Social Media

As the number of platforms grows, and the breadth of what social media provides us with increases, many of us are becoming more reliant on it. Whether that’s for friendships, news, work connections or entertainment, it has crept into our lives. And even though Facebook is now 20 years old, we are still in the first flush of really understanding and navigating a new digital world.

The extent to which it allows us to share knowledge so immediately, and provides a powerful tool to break down stigmas and raise awareness of important issues, is invaluable. But for a number of years now there has been a growing sense that social media can also have a negative impact, especially on mental wellbeing.

However, it’s not going anywhere. You can, of course, avoid it entirely, but if that’s not realistic for you, we have put down a few thoughts, with some helpful links, on how to make your relationship with social media a healthier one.

Try to understand your behaviour and relationship with your phone and social media

This means looking at how and why you use your phone with a realistic perspective. Take notice of your screen time and ask yourself if that amount of time is impacting time spent at work or with your family and friends. For more information about improving your relationship with your phone, click here

Skip social media at morning and night time

Easier said than done, we know, but these are key moments for letting your brain digest all the information from the day, and then letting your brain think about the day ahead with clarity. By using your phone during these times you are inputting a lot of information into the brain that has to be broken down, which impacts your quality of sleep, and your ability to start the day with a clear plan. Find out more about how social media affects your sleep here

Curate your content with others in mind

Be realistic with your content and images. By doing this there is less of a chance of setting unrealistic expectations – especially for a younger audience who are looking for guidance, attainable goals, and a sense of belonging

Set yourself up for success, what is the best approach?

If you believe a break from social media is the best option for you, analyse your options. Some limit themselves to a certain amount of time a day/week, whereas others may find completely cutting out social media and going for the cold turkey approach the best option. Whatever you choose, make sure it’s the best option for you. Click here for more tips on how to take a break

Be gentle with yourself

Of course none of these tips are of any use unless you are gentle with yourself and allow yourself to breathe and make mistakes. Nobody is perfect and you should plan for a little leeway. 

Seek other kinds of fun

Explore other methods of having a good time, take the more analogue approach and plan a fun afternoon out with your friends. Or it may be as simple as meeting up with others for a drink, just plan for some time away from your phone.

Young Minds

Young Minds supports the mental health of young people.

They have written a detailed and useful guide for young people on social media and mental wealth

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