Healthy social media habits can help us overcome mental hurdles, and open ourselves up to what is truly important within, as well as around us. There is plenty of coverage on the negative effects social media has on our mental states. However, very little of that coverage follows it up with a way to change that. Consider today a call to action.
We cannot control what is posted online. The hateful rhetoric, misinformation, and the propaganda will remain a part of the internet forever. However, we have control over what we put up with, and what we put out. It comes down to two main principles. Two principles that guide my hand in this hectic online world. Your Intake. And Your Create.
Your Intake - Who You Follow
What we see online has a profound effect on the way our brains move through the paces of the day. If we are constantly beaten over the head with hate, vitriol, and violence, we cannot expect our brains to slow down enough to think critically when we find ourselves in a tough situation.
If what we see in front of us is an infinite scroll of influencers with lavish lifestyles, and larger than life personalities, we allow our brains to play the comparison games.
Follow Creators, Not Influencers
This is no disrespect to the influencers across the internet. That is a respectable position, and takes an incredible grind in order to be successful. Often, the lines will blur between creator and influencer, but you just need to ensure that what you follow are things coming from a place of passion. Find something you are passionate about, follow those who are champions of that medium. Follow young creators trying to find their footing.
For example, my wife is heavily invested in Nail Polish creators. There is this entire world of “indie” nail polish creators, all with their own styles, voices, and brands. She gets so much joy from simply watching these creators reach new heights in their industry.
If we follow a small artist, a writer [Cough, cough, super convenient link to my twitter], graphic designers, photographers, or video creators, our news feeds and timelines can transform into a vibrant, explosive source of inspiration, and will ultimately lift the weight of comparisons between yourself and the influencers.
Use the Almighty Algorithm to Your Advantage
As we all know by now, most of what is put in front of us on the internet is guided by these mystical algorithms. So instead of letting those algorithms dictate our taste, we can mold it to our advantage. If we follow and interact with businesses and influencers, those algorithms will learn that we are an easy target to sell to, or at least for more interaction.
If we consistently divulge our time online to reacting to hateful rhetoric, those pesky algorithms will learn that you are very likely to ‘interact’ with a divisive post.
However, if we follow creators, artists, writers, or other people similar to us, the algorithms will curate much better content for you.
The Unfollow Button - An Online Superpower
The unfollow button holds an infinite amount of power. Hate only holds power over us if we bend to it. You have the power to unfollow anybody who’s public posts make you uncomfortable, or feel marginalized. I’ve unfollowed people I consider close, simply because their posts were emanating from a negative, hateful place in their mind. This doesn’t mean I excommunicate, and shut out any opinion that doesn’t align with mine. I simply reduce the liklihood of increasing my anxiety while simply scrolling Facebook.
Your Create - What You Post
I don’t know who needs to hear this, but you do not need to start a violent, all caps screaming match with strangers… Make your point, provide some context, sure. However, do not play into the vitriol. It will go nowhere fast, and you will not be changing the opposing parties’ mind. If you truly have that much passion behind the topic, you can channel that and use those words to craft something that means something to people who agree with you, or people who are trying to understand a divisive topic.
If you come across utter hate in the dreaded comment section, or a misguided opinion… Stop where you are, pull your hand back from the CAPS Lock. Take a deep breath, and collect your thoughts into a cohesive written piece that you can post as a status, not as a response. Your social bubble will be given an insightful look into your knowledgeable, passionate stance. Your words in that context can spark something positive in the people who read it.
Explore Your Creative Side
Once you begin following creators, and you open yourself up to dive deeper into your interests, you can turn that into inspiration for your very own endeavours. I may be a broken record on this point, but our greatest gift as a species, is the ability to create. If we allow our minds the room to grow, we can create anything. We have this incredible tool at our fingertips to share those creations, helping inspire even more creations.
I write these silly articles, and make even sillier videos on Youtube. Even if I was at 0 readers, and 0 subscribers forever, this idea of creating something, putting it out there and creating something new, is just a breathtaking feeling.
You Can Only Control You
Healthy social media habits boil down to the fact that we can only control ourselves, nobody else. We have this responsibility as people, to inspire others to be the best versions of themselves. Post your selfie, share your smile, write a story, tell us about your day, eliminate hate… Change the world.
Intake, and Create.
Go to Twitter and Tag me in something you have created. Tag me in something that adds positivity to this wacky online world. Thank you for reading.
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