Using Social Media to Your Advantage
Living in this modern world comes with a few prices to pay. One of them, unfortunately, can be the consequences of social media on one’s mental state and emotional wellbeing. Some people are constantly comparing themselves to celebrities, influencers and artists via social media platforms. In fact, a study from the American Psychological Association mentioned by the Newport Academy concluded that “people who make frequent social comparisons are more likely to experience envy, guilt, regret, and defensiveness.”
We have to remember that these photos and videos are simply highlights of that individual’s life because—like us—they are human. It may seem like everyone on social media has a perfect life filled with sunshine and roses 24/7, but we need to take a step back and take these posts with a grain of salt. Everyone lives their lives differently, and social media posts only allow us to visualize a small snippet of another’s reality. Whether someone is going through an amazing triumph in life or a debilitating defeat, we have to take into account the minuscule amount that social media projects. Here are some tips on how to use social media platforms to your advantage. In addition, the photos within this article are examples of accounts that never cease to inspire me to work harder and smile more.
1. Follow Positive Accounts — This may seem like the most obvious tip. However, I think that a lot of people get sucked into the negativity of social media. Following your favorite celebrity? Great! Following your favorite celebrity solely to compare your life to theirs? Not so great. Find people that share a similar aesthetic with you because they might be more like-minded. When following extremely popular accounts, make sure they have a purpose for what they preach, and make sure that purpose aligns with what makes you truly happy. For example, if you love coffee, follow a latte art account. This may ease your mind from the harsh reality of social media.
2. Follow People That Genuinely Inspire You
Social media may put a damper on goals that you are working towards by limiting your inspiration through negative accounts. To turn this around, make sure to follow influencers that are somehow helping you and inspiring you to work towards those goals. If you are starting to workout to maintain a healthy lifestyle, follow fitness influencers that have a passion for what they are doing. They may post how-to videos, transformations and insightful information regarding nutrition and fitness. Stray away from the individuals that claim they are helping the fitness community, but in reality, are solely posting images of their body without an explanation of the workout or ways to stay healthy.
3. Follow Some Accounts That Include Your Hobbies
This tip is one that I actually have utilized, which is why I recommend it. Try to follow accounts that share similar hobbies with you. And I don’t necessarily mean the hobbies that enthrall your entire life, but small, unexpected ones, like bullet journaling. Social media also has the power to introduce you to some interests that you might have not been aware of loving. On Instagram, go to your Explore page and see what is recommended for you. You may find some accounts to follow that will inspire you to find new hobbies in your life, such as calligraphy/hand-lettering, cooking, baking, fitness, photography, etc. I can definitely attest to the fact that social media has helped me discover some interests that I never knew I had.
4. Set Time Limits!
Last but not least, set personal time limits for yourself. These limits will vary depending on how active you are social media. Instagram has a feature under “Your Activity” where it evaluates your average time on the app and breaks it down day-by-day. Within that page, you have the option to set a “Daily Reminder,” which may help with your time management and productivity.