Creating a Healthier Relationship with Social Media

(HealthyAccess)- In today’s world, it can be easy to get sucked into the social media vortex. Scrolling through updates can consume hours of our time each week. While social media can be a wonderful way to maintain a support system, it can also be a place where we absorb negativity and lose time.

If social media has become a drain on time, it may be time to create a healthier relationship with social media. Here are a few ways to begin.

Don’t start the day by scrolling.

While it may be tempting to begin the day with a seemingly harmless scroll through our social media feeds, this can start the day out on an anxious note. We could be exposed to negative content first thing in the morning, which in turn spills over into the day. Instead, choose to start the day sans social media in order to intentionally set the tone.

Champion others; don’t compete.

Social media sometimes becomes the measuring stick we use to compare our lives to other people. This can breed jealousy, anger, and resentment. Instead of comparing our lives to other people’s, we can use social media as a network of positive support. When other people succeed, we can cheer them on and let them know that we are happy for them.

When we champion other people rather than treating them like competition, we’ll likely become more satisfied with our own lives while also building stronger, more supportive friendships with others. We don’t need to begrudge anyone their success or happiness.

Be real.

While many of us post the highlights of our lives on social media and avoid the negative, there’s actually a very good reason to be more real in our social media lives. Other people may have similar struggles, and being honest about our lives can be encouraging to someone else who feels alone.

Besides, no one really believes our relationships are always perfect or our children are always perfectly-behaved. A little honesty practiced with discretion is refreshing when so many people only give us the filtered versions of their lives.

Avoid drama.

While arguing with our neighbor’s sister’s best friend about politics might seem like a good idea in the moment, engaging in drama on social media simply isn’t the best use of our time. Exercising self-control and avoiding drama can keep social media a place where we share and connect with friends and family, rather than a place where we sharpen our cyberbullying skills against one another.

As passionately as we feel about our political or social issues, other people likely feel just as strongly about theirs. Few of us will be convinced to change our minds based on an online argument, clever meme, or pointed jab by someone on social media. We may want to ask ourselves the following before posting:

  • Is it true?
  • Is it kind?
  • Is it necessary?

Keeping kindness as our focus and avoiding drama is essential for a healthy relationship with social media.

Let healthy relationships in while keeping toxic ones out.

Our number of friends or followers doesn’t actually say anything about us as human beings. Instead of aiming for higher and higher quantities, if we want our social media to be healthy, we may want to shoot for quality instead.

Building a supportive, positive community is so important for social support. Social support keeps us happier and healthier, and it can have a powerful impact on our lives. We have the right to set boundaries with our social media accounts–keeping healthy people in and keeping toxic people out.

Social media can be an incredibly healthy outlet, but it all depends on how we use it. If we focus on the latest negative news, scandals, and celebrity gossip or see it as a way to compare ourselves to others, we likely won’t reap the benefits of social media.

If, however, we use it to build positive social support, we can create a healthy balance and allow it to enhance, not detract from, our lives.

~Here’s to a Happier, Healthier Life!

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