Social media can be incredible. It can help distant friends and family keep in touch and provide inspiration and motivation to its users. However, you can’t discount the harmful side, the side that feeds jealousy, anxiety, and the feeling that you’re not living as great of a life as the people you see on your screen.
Social media gives users a seemingly candid snapshot into people’s lives, a beautifully styled and perfectly posed snapshot. There is no way a day in real-life can mirror those perfectly timed snapshots, and that’s where disappointment can sneak in. Because these are regular people and not celebrities, users can’t easily explain away the dazzling photos as a perk of being rich and famous. The comparison game can be exhausting and lead to a loss of joy and contentment. However, there is a remedy. Practicing mindfulness while browsing can have a big impact on the psyche.
Open the app consciously
Users shouldn’t open social media apps out of habit. Users should be consciously opening the app and preparing themselves for what they are seeing and being present.
Set an intention
When opening the application, users should set an intention of what they seek from the browsing experience. Whether it’s to find inspiration, relax, or find joy in pictures of puppies, it doesn’t matter as long as the intention is positive.
Be conscious of emotions
Users should be monitoring their feelings as they scroll. Does this post inspire happiness? Envy? Anxiety? Are these emotions that one particular person sparks regularly? Once we figure out what is triggering these emotions, we can work out a way to deal with them.
Overhaul the feed
Unfollowing or muting users who incite negative emotions can be liberating. Unfollow users who frequently post negativity and users who make you feel less than or inspire feelings of jealousy. This simple step can completely change the tone of a social media feed.
Let go of the need for likes
When users post photos, it should be because they enjoy them and want to share their snaps. Don’t post photos expecting a certain number of likes or comments. Likes are not a reflection of your worth, beauty, or intelligence. Users should be aware of how much attachment and meaning they are placing on likes.
Social media is everywhere. In our world, where the presence of technology is increasing at alarming rates, it has become more difficult to escape and opt out of living a social life online. As long as we mindfully and positively engage with social media, it can be a harmonious experience.