How to create a healthier relationship with social media
Social media has a bad reputation, but it’s not necessarily a bad thing. From using LinkedIn for professional networking and finding events on Facebook to being clued in on current events on Twitter and getting inspiration on Pinterest, there are a number of advantages to using social media. It’s a part of our lives and hard to do away with, and the problem mainly comes when we overdo it.
Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through Tik Tok before bed? No wonder the blue light from your screen keeps you awake and disrupts your sleep. What about peeking into the lives of your friends and acquaintances while on the toilet? It’s only natural to feel bad about yourself when everyone else seems to be having a blast. The key is to change your mindset and social media habits to create a healthier relationship.
In this Pacific Prime Singapore article, we’ll give you actionable steps to do so.
1. Ask yourself ‘why do I turn to social media’?
As social media is simply a tool, which can be used for good or bad, the first step is to find out which category your use of social media falls in. This will help you identify any unhealthy patterns and take steps to rectify that. Perhaps you’re using social media because you feel lonely and it helps you know what’s going on in the lives of your friends? Or perhaps you’re stressed out or bored and scroll on social media because it’s the easiest thing to do?
2. Explore healthier activities to replace social media
Say you’re feeling lonely, why not text a friend and ask to meet up? Or have a more productive, go-to activity to do on your phone instead of scrolling on social media? Some ideas include learning to play chess and playing online, reading the news and long-form feature articles, watching mini documentaries or comedy programs on YouTube, and more. This way, social media will feel less and less appealing.
3. Curate your content for when you do use social media
It’s unrealistic to cut down on social media completely. Besides, why should you go cold turkey when you’re able to use it in moderation? When you do use social media, make sure you curate your content. In other words, stop following pages or profiles that make you feel bad about yourself and start following positive, uplifting ones instead. You can also use social media to learn new skills or find a like-minded community that supports each other.
Note: It may also be a good idea to avoid looking at screens first thing in the morning and before you go to bed. This can set a negative tone for the day and disrupt your sleep at night. Better yet, leave your phone in another room altogether so you don’t get tempted to use it in the bedroom and switch to an old school alarm instead.
4. Remind yourself that change doesn’t happen overnight
Just as ‘Rome wasn’t built in one day’, a healthier relationship with social media takes time to create. There’ll be times when you get sucked back into social media and feel guilty about it afterwards, but it’s important to go easy on yourself because you’re only human at the end of the day. Relapsing isn’t the end of the world, as long as you’re committed to your goals and try your best to stick to them.
5. Get professional help if and when you need it
Sometimes your use of social media may simply be masking the real, underlying problem. If you’re suffering from stress, anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues, it may be a good idea to get professional help. Speaking to a therapist can help you identify problematic use of social media, explore underlying reasons for excessive use, and help you address mental health issues and strengthen your relationship with yourself.
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