Managing relationship with Social Media

Rachel_M
Member

I'm curious of what everyone's thoughts are on managing their relationship to social media as it relates to their mental health.

 

For me, I do a pretty good job disciplining myself to not scroll so much, do 'spurts of attention', and not feel obligated to respond or 'like' everything, etc. After several trial and errors, I got it in a place where it's not eating away slowly at my mental health, but this ebbs and flows of course.

 

How do you think social media impacts our mental health? How should we go about it as a community in teaching each other how to manage it and set healthy boundaries around it?

 

Would love to hear your thoughts and some of the guides too! Cc'ing @allison_s @Dani_P @Leada_M 

9 REPLIES 9

Vanessa
Community Manager
Community Manager

I absolutely love social media, though it has its faults, I try to look at it for the good it can do! To make sure its not interfering with my mental health, I am very selective with who I follow and who follows me. I tend to only follow people I know well because I enjoy their content! I rarely follow influencers or famous people. My feeds are primarily positive and real. I never feel judgement or like I have to be someone I am not. 

 

I occasionally look at my explore pages to look at cute videos or funny/relatable posts. I also use it for informational pages that better me! I think it would help if people curate their social media pages and feeds to benefit *themselves*. If you always view things that only makes you feel bad, then why look at it.

 

@Rachel_M 

I like your love for it @Vanessa ! I think it’s safe to say that it has a place for my happiness too.

Scootmagoo
Member

Rachel,

 

I'm finding it difficult to balance this as well. The hardest one to shake has been Instagram in particular, primarily due to the "grass is always greener" mentality it instills. I've never really been one to measure my own level of happiness by looking at others, nor have I been one to "keep up with the joneses," but I'm ashamed to admit that that’s changing the more I look at these apps, and the more I age and see other’s successes. As culture leans to define success and happiness in a materialistic way, more have I...and that saddens me greatly.  

 

Four weeks ago, I deleted Instagram, and I feel much better having done so. Time away from the app has allowed me to reflect on why it lured me in in the first place, and how it kept me so addicted. And what I keep coming back to is this – I’m struggling to define what makes me happy, and to define what success means to me. And rather than choosing to define it myself, I've chosen to look at others as a roadmap…in hopes of that illusive, silver-bullet.

 

Knowing that there's no actual silver bullet, I'm curious whether any of you have thoughts/recommendations on goal setting and keeping yourself accountable. It first starts with being introspective, but setting meaningful and thoughtful goals appears key to my near and far-term happiness. Gone are the days where A's in school, or promotions can help guide me...

 

What a thoughtful and meaningful share @Scootmagoo . I think we should all read this and remind ourselves of the questions you asked.

 

I look at it this way: If it wasn't instagram, it'd be something else. But maybe this is more fierce. I've detached/deactivated Instagram in the past and have done the same reflection as you on why it draws me in. It helped me gain perspective and set some boundaries when I reattached. I also learned what the positives are. Following accounts that are uplifting and even some that I don't agree with to make me think outside of my own box have been two positive shifts for me.

 

Goals I set are to constantly be aware and be curious of where my mental state is. It's in our nature to compare each other, but it clearly is dangerous on a level where we can access that mindset every day at any minute. Thanks again for your thoughts.

Rachel, your second to last sentence is very accurate and resonates with me. Poor and positive influence is all around us, but it has never been so accessible, so constant, and let's be clear...so adaptive (algorithmically) to one's own day-to-day psyche.  

 

By the way, I'm not a social media hater in the slightest. I've just found that I'm less capable of deciphering my thoughts and my desires from those of others...on these platforms. Which, hey...that means they're working amazingly. 

Dani_P
Community Manager
Community Manager

So glad you brought this into the space -- it's an area I'm constantly having to check myself on and I think many of us are trying to investigate for ourselves.

 

For me, the two biggest shifts I've made that have benefited my relationship with social media have been 1) setting boundaries with it, and 2) diversifying the accounts and information I'm taking in.

 

I used to think I didn't need strong boundaries around timing and usage of my apps, but as it turns out, sometimes the addictive nature of the apps over runs my self-discipline! In the mornings I don't go on my phone or any apps until I've done at least 5-10 min (ideally more!) of self-care practice like breathwork, meditation or reading. I also have a time cap on my social apps so if I use them for more than 30min my phone locks me out of them, which honestly really helps at the beginning if you're struggling with the amount of time you spend on social media.

 

I also have made a conscious effort to both unfollow accounts that aren't benefitting my mental and emotional wellbeing and follow more accounts of diverse people and viewpoints to keep learning and growing in my own self-development and understanding of wellbeing and the world.

 

Curious what others are doing!

Thanks for sharing @Dani_P . Yes I’ve been in a similar boat. ‘Where the attention goes, the energy flows,’ is something i always think about. Thanks for sharing

Leada_M
Guide
Guide

I'm really glad you started this topic @Rachel_M.  I was never too affected on my personal page with social, but once I started an IG for business it definitely is MUCH more time consuming. Some major things I struggled with were never disconnecting. It's too easy to be on it  all the time, these apps make it dangerously easy to just keep scrolling and tapping! I've had to lock myself out of apps after a certain time to help in the beginning. I also get annoyed with notifications (I'm the kind of person that tries to have none left unread lol) so I switch them off. On the flip side, I love having access to fun videos and photos/memes that make me laugh after a long day etc. So I try to fill me feed with things that only help, while trying to engage with the platform enough for biz purposes. Other days though.. I just say screw it and don't reallly log on at all because that's what my body & mind need! Being totally OK with disconnecting and the outcome has really helped me find balance.

I respect this! From someone who uses it for a business/branding perspective also, I understand. I think I am still processing the fact that many of us operate through some social channel and it's become a part of us. Phew!