Social media can be a great tool to share life events, a way to connect with family and friends, a way to keep up with the news, and a way to gain perspective and information on interesting topics.
Potential Negative Side Effects
- May shorten our attention span
- May be addicting to children and adults
- May turn life into a competition for likes and share
It’s important to practice healthy social media habits and take breaks if social media is having a negative impact in your life.
1. AVOID STARTING AND ENDING YOUR DAY WITH SOCIAL MEDIA
Try a quick refreshing yoga routine first thing in the morning to wake you up and a calming routine before bed. You may also try reading a couple of chapters of your favourite book to relax you at the end of your day. The blue light from our cellphones, tablets or laptops may interrupt your wake/sleep cycle. On many devices you can dim the screen lighting or set it to night shift - give this a try if you are using your device in the evening.
2. TURN YOUR PHONE ON SILENT THROUGHOUT THE DAY
If possible, this may prevent disruptions from text messages, e-mails, or notifications from social media.
3. TURN YOUR NOTIFICATIONS OFF
This way you’re not consistently being distracted with notifications and inclined to check your phone more often.
4. TRACK YOUR SCREEN TIME ON YOUR PHONE
Most smartphones now monitor the amount of time you are spending on your phone and will even break down your screen time into categories - social media, creativity, productivity, etc. Challenge yourself to lower your screen time from the previous day or week.
5. DON’T BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU SEE ONLINE
It can be easy to compare ourselves to others. Not everything is as it seems. We never know what is going on behind the screen, photo or posts.
6. TAKE TIME AWAY FROM SOCIAL MEDIA WHEN NEEDED
If you need to take time away from social media, try removing the apps for a detox period. You do not have to delete all of your social media accounts, but simply removing the apps from your phone can limit the distraction or negative feelings they may be creating.
7. BE YOURSELF
Try not to focus on other people’s judgements because there is only one you and you deserve to be true to yourself. If you like it, share it!
8. FOLLOW POSITIVE ACCOUNTS
Follow accounts that make you happy and bring positive messaging to your day. Delete or unfollow any accounts that cause you emotional distress or negative feelings.
9. SET YOUR PHONE TO DO NOT DISTURB AT NIGHT
This may help avoid interruptions while you sleep. This will prevent your phone from lighting up in the middle of the night which can disturb your sleep.
10. BE AWARE OF NEGATIVITY OR USERS WITH NEGATIVE COMMENTS
Try not to feed into the negativity and scroll past it. Challenge yourself to post something positive anytime you see something negative.
11. BE POSITIVE
Share positive quotes or things that make you happy, smile, and laugh. If a post is uplifting your mood, chances are it can do the same for someone that follows your account.
12. DO A SPRING CLEANING
Anytime you see a post you don’t like or if someone is repeatedly posting things you don’t want to see, unfollow them! On some social media platforms you can still be “friends” but can also “unfollow” them, so you don’t see their posts as frequently.
13. SKIP SOCIAL MEDIA
Rather than going online or sending a message, try calling family, friends or coworkers. Use that time to have a more meaningful interaction and connect with them.