This Is How To Socially Slay Both On And Offline
These tips will keep your social media in check
We’ve all heard it before; “social media is bad for you”, “kids these days can’t concentrate on anything”, “it’s not real” etc. etc. etc., “blah blah blah. Pipe down, I’ve nearly perfected my selfie game”.
WELL we’re here to tell you exactly that, but wait, please don’t leave. This is actually quite important. A new US study sponsored by the National Institute for Mental Health recently found that in young people social media has a “strong and significant association between mental health and depression”.
This isn’t the only study of its kind either. Childline reported last year that social media and the pressure to have a perfect life is a huge contributor to the rise from in counselling sessions from 23,000 back in the 80s to a whopping 286,000 today.
It’s not just studies either, just last week Geordie Shore’s very own Chantelle Connelly revealed her struggles with social media haters saying, “It's just the way you get portrayed. I'm not used to having that much hate. Literally, there were no nice comments. People forget I'm not made of stone. I had a lot of comments telling me to kill myself. I thought that was so low”.
Fellow Geordie, Holly Hagan similarly struggled during series one of Geordie shore saying, "“There were times when I wouldn’t come out of my room for a week. I would literally lock the door and refuse to speak to anybody" due to body-shaming and generally hurtful comments online. Other celebrities too, from Australian Model Essena O’Neill to Iggy Azalea have quit social media in the last year or so reporting the pressures of cyber-bullying and the maintaining of a “false image” as too much to handle.
Now, we’re not about to tell you to all to quit social media right now and never go near it again because, let’s face it, that’s not gonna happen and it shouldn’t either. There’s a lot of good stuff on social media too, it’s a space for discussion, advice, expression and if used properly can do the opposite of the things above. All we want to tell you is that you don’t have to be on it all the time, here are a few tips for healthy and happy social media use.
You won’t miss the end of the world if you take a bit of time off
One of the hardest things about cutting down on your social media use is the serious case of FOMO that comes with getting off grid. But you know what? If you spend a couple of hours away from your phone, chances are you’ll miss nothing. Sure there might be a few new posts that would have raised a slight chuckle or the murmur of “yass queen” to your lips but the world will not come crashing down if you don’t see these. As for the big stuff, you’ll catch up before long and if it’s really important, someone will let you know.
Missing out can actually be a good thing
You know when you meet a friend and they start telling you a funny story from their day, you nod and smile along then fake laugh at the end but in your head you’re really just thinking “yeah mate, I saw your tweet, I know this story already”. Well, maybe if you hadn’t spent the whole bus ride over to this meeting stalking your friend on social media then this oh-so-difficult social interaction might be just that much more enjoyable. IRL anecdotes > social media anecdotes.
Sign out for a bit
Sounds simple but this is THE key to nailing your social media management. Don’t just close the tab on your computer or the app on your phone and tell yourself you’re staying off for a bit, actually click the ‘log off’ button. If you can even remember where it is, amiright? This will put that one extra barrier between you and social media when 5 minutes later you inevitably find yourself right back on there, because we all automatically type Facebook into our browsers without realising now.
Log out, tell your browser to forget your password and delete your apps from your phone. That way, that automatic reflex we all have will be cut off at the source and then when you have a free moment later and decide you want to catch up, you can log back in on your own terms.
Try a day off once in a while
It’s important to remember that social media isn’t essential to your life. You may like it, and if you do that’s great, carry on! But it’s worth just seeing how you feel if you spend a day, or maybe a week, social media free. You might find you like it and you’ll almost definitely find that you get LOADS more done.
Easy on the filters
There is absolutely NOTHING wrong with selfies, let’s be clear. But if you find yourself looking back over them and thinking “this doesn’t even look like me”, then try a different approach. Same goes for flattering angles and lighting, yes you want to look your best, but there’s nothing wrong with just looking like you.
When Essena O’Niell left social media last year she said that she had realised that the life she was posting about online wasn’t actually her life at all. This is an extreme example but make sure that your posts reflect you not who you think you should be. Obviously you’re unlikely to post a picture of yourself half way through your second pizza of the day, sat on the sofa in your comfy pants, well into your 5th episode of Game of Thrones in as many hours BUT just don’t pretend to be someone you’re not, is all. Or maybe do post that pic, it’ll probably get a s**t load of likes, because that’s what we all do.
The celebrities, models, brands etc you follow are, apart from the really great ones, often pretty heavily curated and sometimes edited. Following celebs is fun, sure, but don’t compare yourself to them. Things like body image and lifestyle are personal to you and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about yourself by anyone else. You do you, they do them.
Be ruthless with the haters
One comment or post from someone else that makes you feel bad is enough. Block those suckers. Cyber-bullying is one of the big problems social media faces and one of the most dangerous to your mental health. If someone has something nasty to say, don’t try bother trying to reason with them or start a big fight, just get rid of them. These people are not worth your time and need to go.
Don’t take it too seriously
Have a laugh and celebrate your imperfections. Don’t try and curate the perfect image, just post about life as it comes.
So there you have it. Yes we know we’re boring, but why not just give a few of these things a go and you might find that you’re much happier. If not you can always send us an angry tweet about it (please don’t, we’d be sad).