In a perfect world, we’d be able to avoid the social media circus entirely – cancel our Facebook accounts, steer clear of Instagram, Twitter, and the like, but for most people, that’s both difficult and unrealistic.
The good thing news is that even if you can’t bear to steer clear of your social media accounts, ultimately you are in control of your experience. Make it work for you, rather than against you.
I like to call this “curating” my social media experience, and in my personal experience, it has been integral to my recovery. I may not give up my Facebook or Instagram accounts, but I can craft and curate them for wellness and recovery. The tools below have helped me keep my social media accounts a source of positivity, but it’s important to find whatever balance works for you.
Three Ways to Curate your Social Media Experience
- Limit your social media intake. Even if you can’t bear to avoid it entirely, balance is key – limit checking your accounts to a handful of times a day, and avoid getting sucked into hours of browsing. Studies have repeatedly shown that those who spend too much time on social media sites are more likely to feel unhappy and less satisfied with their lives. Spend a day or two unplugged, and find other positive ways to fill your time.
- Surround yourself with positivity, and cut out the negative. Eliminate accounts that are triggering or make you feel poorly about yourself. That “fitspo” account you’re following? Delete. That super competitive “friend” from high school? Gone! Follow accounts that boost you up – not those that bring you down.
- Don’t compare and despair. Above all, remember above all to take every image you see with a grain of salt. The images you’re seeing are someone’s “highlight reel” – not their outtakes! These are artfully posed, and well-crafted SNAPSHOTS of peoples’ lives. It’s all a production, so don’t buy into all the hype.
For better or worse, social media is a big presence in our lives. Find a balance that works for you, stay positive and focused, take one day at a time, and let the rest fall into place.