In the 21st century, doesn’t it feel like we are constantly online? We never really have a break from social media apps like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Snapchat. As a college student, I follow a wide variety of people on various social platforms, and personally am guilty of using these apps on a regular basis. Do you feel like social media dictates your life?
The use of social media has changed a lot over the last five years. During this period, influencers such as bloggers and content creators changed their focus to marketing themselves, transforming their lives into businesses. A select group of people in my life try outrageous things “for the Instagram” or “for the snapchat” with the use of photoshop in pictures and videos. They use these techniques to look slimmer and conform to societal norms, a practice that can be detrimental for adolescents and young adults. It can lead to feelings of anxiety, depression, body dysmorphia, and eating disorders. Such disorders can follow a person throughout a lifetime. A way to reduce these stressors is to keep the following five suggestions in mind.
1. Take time off at least once a month to “detox” from social platforms
Whenever I feel overwhelmed by what I’m seeing on Instagram or Facebook or other platforms, I refrain from accessing any of my accounts for three days. Afterwards, I feel refreshed and ready for the next week.
2. Be mindful of whom you are exposing yourself to and their messages
Whom we follow on social media has a lot to do with who we are. It shows how interested we are in a specific topic. An example of interest is following a healthy living Instagram account to remind yourself about how to live a healthy lifestyle.
3. Follow people you enjoy who can serve as a role model for you
This is a huge one for me. Personally, I have been trying to stay healthy and on the right track. Consequently, I follow people who share their tips and tricks to fitness and healthy living. It has helped me greatly.
4. Remember that you are unique, exceptional, and that there is no need for comparisons
Comparing yourself to others can contribute to the destructive thinking that social platforms can induce.
5. Keep in mind that Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and Snapchat are all “things” and that no amount of likes or comments can determine your worth
I believe people forget that social media is a “highlight reel” of one’s life and not an accurate depiction of what’s actually going on in a person’s day.
It’s important to remember that your mental health is the most important part of who you are. Never allow social media to dictate your life.