Social Media has a unique way of prying into our personal space and creating an uncomfortable atmosphere once we let it.
Whether we like it or not people will always have an opinion or view, be it negative or positive on the posts or photos we upload online. This opens up a huge world of criticism.
Nevertheless, social media can also be fun, exciting and very helpful.
But for most people, especially teenagers, the social media trap is really easy. A lot of people have grown up in a world where social media has never ceased to exist, meaning that everything they see from photos, to celebrity fights, breakups, motivational quotes, likes, trends, and even mean comments are just as real as the air they breathe in everyday.
Social media plays such a huge part in our lives that we need to be careful how it affects both our mental health and overall well being. People literally use it to discuss everything from politics, to customer services, lifestyle changes and more. It also affects our moods in many ways.
Because of how easy it is for people to express their views online, most of the time we land ourselves in trouble and the only way to get out of such situations is to defend our actions, most times making the situation worse and other times just slightly better.
This is why a lot of people are angry about how platforms like Facebook, Instagram and TikTok help create toxic environments for young people.
However, over time I have learnt that to develop coping skills and experiences that will build my self-confidence and perspective, is completely up to how I allow myself be affected by the things I read, see and listen to online.
Below are a few ways I believe can help us avoid social media negativity.
1.Social Media Detox
Taking a break from social media gives us the opportunity to make a lot of right decisions. Because social networking sites are known to lure us in and keep us addicted, it might be a little difficult to stay away. However, if you’re really determined to do so, you have to be intentional about it.
You can turn off your notifications for a few days, or even set a time limit, if going off completely for a while seems too difficult for you. Meanwhile, keep yourself busy with activities you love and enjoy like reading, painting, hanging out with real human beings and engaging in physical yet meaningful conversations.
2. Keep Your Content Positive
The simple solution for you to define your online identity early with positive content is keeping your accomplishments and current mission positive all the time. People take note of the kind of things you post online. Constantly stating negative things can actually begin to affect the way you see yourself, other people and happenings around you. Definitely, making you a negative person. You are more likely to improve on your well being when you engage with positive content.
3. Do Not Respond and Block If Necessary
Sometimes we might get really tempted to respond to negative comments about things that may concern us or the things we care about, which get us really upset. Sometimes it’s best to just avoid such things so that we do not add more fuel to the fire, which isn’t actually worth our time.
There are also times where blocking a friend online makes sense- they simply don’t deserve to follow you if they are going to spend time writing negative comments about you all the time.
4. Let It Go
There are times when we actually make mistakes online and have no clue how to fix such mistakes. Well, it’s best to just let it go. If you keep returning to a negative thought and keep talking about it, it can actually affect you in many ways. Just like Dr. Willough Jenkins says ,”the mindfulness technique of observing a thought without judgment, then letting it pass can help create much-needed distance”.
5. You Are In Charge
You can always manage your emotions by being in control of the effects social media has on you. It is not Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp or Instagram that does that for you. Make decisions that will keep your mental health intact.