Hello mental health champions, how are you doing?
Today I want to talk about the necessary evil, social media. I have talked about social media countless times but somehow it just seems as if it is always a constant theme. Let’s be honest, social media is a huge part of our lives now. I try to avoid the notification that comes up weekly about my screen time because I am not at all proud of it. What is even more contradicting is the fact that I always feel worse after being on social media. I generally never feel inspired or uplifted. I find myself either feeling self conscious, annoyed by the constant political debates, frustrated about the entire comment section on creators videos, and/or generally-just sad. But here I am, always on social media and wasting my days stuck in this dark web. I think there are a lot of people that feel this way, but yet, it has become such a huge part of our lives that we don’t care to change.
I have drastically been trying to change this way of thinking. Even when I am watching a tv show or movie, I still find myself mindlessly scrolling. It is basically an addiction we all have. Have you ever noticed that when you have a second of downtime, the first thing most of us do is pull out our phone and suck ourselves into social media? Well I am going to give you guys some tips on how to make your social media experience better, but also things you can do instead of social media.
Something I have been doing recently is purging my friends and unfollowing creators on all platforms. When I open my feed, I only want to see positivity- which for any of you that are reading this article because I posted on Facebook should know- my Facebook profile is flooded with inspirational quotes. I do this so that my friends can see some positivity when they wake up first thing in the morning. I want to be that light in the darkness of what social media has become. However, if I see people not matching my energy: i.e.- too many distasteful political posts, drama, people that only post sad/depressing posts, I will unfriend. And NO- I don’t feel bad about it. I have learned that I get to choose what I surround myself with. I get to pick what and who I see. If someone isn’t creating a loving, kind environment, I am removing them immediately. For someone like me who is empathetic and has EXTREME anxiety around confrontations/arguments (yes, even online), it is hard for me to disconnect my emotions from those. Those things take up space in my head and make my day significantly worse. I am done trying to please people that I don’t even know. My social media space should be uplifting and inspiring, so if your social media isn’t and is just a ranting diary for all to see, goodbye!
The same goes for creators and this is more relative to Tik-Tok which I am too obsessed with. I used to follow a couple female creators that were model status stunning with an unachievable figure and then I would feel badly about myself. It was like my own form of self harm. You sit there and watch these videos of these people that embody everything you “think” you want to be and then compare yourself. You know you’ll never measure up in your own mind. But once again, I am guilty of doing this for hours and hours, stalking the “perfection” and in the process, all I am doing is making myself feel bad. It’s kind of fucked up right? And I am saying this because I am sure there are people out there who do the same thing. As I have said countless times before, first off, don’t compare yourself to someone’s highlight reel because you never truly know what it takes for that person to look the way they do. I was talking about this with my counselor the other day and she reminded me of when I was struggling with an ED. I had many people come up to me and say they wish they had my body or that I was so skinny and they were jealous. NO- I am not saying this as a brag or trying to be conceded, this actually would happen. And at the time, those people probably thought I was born that small. Yes- I was always a small person before even struggling with that disorder, but at my thinnest was when these “compliments” would flood in. Those people comparing themselves to me didn’t know that I was constantly sick and exhausted. They didn’t know I was only eating about one meal a day that wasn’t even nutritious enough to sustain me. They had no clue and I put a facade on to the world that I was just “built like that”. So that point she brought up changed the way I look at these perfect people. Yes, maybe they are naturally blessed- I hope they are, but you never know what really goes on behind the scenes because they only show you so much. I ended up choosing to unfollow the people that made me feel badly about myself. It is OKAY- to do that. It doesn’t make you weak. PROTECT YOUR PEACE however you have to. I also made an effort to follow people that made me feel better about myself. I followed body positivity creators and inspirational creators that genuinely leave me feeling more fulfilled than the other creators.
Some things you can do to get off of your phone are: read a book, watch youtube videos, expand your mind by teaching yourself a hobby, start a small business, take a class on something that interests you, exercise, prepare meals and try new recipes, etc. There are so many things you can do to get off of social media, you just have to WANT to do them. I personally love reading as a way to combat social media scrolling.
Drop your favorite positive Tik-Tok creators in the comments of this blog so we can all be uplifted and feel better! Remember that we all survived before social media was a thing!
Talk to you soon brain battlers, Gracie <3
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The Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.