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Alicia Stevens, BA
Self-Care & Relationship Associate
However, as the world of social media grew and the technology advanced, I broke down and joined Instagram pretty much out of FOMO. It didn’t take long for me to become addicted. Many times, I spent ample hours scrolling through my social media whether I was bored, out with friends or family or while commuting etc. Sometimes, I would even check my Instagram before I got out of bed in the morning. This was not a good quality of life for me and it showed in the way I was starting to communicate with my circle.
Gradually I started to decrease my time on Instagram and while out with groups leave my phone in my bag as to better engage with others. I stopped photographing my food, video-panning around the crowd and taking table selfies. Due to this change, I became more present, involved and felt like I caught up and connected with loved ones. We all have our own lives and things that we handle daily so when we come together to reconnect, it would be nice to have that time to bond without the distraction of technology.
However, even after making some changes I started to feel bored and burned out by social media. It started to feel like a chore. I was no longer interested in showcasing my night, taking a hundred photos and most importantly didn’t care to check the photo to see how I looked once taken. That’s when you know you’re over it. LOL. In addition, my direct messages went from conversations about what my circle and I were doing in our stories, to conversations and videos about celebrities, soon to be celebrities, etc. Also, my feed became less about family and friends enjoying each other’s company or the current events of the community to countless humblebrags and other posts that didn’t reflect the person’s reality.
But the worse if it all was the increasing videos of violence, shootings etc. going around. Including people posting the very personal details of their lives for all to see. I realized that I had become desensitized to it all and began to scroll past these videos like they were nothing. This had become the new normal and that scared me. I joined social media to keep up with the good times and memories of loved ones but instead I started to feel unhappy, unmoved and uninspired. I needed to take a break from social media and for many months, I did.
After my hiatus I decided to rejoin the social media world but with a new perspective. Since so much negativity is spread online, I thought it would be good for my wellbeing to start a page that promotes good mental and social health through affirmations, self-care, wellness and healing tips. In addition to these methods, another way to protect your mental and emotional health on social media is to control your experience.
This can be achieved by making your feed self-care friendly. Sure, people have the right to post whatever they want but you have a choice if you want to see it or not. When you come across a post that doesn’t sit well with you, don’t hesitate to delete the contact or simply mute their posts. It doesn’t matter who the person is, you don’t owe anyone a subscribe and like if what they choose to share affects your negativity.
It's very easy to get lost in the social media world and spend hours scrolling. But by setting time restrictions you limit the time you waste and increase productivity in your life. Just like you set an approximate bedtime for yourself, set a time for social media and once that time has ended then move on to the next part of your day. By limiting social media to just a part of your day, you remove it as a necessity to get through your day.
It's also important to remember how social media is meant to be used. It is a networking and social platform to be used as such. Social media is an instrument, a tool and something to be used to bring what you need your way. The misuse of any tool can likely cause damage. It’s your social responsibility to be aware of the content you absorb as well as produce.
The many benefits of social media are undeniable. But there are pros and cons to everything. Taking care of your emotional and mental health first is essential to having a healthy social media life. Scroll and post wisely.❤️
5/27/2023 03:19:18 pm
I have no comment for this article, this is perfect.. and you told a very interesting and inspiring story. I really enjoyed reading this.
5/28/2023 08:38:54 am
Another timely and well written article!
6/1/2023 02:26:24 pm
Wow great article . Always say social media is good and evil . I really feel it’s affected the young generation the most . Especially the ones who didn’t know life before it
6/2/2023 12:10:30 pm
This is a very powerful piece.. and also very struggle. I’ll admit that I also struggle with the lack of productivity due to my excessive use of social media. Thank you for reminding us that our mental health comes first.
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