Updated: Oct 23, 2021
Today, anyone with a smartphone can download an app and easily edit their photos. According to a survey done by the UK Mental Health Foundation, more than one in three young adults had felt shame about their body image in the past 12 months. Constantly seeing and comparing ourselves to these ‘perfect’ images can have real and negative consequences on our mental health.
The following are some helpful ways to reduce the negative impacts of social media on yourself and others.
It can be tough to showcase your most genuine self on social media. Many people use it as a highlight reel for life’s best moments. This can put a lot of pressure on people to only share perfect images. If you are looking to make your social media posts more genuine, try weaving parts of yourself into every post rather than presenting an image you feel is most like-able. This may be difficult at first, but it will become easier. When people show their human traits, it not only increases their like-ability, but also their self-esteem.
Doesn‘t it feel better to be liked based on who you are rather than a facade you present on social media?
Be Aware of Your Social Media Habits
Many young people spend countless hours on various social media platforms. Increased social media use has a direct correlation to mental health problems like anxiety, depression and poor body image. There are many ways to be decrease the negative side effects of social media:
Limit your time spent on social media. Dedicate a specific amount of time or set limits on your social media apps.
Reduce the number of social media apps you use. Delete apps from your home screen if they are too tempting.
Clean up your feed. If certain accounts or people make you feel negative aboutbrings up negative emotions it is time to unfollow.
Use social media to connect with friends and family. Follow accounts/brands that make you feel good.
Prioritize your mental health. If you feel like social media is harmful to your mental health reach out to your support system or take an extended break.
Reducing the amount of time online allows people to experience greater self-awareness, an increase in productivity, more free time, better focus, higher self-esteem and overall well-being.
Overall, social media has many negative consequences. That being said, it is important to remember that social media can be used as a force for good. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and other apps allow us to connect with others and express our creativity. Together we can take care of our mental health and create a more imperfect online environment.