How to Create a Happy and Healthy Social Media Space
It's difficult to imagine a world without social media.
It connects us to people and introduces us to ideas we would have never come across had they not been on our For You Page. It has given many people a platform to share their opinions, outfits, recipes, art, dances and anything else you can imagine. Social media has created many career opportunities, long-lasting friendships, educational content and endless hours of entertainment. When people say social media is terrible, they overlook the overwhelmingly positive impact it has on people and the vital role in our lives.
However, that's not to say that social media comes without its problems. Social media has made it very easy for us to compare our lives to those of friends and strangers. We only see what other people carefully select, so we think our lives are worse when we only see their highlights. Social media can also introduce us to people or behaviors that influence us in the wrong way. You might follow someone who promotes a dangerous diet or offers harmful advice, which can unknowingly influence your behavior and choices.
It can be challenging to discern when social media is positive or negative. A good indicator is noticing how you feel before and after you go on social media. If you leave social media feeling jealous, angry, upset or defeated, it's a good sign you need to find a way to improve your social media space. You want to feel joyful, interested, entertained or inspired after you check your feed. The good news is that there are many tools we can use that allow us to create a positive media special. Social media can be as positive or negative as we allow it to be. It is your personal space, so why not make it an environment that enables you to feel safe and joyful? Here are four easy steps you can take that will guarantee happy scrolling.
1. Unfollow (or Mute) People Who Don't Make You Feel Good
Social media is your space and you are not obligated to follow anyone who creates content that doesn't vibe with you. If you like a person, but their content makes you feel insecure, you can temporarily unfollow them and refollow when you feel more confident. Muting people is also another option, which is best if you need a social media break from your friend and don't want to hurt their feelings. You can mute people on Instagram and Twitter. Unfortunately, you can't mute someone on TikTok now, but you can use the "Not Interested in This Video" Feature mentioned next.
2. Use the "Not Interested in This Video" Feature
TikTok introduced the "Not Interested in This Video" feature to help their users create a safer environment. When a video pops up on your For You Page that's from a creator you're not a fan of or it's just not your style, you can long-press on the video and click on the "Not Interested in This Video." TikTok says, "You'll be shown less of that sort of video in the future," after you use this option. Twitter, Instagram and YouTube all of a "Not Interested Option." The person who posted the content will not know that you are limiting their posts.
3. Seek Out Diverse Content
One of the best attributes of social media is that it introduces us to new ideas and people. We can corner ourselves into our own little social media world when watching the same content creators. There's nothing wrong with supporting creators that we like and enjoying a specific type of content, but following diverse creators will add new energy to your feed and make your social media experience more exciting. You can branch out into new communities, follow smaller accounts, support creators from different countries and cultures or watch videos about a compelling subject. A great way to start diversifying your feed is by looking for different yet similar content. If your feed is full of makeup artists, trying looking at other types of art like pottery or painting. Social media is more fun with your FYP is diversified and keeps you engaged.
4. Mute Triggering or Upsetting Words/Phrases
Not only do we want our social media spaces to be positive, but we also want them to be safe. There are many reasons why a word or phrase might trigger you; for example, it may remind you of a painful experience or traumatic event. While many people are great at remembering to use trigger warnings before posting triggering content, sometimes they forget. Twitter allows you to type in words and phrases that you do not want to see on your feed. It will then hide any post from you that contains the word. YouTube also allows you to block specific words and Instagram lets you mute hashtags. As for TikTok, the best thing to do would be to use the "Not Interested" feature on a video with that word or block the creator who posts that content. You should never feel wrong about protecting your mental health. You don't want to feel anxious every time you scroll through social media because you're worried about seeing upsetting content. Social media is supposed to be fun!
5. Follow Accounts That Add to Your Life
Before you follow someone, ask yourself, "Is this account going to inspire, educate, entertain or uplift me?" If the answer is no, keep on scrolling. There is no point in following people who bring negativity to our feed when there are so many different social media subsections that bring us joy or teach us something new. That's not to say that your social media should be positive all the time, but it shouldn't consistently upset you and make you feel worse. You get to choose what you take away from social media, so follow people that will add to your life in some way.
Now that you've created a happy and safe environment on social media, you can focus on building one in real life too. HERE are five products that will help reduce anxiety and keep you calm.