Updated: Feb 19
Protecting Your Mind from the baneful Social Media.
Social Media helps us connect with the world, but its irrational use has made it un-social media. We forget that social media is a place to connect only, and not to get immersed. As William James said, "Human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind", taking small steps can invert the negative impact of social media on our minds.
So, here are some ways to help you protect your mind and mental health from the side effects of social media.
Focus on things relevant to you
Social media is for all types of personalities. It has some things relevant to you while some inapt to you in a stack. Spicy content on social media makes life fun, but an overdose can drain a person's energy as it will change focus on irrelevant things and waste time.
Focus on educational/informative content
Social media is full of gossip, hate, and futile but engaging & entertaining things with a large volume of educational content. This kind of content on social media can help users in their current education and provide crucial knowledge. Thus, one must focus on educational content from social media to get the most value from it.
Get busy creating
To protect yourself from getting lost in the world of social media, start creating. So, writing blogs, creating vlogs, and being creative help a person to remain busy and not focus on irrelevant things.
Moderation is essential
All things in life are good in moderation and balanced. The same is true regarding social media. Setting a timer for every platform and not overspending your time helps to avoid any effect on the schedule, and in turn, on the stress levels. You can make use of a social media scheduler if you are a content creator yourself.
Have goals in mind
When logging on to social media, keep your goals in mind so that you will not keep scrolling aimlessly, which wastes time, and in the end, you end up feeling bad. To avoid this situation, try to maintain a journal to keep track of your social habits.
Observe the addiction pattern
Imagine you have posted something on social media, and every second you are to know how many views and likes you get. So, you feel satisfied, then further and get engaged more to be rewarded. Is this the thing that happens to you? Observe if you can live a day without the personal use of social media, and if the answer is a no, then you are in a big trap of dopamine reward of social media. It is like, you use social media because it increases your dopamine, and your dopamine increases to satisfy that your use social media. That surely will increase your anxiety when you don't use social media for some time, which will eventually lead to increased symptoms of depression and severe mental health.
Unless you start having limited/fixed social media time/days, you will always be on the brink of being a social media addict. Engage yourself in more offline tasks and friends, and get help from a professional counselor if you feel the need.
Know more about social media addiction in the article by Healthline.
If you use social media as a part of your job or business, then keep a record of how often you get distracted by non-work content and activities. For many, it is higher than the average level. It is commonly seen that people realize they are using social media to a deteriorating/ disturbing point but are unable to cope with that. So, to ease this, meditate and practice focusing, and make it difficult to get distracted
Many people share the minutest details about their lives and end up getting judged for it and stuck in the boundaries and thoughts of social media, which further affects their mental state.
Regarding security and privacy, it is also not good to share exact and all personal details on the internet as it may lead to harassment.
Social media has a lot of random people who will hate a person for no reason and leave rude comments. If you focus on rude unknown people, you will overthink and underestimate yourself. Thus, avoiding and blocking online bullies is the key to happiness.
Beware of the FOMO
Other than cyberbullying, what social media develops in a person is "FOMO", the fear of missing out. This effect of social media is as severe as it keeps you refrained from your social life. You feel your existence in social media only and hence keep scrolling. Try to be in the realism and keep a constant check on your "FOMO" too, at least once a week
In the end, a person needs to remember that social media is for adding value to our lives and not making us feel miserable and depressed. Thus, focus on connecting with like-minded people, creating a personal brand, learning, growing, and improving your life. The way we use a particular thing can change the outcome. To know more about the bad effects of social media on mental health check this article from Penn Medicine
If a knife can help you make the salad, mishandling it may also hurt your finger. The same is true for social media. Use it wisely.
Silly Opera is making it possible to create spaces where you can share your stories, have deep conversations about mental health, and these are open to all but based on an invite-only policy to ensure safety. We have listening circles, open-mic sessions, open discussions, ask-a-counselor and so much more including activities to encourage self-expression. For more information write to us and to join our community submit this form. See you there!