Social media is literally the fastest way to communicate any message, opinion, lies, or facts that you want, to anyone or about anyone in the world. You don’t have to have an account on any of the social media platforms to avoid being directly affected, but if you do, chances are that at some point or another you will be affected. People have the power to post anything positive or negative and some of these things can directly affect your mental health. Friendships sometimes fail from social media when you see realize that friends had a fun girls night out and you weren’t invited. Businesses sometimes suffer from a loss of patronage because of negative reviews from a non-paying or hateful customer. Marriages suffer because one spouse didn’t receive as nice of a gift that their social media friend posted on their page on Valentines Day. While these examples may not directly affect you, it affects many people daily. Forbes Magazine reveals that there are in fact very significant effects on our mental health because of social media, so how does a person avoid their mental health from being affected by social media? Here are few tips that I believe just may help them or you.
- Limit your scroll time to 15 minutes or less. Yes, the longer that you scroll through your friends’ posts it is more likely that you will see something sad, depressing, racist or contrary to what you believe they should be posting.
- Take a social media hiatus often. Taking a social media fast or hiatus is good for your mental health because it allows you to take time to focus only on your life, family, and close friends. There is no need to announce to your social media friends that you are about to take a hiatus. There is freedom in actually disappearing for a short period of time.
- Follow positive pages and people on social media. Have you ever scrolled through several posts of negativity, bad language, and explicit videos and in the end it left you feeling exhausted? If so, it may be time to clean up your friends’ list. There is no need to announce that you are going to delete people who constantly post offensive things. Just do it!
- Un-friend people who you truly don’t know or want to get to know. Many times people will send us friend requests and we accept them because they are from our hometown, high school, college, or are mutual friends. Don’t feel obliged any longer to follow the pages of these people. If they are always negative or you don’t have anything in common with them in real life, separating on social media will be easy.
- Use your block button with pride. This may sound funny and to me it is, but it’s okay to use your block button when things just mentally exhaust you. Ads, videos, and other posts can also be blocked on your timeline. I was recently blocked by an old co-worker that I don’t have any regular communication with. We were both expecting babies around the same time, exchanged gifts for our children, laughed about our maternal weight gain, and even privately messaged a few times. She crossed my heart recently, so I decided to reach out, but only to discover that she had blocked me. I found out that I was blocked from her totally when I saw that she still had a profile picture in our old messages. I’m not sure about what actually happened to make her do this, considering that we haven’t spoken in almost a year, but sometimes that’s just how the cookie crumbles. She used her block button with pride and didn’t give me or anyone else prior notice. That my friend is how it’s done! There is also an option set off on the side of most posts that will give you the option to report an obscene post or block it from your own timeline.
- Don’t allow people to post on your timeline without your consent. What you see on your timeline daily is your right. People can and will tag you in videos and posts that sometimes go against everything that you believe in. One feature that I totally despise on Facebook, is the ability for people to add others to private groups. Maybe it was a close friend or family member that posted, tagged, or added you, don’t be pressured to entertain even their gestures. It is your social platform. Enjoy it!