5 ways to social media-proof your mental health
We’re living in a digital age with friend requests, notifications and “likes” popping up left, right and centre. Today, it seems almost everyone is using social media – in fact, 94 per cent of people in Canada have at least one social media account. Whether it’s Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram or LinkedIn, it seems that everyone’s logged in and joining conversations online.
Some say social media is contributing to the mental health crisis we’re experiencing, while others praise the benefits of being so connected to resources and each other. The research is so diverse, that there really isn’t one simple answer to the question of whether social media is harming or benefitting our well-being.
What we do know is that there are ways to use social media consciously. It’s not necessarily the presence of social media in our lives that affects our mental health, but the way we’re using it.
Here are some tips to help you use social media in a way that protects your well-being:
- Unfollow people or accounts that make you feel insecure, or that need you to be someone you’re not.
How often do you scroll through your feed and compare yourself to others? Challenge yourself not to compare your insides with someone else’s outsides. And, if you still find yourself with a pit in your stomach when scrolling through, click that “unfollow” button. Fill up your social media feeds with accounts that inspire you and make you feel great about yourself.
- Set limits for how much time you spend on social media platforms.
Did you know that some apps and phones can actually track how much time you spend on them? For example, Instagram has a feature that allows you to manage your time on the app. You can even pre-set a daily time limit and get a reminder when your time is up, to keep you from scrolling your precious day away.
- Engage actively on social media apps.