dissatisfaction.