We hear a lot about how social media can be toxic. But there are ways that social media can help too.
At this time in particular, with physical distancing, many are struggling with feelings of isolation and depression. Social media can help with this.
The internet is a tool, and like any tool, whether it harms or helps is entirely up to how you use it. If your social media is stressing you out, maybe try re-thinking how you use it.
Here are some tips on using social media during these stressful times
1. Use your social media to connect
Believe it or not, loneliness can be harmful to our health. Use your social media to reach out to people you know are isolated by checking in, sharing funny memes, and keeping them up to date on your kids’ day.
2. Donate to a special cause through social media
Are you a family with both spouses working and you don’t really need that stimulus check to help pay bills? Why not use some of it to donate to your favorite cause? Even if you don’t have a lot to give, every little bit helps. Few things will help you feel better than giving to something you love. For example, our food banks, in particular, need help right now.
3. Use sites like Facebook, Reddit, and Instagram to choose to follow the causes and things that make you smile.
When you get a second to escape into your phone, it is much more helpful to have a few seconds of goodness than glancing over arguments and bragging that makes you feel insufficient. Some wholesome reddit communities to follow are: reddit/r/aww, r/HumansBeingBros, r/MadeMeSmile, r/StaterPacks, r/happycryingdads. You’re welcome.
4. Look at who and what you follow on Facebook.
You don’t have to “unfriend” or delete anyone. You can go into settings to see what you see first. You can unfollow while still remaining friends with some people too! Use this.
Sometimes, you want to stay in touch with friends and family who are very different from you and sometimes annoying, but who at other times can be encouraging. We don’t need to delete people from our lives, but we can decide what we hear about regularly.
5. Leave encouraging and positive comments on other people’s posts
You can easily do this at least once per day. Or, maybe even at least as many times as you say something negative (online or in real life). Not only does this spread goodness in the world, but being kind to others is also proven to make you feel better. Even just two simple words like, “Great job!” can be powerful.
6. Watch Tik Tok compilations and inspirational videos on YouTube
When you pull up Tik Tok or YouTube, don’t just pull up news and tutorials. Pull up fun videos instead. These short videos can make a huge impact on your mood short term by making you laugh or smile at their ridiculousness.
I was skeptical about this at first. But now, I’m referencing these clips a lot. It’s a great thing to have on in the background, and to see other humans having fun and enjoying life. You can discover music and inside cultural jokes, etc. Tik Tok is a form of social media that can help you pass the time and feel better.
7. Review your own memories and photos to refocus on special moments
Feeling gratitude for these moments, even showing them to your friends and family, can change the whole way you view your life story. We tend to remember problems more than our highlights. So why not take the time to scroll through your own photos and videos and pull up some wonderful memories that will put a smile on your face?
8. Use social media to give a shout of thanks to someone
Write on the pages of your contacts that work in essential fields, like stores and hospitals. Thank old mentors and family and teachers – you never know when it’s your last chance. Plus, it’s showing gratitude is proven to increase happiness levels. So, use a huge platform like social media to help yourself and others feel happier.
It’s important to take care of yourself; mind, and body. But, it’s also important to know how to use social media for good so you can teach your kids to use their data delivered words as carefully as their in-person ones, focus on the important things in life, and distance themselves for toxicity.