Social media is a reflection of, and in some cases, an amplification of what is happening in the world around us. With so much happening in the world right now from handling the COVID-19 pandemic to the state of politics, to social justice issues, social media can be a chaotic space to engage in. Lisa Mitchell, communications expert & founder of Power Body Language, has a few intentional steps you can take to improve your communication and help calm some of that chaos, making your time on social media more enjoyable.
Be Honest With Yourself About How Social Media Makes You Feel
It’s easy to think of scrolling through your social media feeds as a harmless and mindless activity, something just to help you pass the time. It’s important to realize that every time you take in information and interact with others on social media, especially when those interactions can be emotionally charged or feel confrontational or negative, they are taking an emotional and energetic toll on you. Taking a moment to check in with yourself about how you feel after being on social media is a key step in managing your stress level, anxiousness, and potential feelings of overwhelm that you might experience after doing so.
Be Intentional about who and what you are connecting with
It’s easy to end up being connected to and seeing posts from people, ideas, and content that are not beneficial or healthy for you on social media if you aren’t really intentional about who you let into your feed and friend requests. Be ruthless in who you friend and follow and what content you interact with. The algorithms on social media platforms are designed to push you more of the same type of content you’ve interacted with in the past, whether those interactions were positive or negative. It doesn’t take long for your feed to become increasingly toxic, negative, and intrusive if you don’t manage who and what you are interacting with carefully. Use features like the mute option and don’t be afraid to unfollow or unfriend to keep your social space a place that’s healthy for you to be.
You wouldn’t let just anyone into your home, don’t let just anyone show up in your social media home either!
Limit Your Exposure
You’re not under any obligation to be on social media. It’s a choice. Or for many people, it’s a habit that feels like something we should or are expected to participate in but that’s not the case. It’s okay to delete your profiles or to even take the apps off your devices if that helps you limit the amount of exposure you have or the feeling of obligation that you have to keep scrolling.
Social media can be a great place to form connections, learn new things, and share ideas. It can also be an unhealthy space for many people and can do more harm than good if it’s not approached in a healthy way. Using the tips above help you maintain some level of control to help you engage in a healthier way.