How to Achieve a Healthier Relationship With Social Media
In times of significant political and economic turmoils, it seems like to only thing that stays strong and unaffected is our relationship with social media. However, is that really the case, or are we simply unaware that we’re stuck in a toxic relationship? It’s time to ask yourself: Is your social media treating you disrespectfully, showing signs of controlling behavior, and zero support for your personal goals? If you’ve checked all three points, it’s time to reconsider your relationship with social media and create a healthier online environment.
To help you out, we’re giving you some advice on developing a balanced relationship with your social media accounts.
First and foremost, step back and estimate how social media affects your mental health. If you notice that you’re feeling less comfortable in your own skin, are setting unrealistic goals for yourself, or are experiencing feelings of depression, anxiety, and loneliness, check if your social media activity has anything to do with it. If you have kids, carefully monitor their online activity patterns and overall behavior changes. Cyberbullying on social media is a growing issue that’s difficult to detect, but it can have severe and long-lasting consequences on children’s mental health.
Data from 2020 shows that people spend an average of 2 hours and 41 minutes on social media, while teenagers tend to scroll away for almost 4 hours every day. However, these numbers got even higher during the COVID-19 pandemic, and our addiction to social media became even more concerning. If you notice that you and your family spend too much time online, focus on adopting healthier habits. Since putting your phone down can be pretty challenging, find engaging activities for the whole family that would make this easier. Also, schedule your family screen time, but understand your children’s social needs and allow them to enjoy the positive aspects of using these platforms.
Social media often channels unrealistic expectations that aren’t in line with real life. Review the accounts you follow on social media and block or unfollow all those that negatively affect your life. Ask yourself how you are benefiting from these accounts. Are they making you feel less? Are you striving to achieve an unrealistic lifestyle or beauty goals? Do they encourage you to spend money and time on things that aren’t serving you? Ensure people and organizations you follow inspire you to improve yourself and bring happiness to your life. Also, check which channels and accounts your children follow, and if you find something unsettling, sit down with them and have an open chat about the effects social media might have on them.
Start with yourself if you want to surround yourself with positive people and nurture a healthy and motivating social media environment. Before posting or sharing a glimpse of your life online, ask yourself how you contribute to improving society online. Be kind and understanding to others, promote healthy habits, and motivate people to make a positive change in their lives. Teach your children to do the same. Show them the importance of showing compassion and empathizing with others and teach them proper online etiquette from an early age.
Counseling won’t magically fix the relationship you have with social media, but it can be an excellent starting point. Use these tips above to tweak your approach to social media. Use it to enhance your and your family’s life quality and ditch everything that’s bringing you down.