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Just Trying to Stay Positive: How to Overcome the Negative Effects of Social Media

By now, most of you will have watched ‘The Social Dilemma’ or atleast have heard about or seen numerous social media posts about the Netflix Original movie. For those of you that have not, ‘The Social Dilemma’ is a docudrama about the truth behind today’s social media crazed world. I think that we all know that social media can have seriously negative impacts on our mental health when used inefficiently, however the docudrama brought to life many horrific scenarios, backed with absolutely shocking statistics which meant that it was something that the team at You and Me Collective feel VERY strongly about speaking out about.

As a business based in the social media industry, we love the freedom, enjoyment and connectivity in which this industry brings to so many people all over the world. However, we also have a responsibility to our clients, followers and readers to help and give our best advice when it comes to social media usage.

So here are our top tips on keeping your social media journey as positive as possible:

Tip One: Tailor your followers list.

What do i mean by this? Well to put it simply, only follow accounts that give you positive energy. Any accounts that bring you down – GET RID! This is the time to have a spring clean of your socials, you wouldn’t continue spending time with people who make you feel rubbish, so why do you continue to do this online.

Tip Two: Limit your time.

The amount of time that we as a population are spending on the internet and inevitably social media is only going UP, UP, UP! Especially for us, and those of you whose job IS social media, try to make sure when the working day is done, screentime is a low priority. There have been many studies to indicate the negative side effects of too much screen time, including:

  • Struggle Sleeping and Fatigue
  • Eye Strain
  • Mental Health Issues i.e Body Dysmorphia and Depression
  • Decline in Relationships

Now, this isn’t to put you off social media and the internet, this is to make you aware of the right choices to make for yourself. Recently, even social media sensation Joe Wicks has taken a well-needed rest from social media, and begun to explain the benefits that it can do for us as a population.

I recommend setting yourself a time allowance for screen time and social media usages. You can do this either by using your willpower and putting your phone down, or if you are like me and have ZERO willpower, go into your iPhone ‘settings’, ‘screen time’ and from there you can limit your screen time, app usage and even restrict contact from contacts that potentially eat into your R+R time. Remember you cannot be expected to work at your best, without taking some self-care time to recuperate!

Additionally, i personally recommend the following activities if you find that you are becoming disconnected to the world around you:

  • Go for long walks or submerge yourself in nature.
  • Try a new sport.
  • Meditation or Yoga.
  • Organise yourself for the next day.
  • See friends.
  • Read a new book or listen to an audiobook.

The list is really endless but i recommend trying to find some hobbies outside of the internet which can help you relax. All of these activities have been godsends when it feels like social media is beginning to take over my life.

Tip Three: Let your clients know.

For all of you workaholics, if you are struggling to let your clients know that you are OOO, I recommend sending an expectations email/text/etc out to clients detailing working hours and mutual expectations. This should allow you to put that phone down in time to relax after work.

Tip Four: Avoid screens and socials first thing and last thing.

Finally, STOP CHECKING YOUR PHONE FIRST THING IN THE MORNING AND LAST THING AT NIGHT!

This is making your sleep worse and your waking up schedule slowed! Try doing some wake up stretches and grabbing a bite to eat or a large glass of water to really start the day right. Maybe pick up a book before bed to allow you to wind down properly. If you find your social media feed draining, why pick it up as the first and last thing in your schedule?

I really hope that this gives you all some positive steps to take for when social media becomes slightly overwhelming for you. I’d be really interested to know whether you all have any tips that you swear by, so please do share these.